She wouldn’t let me do it. Post it to her blog. Copy the words and share them on the pages of Hand-me-down Levi’s where she is the biggest contributor, and has only ever typed thank-you's and love you's in the comment boxes. Where the walls are painted with love. She only let me listen. And in the quiet Sunday morning after, I sighed and tried to take it all in, one big whoosh of love….tried to save it in my mind, freeze dry the words in a forever state of limbo….
Love letter to my oldest child from Kimbies…..
Shared moments before she sealed the envelope and sent it sailing, a paper kite…..
It won’t be the same here, because I’m not the author and the words were fairytale perfect, captured just as they happened, as they were felt, as they became magic in the making, but the story is so beautiful and if the world, for just a tiny second, could capture life in their hands, the way Kimbies does in her heart, we would all know……peace and love…..
Dear Sweetest Child,
How could I have ever known that day, in the sandy gritty parking lot, when you lugged that old umbrella, stuffed into it’s sack, and plopped it into the back of my mini van, the gifts it would bear? But you knew, didn’t you? Keys in your hand, checking out, counting heads, pulling away from the beach…..your babies faces smashed up against the windows blowing kisses as you drove away, you knew……
And there it lay, on the carpeted floor of my van, waiting….
Thank you , sweet child…..
For shelter from the sun I love so much, for the little tent we’ve camped under over and over again. Alana and I. Sandy peanut butter sandwiches squished between her fingers, sippy cups melting in the heat. Our toes buried under treasure sand. For the rooftop over our heads, Grand-C in her long sleeves, shadowed from the very light we love, protected. We drag the umbrella closer to the water’s edge. A squiggly trail of where we’ve been left in the wet sand. And dig to China. The ocean sees us there. And comes to greet us. Three generations of girls. She knows I can’t come to her and so she plays birthday party at our feet. Dropping trinkets, a thousand years old or older, just within Alana’s reach….And Alana names them all….. “Umbwella chells, buttafwy chells, fingahnail chells” and drops them in her tiny plastic bucket. “Twehsures”…… she chases the frothy bubbles of the mermaid’s breath at the oceans edge, catching them with her butterfly net…..and we splash, and laugh, and precious, precious memories are made…..
When it’s time to go, when the tide reminds us by climbing a little higher, talking a little louder, pushing us a little harder, we follow the squiggly trail of the umbrella’s footsteps, back to the car…..and turn around, amazed at the vastness, the bigness behind us.
Alana raises her little fingers to her lips and blows….softly, butterfly kisses to the sea…..
“Tank you, ocean, Tank you……”
I thank you sweet child, for the gift you’ve always been….
In April of 2006 Kimbies was diagnosed with breast cancer, Stage IV, and the last year and a half has changed all of our lives forever, the sun became taboo and the race to live began. We are celebrating remission now, in all it’s hugeness, but the treatments continue, the mountain climbing an always present task. Kimbies is going to the beach again. Hand in hand with her tiny grand~daughter and in the sand, right behind her, our Mom. Love grows.