We have found as parents that you develop sayings and nicknames in your family without really planning to do so. They just come naturally and become part of your family’s language and culture.
One of the things I have found myself saying to Tori in recent months is, “I love you…do you know that?”
Rationally, I know that she does to some extent. She trusts me. She calms when I hold her. I am her mother and I know that she is bonded to me in a unique way. She must feel loved in some innate way – at least I pray that she does.
But, my heart longs to hear or see a response. Some acknowledgement that she feels my love, that she feels safe, that she is content. That she isn’t scared or lonely. That she knows we love her deeply.
I’d happily take a teenage eyeroll with an exasperated “yes, Mom” if that meant she could communicate to me.
But, she can’t show us anymore. That ability was sadly taken from her over ten months ago.
No longer can her eyes light up and a smile cross her face when I walk into the room; no longer can she laugh and show her joy.
Instead, she is now trapped inside her deteriorating body, unable to exhibit any emotion except pain (which is exceedingly rare, thankfully).
Have I mentioned that I hate Krabbe?
She still communicates in her own ways and we have had to learn her new, limited language. But it’s just not the same – for her or for us.
More than ever before, I find myself longing for Heaven (as is mentioned many times in the Bible – this world is not our home and Heaven will be so amazing).
I think about what it will be like in Heaven and what it will be like to reunite with her should she not be healed here on earth.
When I think about seeing her there, I often picture a scene where we run to each other and embrace. She looks so much like me when I was younger and has pigtails in her hair. Her eyes are still big and beautiful like they were before Krabbe – eyes like a Disney princess.
When we step back from our hug, she smiles and simply says, “I know you love me, Mama. You always have.”
And in that moment I feel peace.