I swore I smelled her shampoo in the stairwell at work one day and it brought me to tears.
I try really hard to be brave.  Certain things, ordinary things - birthday parties and lavender bushes, dry rice cereal and Disney princesses - spin her from the back of my mind squarely to the front.  At the pool I wonder about how her hair might have dried after swimming all day.  Cooking dinner I think about what she might have liked to eat.  Memories are triggered by tunes from tiny plastic toys that now entertain her brothers. 

Playing "House" with Tucker a few nights ago, he said:  I'm gonna be the big brother and you will be the Daddy.  Mama Jenni can be the Mama, but who will be the sister?
Talk about breaking the brave front.

I don't feel sorry for myself that Celia died.  Except for when I do.
Some things make staying strong especially hard - Tucker asking me to point to heaven on his globe (he decided, after I told him we couldn't find it on the map and after his own careful scan of continents and seas, heaven was in Monrovia, Liberia), talk of kindergarten and little league and family pictures, and all the redheaded girls I seem to see everywhere (seriously, who knew there were so many little reds running around Columbus!)
Ordinary things bring Celia to mind, as do previews for the newest Disney Movie, a film about a headstrong Scottish princess with untamable red ringlets.  There are obvious parallels to be drawn, but I haven't seen the movie.
I'm not sure I'm brave enough.


rht said...

Kate and I went to see Brave, and we weren't.

Groves said...

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.

{Edna St. Vincent Millay}


Even this week, I have stopped short at the sight of several "little reds." I always want to say something. Sometimes I can.

And your Celia isn't mine, and I never smelled her hair, and I am full-well-sure that you miss her like hell. I honestly think that there is no word that comes close enough to encompass her absence. Even hell only pecks the edges.

She is remembered and remembered here. And it doesn't do one thing to lighten the enormity of her missing-ness. If only.

Cathy in Missouri

Linda K. said...

Can't capture as eloquently as you and Jenni about the impact knowing Celia has had on our lives. Sending hugs to you all.

Linda and Dee

hire hummer sydney said...

Hi. I may not know you but I know the feeling. We have to accept it and move on. She won't be happy wherever she is now if she can see that we're sad.

Susan said...

I am waiting for a time when a memory passes me more like a gentle breeze and less like the hurricane winds. I wish the same for you.

Poppy John said...

Andy My Boy,

Powerful post.


McKenna said...

Such a painfully beautiful post. Memories are so difficult but I thank God that we have them.

Debi said...

Missing Celia with you. So hard.