It’s been 5 days.
I awoke to several missed calls and text messages, all pleading me not to log on to Facebook until I spoke with one of my girls. The shocking news was that someone close to my heart had passed. I didn’t have time to figure out what or how to tell the kids. I still have many questions I'll never have answers for.
The oldest overheard part of my phone conversation and figured out what happened and who was no longer with us. He’s been helpful and well behaved this week.
(Have I mentioned Thing1 scored highest in deductive reasoning?)
Thing2 then heard his brother talking with me about it. The boy lost his teacher earlier this year. Death of a younger adult isn’t a new idea for him, but this is an Auntie and she has children. His questions are about her son Cam, a little boy his age, and how he is doing through this. Landon is a tenderhearted guy.
I met Lara through our local TheMommiesNetwork.com chapter. We would chat online about everything. She loved cooking, singing and writing. When you form a relationship online they don’t always translate well in person, but it was just a natural extension with Lara. My first in-person memory of Lara was at a playgroup, she was wearing her daughter in a sling. Sophie was fascinated by her mommy’s voice and was so happy staring up at her. Lara was obviously smitten as well, leaning down to kiss her head while she nursed and swirling the little hairs on top of her head. Lara had an amazingly contagious laugh, and even as an infant Sophie would coo and giggle along with her momma’s laughter.
Our friendship, like many relationships had its ups and downs. For a time, I was worried about her she seemed to disappear into herself. I later learned that was when she did most of her creative writing. She had a talent for Fiction, which reflected the emotions she felt at the time.
I’ve shared before that I would have never returned to school without the support of my friends, Lara was one of my loudest cheerleaders. She was able to sense when my internal dialogue negative and filled with self-doubt. She was also able to silence it and help me refocus. Lara was gifted, having something close to a photographic memory. She would swear it was a study habit that she learned long ago and I’m thankful she told me about how she did it along with other memory tricks. She was one of the first to volunteer to proof read my essays, and push me to improve making them solid.
My favorite memory of Lara comes from a night over at our friend’s house. There must have been 15 us over that night. The kitchen was filled with copious amounts for food to fill our souls and a plethora of adult beverages filling our glasses. Lara started with her voices. She did a spot on Yoda voice. Then I laughed until I cried when she started speaking for Biscuit (our friend’s Chihuahua) with her Antonio Benderas’ impersonation.
My daughter, much like me, is processing all of this very slowly. After some initial tears she started randomly mentioning Auntie LaLa, asking questions, or crying.
“I want to go see her.” She looked mad; I explained why we couldn’t see her that she’s already gone.
“Are you going to die too, Mommy?” that was my breaking point, I hadn’t cried, but this put me over the edge. I was trying to be strong, I didn’t want to upset them further and it all felt so surreal.
She looked up at me over her brow, “Now Soapy will be with her Daddy, all-the-time?” her tone sounded both disapproving & disgusted this might just be because she doesn’t remember Auntie LaLa’s ex husband. At least I don’t think she does, she has an amazing memory. It may also be that the last time she saw him he startled her while playing, she doesn’t let those things go.
Randomly “Auntie LaLa made me yummy hot chocolate, and I sat at the white squares table with Soapy and we had grapes and a sandwich…”
“Auntie LaLa sings, the call me baby song for me, she sounds so pretty, momma…” sighing heavily
“Do you remember when I danced with my auntie in the kitchen?” That was the last time she saw her Auntie LaLa. I am very thankful that her last memory is of her Auntie spinning and laughing with her before bedtime.