Monday, January 9, 2012

HWY 101

Things are finally slowing down a bit after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I enjoy the holidays very much but I also love to get back to normal when they are over.

The New Year brings with it the second semester of kindergarten homeschooling, resolutions of all kinds (I LOVE making New Year resolutions...keeping them is the challenge), and a lot of unknowns. My husband should be getting orders soon and when he does we will know if we are moving and where and when. We really have no idea where we might end up. Also Teamotions is about to celebrate its first full year in business which means we've managed to survive this economy! And my 7-year anniversary is around the corner and my oldest son turned six on Jan 7th. Where does the time go?

We spent Christmas in Texas this year (and I got to meet one of my blog friends in person-more on lunch with Fran later) so we didn't visit my parents until just before the new year. I love going home as my childhood house is filled with an entire lifetime of memories. When I drive the streets or eat at my favorite restaurants of my home town I am reminded of a thousand more different memories all strung together to make my life.

There is this strip of HWY 101 between Ventura Avenue and Johnson Drive that I must have driven thousands of times in my lifetime. When I was young I would stare out the car window and look over the ocean. On clear days I could see the channel islands. On rainy days the waves got really big. On most days it was simply beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the water.

I never really noticed when I was younger that it also passes a cemetery. You can see the front gates from the highway and all the headstones behind the walls as the highway increases in elevation. It never meant much to me when I was young.

But it means much more to me now.

My girls are buried in that cemetery. Their headstone is right inside the front gate. I can see it when I drive past.

Never in a million years did I ever for one second think that someday I'd have my own babies buried there. I never thought I'd drive on my favorite section of the 101 and wince with sad memories of tiny little faces I never got to know. Now the cemetery I never really noticed before gets my full attention each time I pass.

I've never really enjoy visiting the cemetery. I go on their birthday and the anniversaries of their deaths and at holidays. This year I read them a book for their late Christmas present. But every time I go I just cry and cry. I don't feel comforted there, I just feel sad and overwhelmed with the reality of losing them. I wish I could sleep next to their headstone and cry all night. When I leave I always feel exhausted and drained.

I prefer to think of them in heaven, not in the cemetery.

Over the Christmas holiday I read the book Heaven is For Real. It was SO wonderful. The story is sweet, encouraging, but mostly comforting. I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who lost children too. I don't want to ruin the story for any of you so all I will say is read it for yourself. You'll be so glad you did, I promise.

My favorite strip of highway is now bittersweet. It holds my best memories and my worst. No matter how sunny the day is or how sparkly the ocean, when I can see the channel island and when I can't, if I stop to drink my tea at the point or just keep driving I will always peak over the wall to see their headstone, fights the tears, and long for the day I get to see them again.

Sometimes heaven cannot come soon enough.
 
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