Emily has been fascinated by a solar powered humingbird light at another 'hideout' by Perry. So yesterday, when we found a dragonfly at the local wallyworld, it was instant must have. As we checked out, Emily chattered excitedly and agreed that Perry would like it.
The past two days have been hard. I find that it is easier to just lay in bed sometimes than to get up and contemplate my new reality as I bustle about. When a bird is hurt, they hide it. When humans are hurt this is what we eventually must do. You have to, or people question your sanity... yet how could any sane person forget a child? How can they really expect us to?
I settle on routine backup number one: when all else fails, call Mom to come get you. Sometimes we go to the Y. Yesterday we went to take Sheila to get her haircut at Wallyworld. And here dear friends it where it gets complicated once again.
I know my hair is getting slightly shaggy. But I don't want to cut it. Silly as that is, the last time I cut it, Perry was alive snuggled on my lap, contemplating the mirrors that seemed to stretch into forever, or watching his Sister spin in the chair across from me.
There. That same walmart that Sheila was at just then. She is in the same chair that we were in, and she is crying and whining at the tangles as they are brushing them out.
So I hate the firsts. But I hate acknowledging that the firsts are all sliding through my fingers like quicksilver more. I hate thinking that it is coming up on three months without him, soon to four, and then worse yet five. Five months will be dreadful because he will be gone longer than society counted him alive.
So then Emily and I go through the checkout line. And I think we are faking it pretty well. Actually just me, Emily sees nothing abnormal about buying a trinket for a baby's grave. This is her little reality now, nothing odd to her. The little checkout lady doesn't even know that Perry isn't alive.
The woman is a little older, a little weathered. She stops and asks if we have extra batteries, because the little rechargeable solar one stops working.
She pauses, says that her friend has one on her grave. She seems to study my face a little.
My heart sinks. That is not a comment you make to a little girl who is going to buy one and bring it home to share with her little brother- the type that breathes, cries, and giggles.
Perhaps many families buy dragonflys or humingbirds, plastic flowers look garish on a backdrop of cheap white styrofoam.
We stopped on the way home and put it next to his little metal nameplate to replace the Christmas tree we took home on new year's day. It stopped working in the car, and I am afraid I should have bought a new battery.
But when Chris comes home, we go together to light a candle. Emily exclaims happily as his little dragonfly changes colors in the darkness surrounding it.
As we leave, she visits the humingbird too. When we get in the car, she cranes her head to watch the two glowing lights grow smaller. They do not get too small to see, our house is actually too close for that. They are just hidden by trees, some that are older than a human lifespan, as we turn the corner.