Today is the 4th anniversary of Hannah’s passing. I have been dreading and planning for this day – I think of Hannah every single day, but reliving those last moments together are more vivid on March 21.
I feel like in some ways I’ve been holding my breath – waiting for another milestone to come. And yet our lives are moving on at a faster pace than ever…some days are so long (hello, 2 year old!), but the weeks just fly by.
This past weekend I cleaned out all of the old baby clothes that Mimi has outgrown. It felt great to go through the bags and boxes that have been thrown into the storage closet. There were a few special items that belonged to Hannah before Mimi…we’ve now moved
past the last of Hannah’s jammies and other things that I held on to in boxes. I didn’t realize what a big baby Hannah was…Mimi is almost a year older than Hannah was when she passed away, but she’s just outgrowing Hannah’s clothes.
As I was sorting things, I was thinking about the past 4 years. Hannah still stands as the greatest teacher in my life. Her life lessons will guide me for the rest of my days. And so many of the lessons came from parenting Wes before, during and after Hannah. I am the mom that I am because I had Hannah in my life and I had to care for Wes through the highs and lows of our situation.
This morning, Greg whispered to me that he overheard Wes and Mimi on the couch before carpool showed up to whisk Wes away to school. Greg heard Wes say to Mimi, “Mimi, I really love you.” She said back to him, “I love you the most!” My heart filled when I heard this – we are doing our best work at this parenting job and have really wonderful children.
Over the weekend I pulled out the wonderful book that Wes and his classmates made in kindergarten at View Ridge in honor of Hannah.
During Hannah’s life, we tried to make things as normal as possible for Wes. I spent a lot of time with the kids in his kindergarten class during the year, coming in every week to read to them. I got to know most of them very well. So when Hannah passed, Ms. Pasos asked if I would come in and tell the kids stories about Hannah. I brought in a picture book that my sister made for us that captured our favorite moments with Hannah.
The kids then spent the next half hour drawing pictures of Hannah. Ms. Pasos collected the pictures, had each of the kids tell her what they drew, and put a book together for us. It is something I hold most dear – it means so much to us. Just last night I took a bunch of photos of my favorite drawings and quotes from the book, and remembered again how many wonderful memories we have of Hannah. Each child captured something different from the stories we shared – the sweetest little images of life.
Here are some of my favorite drawings from the kids. I’m not sure where these little loves are now – they are all in 4th grade, and I’m sure some are still at View Ridge. Even though we moved away, we will hold each of these amazing children in our hearts.
The final picture in the book was made by Wes. He called it “Hannah makes the brightest sunsets ever.” Hannah passed away in my arms just as the sun was setting, with one of the most magnificent sunsets we have ever seen. Not sure if there will be a sunset tonight, but each time I see a sunset, I say to myself “thank you, Hannah.”