We had another group night at the WARM Place last Thursday night and for the most part everything went normally. On the way across the parking lot to the car my little Princess said she missed “…Momma’s driving.”. Really? How do you miss someone’s driving, I thought. Then quickly as we drove away all three of them started chatting over one another and they all honed in on the same story…coincidence maybe. They all started to tell me about her taking them to church the Sunday before she died. That morning I was at a motorcycle safety course and we had debated about whether she would take the kids to church or not. She didn’t want to go…I felt that they should. When I left for my class that morning I understood that they weren’t going.
At some point after I left she decided that they would go to church and thus spawns the story my children talked over each other to tell me. It seems (and this is so very much like Mindy) that she missed her exit off the highway, twice, and then got lost going to church…where she had been many, many times before. With her lack of direction she reportedly ran over a curb, twice, and almost took out a traffic sign. But since Mindy always left early for everything even after getting lost and driving around for a while they still ended up at the church on time.
I wish I had some way of recording these conversations when the kids spontaneously remember things that happened about their mother. The best I have is to jot it down after the fact, or some times to put it here as a post. But the joy that came across their faces as they took turns adding to the story, reminding each other how the morning drive played out, was priceless. Mindy and I were not big on taking home videos, we have the birth of the kids and a few scattered videos here and there, but we aren’t in many of them. It’s mostly the kids in the videos. I wish I had more video with her voice, her smile, her personality to show to them as they get older but there are only a few. It was nice to hear them tell such vivid details about that drive to church as if it were on a video they had just watched. They remembered it so clearly.
These drives home from the WARM Place seem to make for more of these conversations than most any other time, but they spring up all the time. I hurts to miss her. It really hurts to know that the kids miss her, but it’s relieving to know that they still find joy in our ‘life of before’. It makes the heartbreak tolerable, if only for a moment, to know that she had a profound impact on the lives of each of my little kiddos in the short time they spent with her. My Princess had recently turned 5 years old when we lost Mindy, but she can still tell me little details about how she looked, things she said, faces she would make. The Teen remembers more than she tells, but I see her mother in her more and more each day. She is growing into such a thoughtful young woman (sometimes, then she’s still a selfish teenager too!) and surprises me more and more lately with how mature she can be. We could’ve been so happy together for so much longer, all five of us. I just imagine that Mindy is eavesdropping and smiling…not at the content, but of the context. She certainly wouldn’t find this little story funny, but we sure did.