Except when we're not. I'm finding...I'm not.
My mother died in 2006. She wasn't alive the day I was married. She has never properly met my daughter. But, I believe in angels and an afterlife. I know she was there at the Little White Chapel and again in the delivery room. I'm certain she knows K.
K, on the other hand, does not know my mother, her grandmother.
I have been able to handle every aspect of motherhood to date. Sure, I've had my challenges, but I've handled it. I have a solid childhood education background. I know the research.
But this...I'm finding myself tongue-tied.
I have never wanted my mom to be a mystery. I talk with K about my mom. She knows she's in heaven. Nevertheless, K's 3 and this shit is getting harder to explain by the day. Her questions start off simple.
"Did your mom make you eat lima beans?"
Quickly they progress to the point my eyes are welling and I'm fighting back tears.
"I know you miss your mom. One day, will you go with me to visit her? I think she would want you to come too, with me. Because I'm sure she would want to see you."
I don't know how to answer the questions so she will understand, so she will feel satisfied. Because the questions keep going.
"When can we see your mom? I know that you can't come back from heaven, so when can I see her? I don't want to be sick."
It breaks my heart. Truly. I have not the right answer for my sweet, sweet girl. I'm speechless. I have tears and sadness and I can not convey to her, that which I, don't fully understand myself. I do not understand death. I comprehend the science behind it, but that's it.
I try talking to K about seeing my mother in her dreams, and that helps...me anyway. The image of my mom playing with K in her dream, riding horses together, makes me momentarily smile. Still, I know K has little understanding of dreams. They are as abstract to her as heaven.
Try as I may, the best I can do is make it through the conversations. I can't imagine I am saying anything that makes much sense to her. After all, heaven and death aren't very logical concepts. I offer her truth in the simplest fashion. I don't want her to view my mother as a sad topic and I don't want her to fear death.
The conversations are becoming more frequent and her thoughts, regarding my mom and heaven, are becoming more complex. It's proof she's growing up. She no longer just accepts, "my mom is in heaven."
I miss my mother daily. And in some way, without ever meeting her, K misses her too.