Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Finding My Smile

Peanut -

Several times this week friends and co-workers have commented on my smile.  My long lost smile.  A smile that went into hibernation after your death.  A smile I believe had actually gone into early, permanent retirement.  You see, Peanut, Momma's giant Cheshire grin has been a bit of a trademark - along with an uncontrollably loud laugh - for most of her life.  And, it was a trait you inherited in full force.  Your electric smile and musical laugh...well...I might miss them most of all.

Your little brother has brought a lightness back to my heart that has poked and prodded at my smile, waking it up from this long winter's rest.  I felt it sneaking up on me during the last months of our pregnancy.  And, the day The Bean was born, it popped out from behind the clouds and shouted "HELLO!"

Oh, Peanut.  I felt so, so guilty.  But then, in trying NOT to smile I felt an even heavier guilt.  How can I rob your little brother of this expression of love and joy?  In denying my smile, do I think I'm somehow honoring you?  Ugh.  No.

I let the smile in, with a bit of fear.  But...it felt good.  Like an old friend.  A fuzzy, worn-in blanket.  And, indulging it brought back memories of you stuffing your mouth full of carrots, green beans and corn, then throwing your head with your bellowing laugh.  Even as the food sprayed out of your mouth, I couldn't help but crack up with you.  Peanut, your ability to find immense delight in the littlest moments amplified my heart, my laugh, my smile every day I was blessed to spend with you.

So, I honor you in finding my smile.

In return, you have sent me a beautiful gift.  Your little brother's smile.  A smile he discovered several weeks ago, and offers freely, constantly, with reckless abandon.  Just. Like. You.

Peanut, with each day that passes, the reality of your absence sets in with heartbreaking finality.  But, each day also brings memories of you awakened by any and every little moment with The Bean.  So, in a sense, I also feel close to you again.  Closer, yet further away, every day.  Does that make any sense at all?

Tonight, I send you a smile and a booming Momma-laugh tinged with a tear.  I love you, Peanut.  To the moon - and back.

- Momma

Cracking up - with a mouth full of food!

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