Parting is such sweet sorrow…

Miss M had to say goodbye today. Yet again…

As did I.

As I prepared to journey to CT this morning to bring Miss M “home”, I was completely caught off guard by the raw emotion that welled within me as I wrote a farewell and thank you to Miss M’s school. The tears rolled down my cheeks and onto the card as I tried to put into words the depth of my gratitude. I swear it felt as if I was saying goodbye to Terri all over again…

As I struggled to pull myself together I thought, “If this is how I feel, imagine how Miss M is feeling?? How in God’s name am I going to help her through this day?”

Traveling to CT I sifted through the pain. In and out. My pain. Miss M’s pain. So intertwined yet distinct at the same time…

And then I was there. And Miss M and her BFF needed to be fed. So off we went to grab some food and play at McCook Park one last time.

Miss M and I then made our way to Lillie B to say goodbye to her teachers. To the “village of mothers” who mothered her, nurtured her love of learning, cheered her on through her challenges, and provided just the right “holding environment” which enabled Miss M to live through the most difficult time in her life.

Hugs, and smiles and presents abounded. As did the love. And the promise to stay in touch.

The neighborhood goodbye pizza party followed. Music. Laughter. More presents. More love. Miss M was even serenaded by her BFF’s big sister, Sarah, with her own rendition of “When You’re Gone” from the movie, Pitch Perfect, cup tapping and all…

Pictures were taken, my car was packed to the hilt, kisses and hugs were given.

And then it was time…

Papai would be staying till Thursday to finish packing but it was time for Miss M and I to leave. I took her inside one last time to say goodbye to the house.

And it finally hit her.

I stroked her hair as she held onto the wall, sobbing. And I cried right along with her. It’s mind boggling how quickly we can be transported back to that deep and searing grief. To that all too familiar space in the depth of your being where we hold our departed loved ones.

In the end, there’s no way around it. You just have to go through.

So we did.

We went into every room taking pictures for a memory book. Eventually we made our way back outside where she melted into Papai’s arms.

On the way home our tears slowly subsided. She opened the gift I bought her and we listened to the “Kissing Hand”.  As she read along, she sucked on the enormous lollipop her teacher had given her.

I put Pandora on; her new favorite station is Kelly Clarkson, her new favorite song, “Since U Been Gone”. I silently begged Terri to “play” it for us, just as she had the day Miss M visited her new school in Dartmouth.

At one point, Miss M commented, “These songs are talking about our day.” The name of the song? “Home…”

“You’re right,” I replied. “I think it’s Mamãe’s way of telling us she understands we are sad about leaving CT but she is so happy you are moving to Dartmouth. And you know what honey? Home is really where the people you love are. And Mamãe is always with you. No matter where you are.”

An hour later we finally turned onto my road. The first few chords of the next song began. My eyes darted to the screen.

“Since U Been Gone…”

I pumped up the volume, we high fived and grabbed hold of each other, and danced and sang at the top of our lungs all the way home.

We made it through.

Thanks Terri..

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Family is… (Forever)

"Family is... Forever. I just couldn't fit it!'

“Family is… Forever. I just couldn’t fit it!’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what Miss M said to Grandpa and I about the drawing she made on Nana Canada’s Buddha Board.

It’s remarkable to me how Miss M so succinctly and effortlessly offers up these profound “koans” as her mother called them. But the reality is, it’s in her DNA; she literally personifies the spirits of her mother and grandmother.  And this personification is never more apparant than when we visit the magical island of Bowen.

This is the 2nd year Grandpa has brought us out for a visit. And as such, my heart and soul literally rejoice at the “love story” that unfolds between Miss M and Grandpa each year. A love story grounded in her mother and grandmother; Grandpa’s daughter and wife. It’s a yin and yang communion of sorts-two grieving yet rejoicing souls…

Witnessing these moments of grace and grief between the two of them sometimes takes my breath away. Mamãe and Nana Canada’s energy seeps out of every pore of the Robinson home and Bowen itself is fertile ground for revisiting, remembering and reaffirming that family is in fact forever.

Miss M and I left the island today deeply grounded as well as recharged in a “deep knowing” that the answers lie within strengthening, honoring and being present for the moments of connection with those we call family. Past and present. Now and forever.

With that in mind, it’s time to share the “change on the horizon” I alluded to in my last post.

Miss M and her Dad have decided to leave Connecticut and move to Dartmouth…

Terri and her Mom have been diligently working behind the scenes to ensure Miss M will truly be surrounded by her “Forever Family”.  A “village of mothers” so to speak, handpicked by Terri herself, to help Miss M’s Dad carry on Terri’s legacy.

A legacy of cherishing Miss M. Of teaching her to live and love deeply. To pursue her passions, reach for the stars, and in so doing, make this world a better place. To learn how to be true to herself and honor her truth. To be inspired and inspire others. And to find the beauty in life and nurture her soul.

This legacy is exactly what our trip to Bowen Island inspired in Miss M.

And we truly believe this is what moving home to her Forever Family in Dartmouth will inspire as well.

Love,

Aunty L

Together again

Together again

 

 

 

Miss M leaves her "mark" on Bowen

Miss M leaves her “mark” on Bowen

Engrossed in Grandpa's storytelling

Engrossed in Grandpa’s storytelling

Loving life

Loving life