Saturday I took Ann Marie, Lauren and cousin Stella for a "birthday outing." We went to a salon to get Annie's hair done all fancy (photos to come). Then we went to the mall to get an outfit for her at Gymboree and lunch at Ruby's diner. All in all it was a fun outing with the little girls.
But one part of the outing has left its mark on me. We walked into Gymboree and my eyes lit upon the most beautiful, dear little dress. It was royal blue and white. The whole collection was blue and white and each piece was just precious. I wanted to buy them ALL. I wanted to buy them for my little bright blue eyed girl. They just screamed Camille.
You know how you can see a dress and it just looks so "insert the name of your best friend or mother here." Well these just looked so Camille. And here I have a little boy with her eyes but I don't think Jon would appreciate him being put in a dress. I put the dress up to Annie to see if maybe I could get it for one of the other girls but ... it just wasn't right on her. I knew it wouldn't be right on any of the other girls. No, it was a Camille dress.
So I purchased items for Annie in her favorite color green. And I got some essentials for Noble. Then I left the store and finished our outing. On the drive home from California that night with all my family asleep in the car I let the emotions come.
I even thought about going ahead and buying the dress in a size 2 and putting it in my "hope" chest. Right now it is filled with Camille's things. I thought perhaps I could put it in there as a true "hope" piece. I can hope the second coming happens in my life time right? I can hope that this little dress will survive all the destruction that proceeds it. But then do I really want to get hopes up for something that very well may not happen in my life?
The practical side of me won out. It is just a thing. I am sure there will be beautiful clothes in the millennium for me to put on my sweet blue eyed girl. I'll be fine.
So I pulled myself together, there in the darkness of the desert. And the lump in my throat subsided. I wiped the tears from my face and marveled at how much less deep the pain is for me now than it was for me a year and a half ago, or even a year ago. It took a while of letting my feelings come to the surface before the tears came. And when they came they were few. Then I felt a little guilty. It is a natural thing -- this guilt over healing -- not logical but natural.
And then, there in the car in the darkness of the night, I felt a wave of joy rush over me. It was not my joy. It was hers. It was her joy that my pain is subsiding. It was her joy in being where she is. And it swept away the guilt and made me happy. And I felt as if all was right in the universe. Our family felt whole with me and Jon and our four charges in the car and our angel girl keeping us connected to the eternal joy that awaits us with true Hope.