I started pulling all things Everett together yesterday afternoon and came across all the cards we were given when he passed, and started reading them again. I hadn't done this since they were received. It brought me back to all that fresh heartache and sadness, but also made me remember how much love we were surrounded by when we needed it the most. As I looked at the huge pile of items I realized that there weren't nearly enough pages in the book to hold everything I wanted in there.
Lilli talked about Everett almost non-stop yesterday. I'm not sure why, this was before I decided to scrapbook his things. So last night we took her to the cemetery. It started to cloud up on the way there and looked as though a storm might be coming from the west. This had been one of the first semi sunny days we've had in a very long time. I'd spent most of the month of April fearing we'd need to build an ARC to survive all the springtime Indiana rain that literally seemed never ending, and now it had moved into May! As we got closer to the cemetery I looked up at the sky and said, "OK Everett, I hate going to the cemetery when it's cloudy and grey, how about helping us out a little"? And low and behold a few minutes later, the clouds passed and the sun came back out again. Dave turned to me and said Everett was such a good boy for listening to his mommy! I agree!
I think taking Lilli to the cemetery and explaining how that is where Everett is physically helps her to understand the finality of death. It's not a lesson you want your three year old to have. Later in life, yes, but not at three. We were out running an errand yesterday and Lilli started talking to a woman we were waiting next to. Lilli warmed up quickly, as usual, and told her (on her own) that she has a brother. Then she asked the woman if she had a brother and the woman said she did, but that he died a very long time ago when he was a tiny baby. Wow! Then Lilli told the woman that her brother lives in Heaven too! The woman replied with, "maybe your brother and my brother are playing together". Lilli looked at me and smiled and said quietly to me, Everett's not going to be in Heaven anymore, he's not going to die anymore. He's going to play with me and come home. Then spent one of many times in my day where I had to try and explain that couldn't happen and why to her.
After the visit to the cemetery we headed to our local JoAnn's and I got some extra pages to add along with colorful paper for the background of our book. It's a very low tech, no extra stickers, fancy scissors to cut the paper or any other bells or whistles. Everything was on sale! I spent the remainder of my evening putting items together on the pages and once I started I couldn't stop. I would have finished last night, but I ran out of the items I needed to finish it up. I'll give you a little peak of what it looks like: