Driving down my street this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that all the snow has almost disappeared from the ground, and  I am glad.  I am growing so tired of winter.  Spring is when the world awakens and the earth comes back to life.

With a house full of girls, the most anticipated thing that spring brings is flowers.  I don’t know at what age it began, but early on Emilie developed an addiction for picking flowers.  We love to go on walks together as a family.  I remember all the times I caught Emilie hiding her hands behind her back, trying not to look too guilty.  She was hiding all the freshly picked flowers she had plucked from our neighbors’ yards because she knew I would disapprove.  I had tried to explain to her many times why she couldn’t pick our neighbors’ flowers, but again and again I would catch her picking them.  Robbie finally came up with the perfect answer…. why not pick dandelions instead?  At first, I wasn’t sure if this would work, but somehow it did!   It seemed perfect, until we began discovering dandelions everywhere!  We would find them in our car, in her room, in baskets, bags and buckets.  Everywhere!  It was hard to believe one little girl could find so many all by herself.  We created a dandelion monster.

As spring comes to life this year, I truly hope that I can look at dandelions and not feel sorrow, but instead be filled with the loving memory of our daughter.  I have thought a lot about how dealing with my grief seems to be an ever-changing process.  Somethings have become easier to deal with, while others seem to be more difficult.

I find it easier to get more done in my house, like chores and laundry.  I also find it is easier to control my emotions in front of people and not cry as often.  It still happens, but I do feel like I am gaining more control over myself.  The things that are still difficult are internal.  The pain inside me somehow feels worse as time goes on.  So although on the outside, I have more control over my emotions, on the inside I feel more intense pain.  Is it because the loss is more real as my life continues on without her?

A while back I heard a now sweet friend of mine, speak to a youth-group of our church.  It was Stephanie Nielson, who writes the blog nieniedialogues.blogspot.com.  Stephanie and her husband both almost lost their lives in a plane crash and were severely burned.  She was asked what she learned most about enduring through so much pain for so long.  I will never forget her answer.  She said she learned patience.  Each day, I hold to that one simple word, patience.  I take deep breaths….I think to myself: this just takes time.

I want to look forward to seeing flowers….and remember my sweet flower picker.  One day I want to be able to remember all of the joy Emilie brought into my life but without the accompanying feeling of tremendous pain.  I have faith it will get better.  It will.  Even though it might not be today.