I have spent the last week just watching Vivian and Clara play together, make each other laugh hysterically, and mimic each other each daily. They are becoming each other's best friend. It's really a magical thing to watch siblings love and adore each other so much.
I vividly remember watching Miles and Vivian act the same way. In fact it has been a haunting echo of words coming of my mouth each night lately as Mark comes home as I tell him "they play so well together anymore."
When we had Vivian I looked forward to the day that Miles would have a little buddy to play with each day. Although he took to her instantly, it takes awhile for littles to be able to play with their siblings. I have noticed it's just around 16+ months that the little ones start to interact, copy and adore their older siblings. Vivian was so smitten with Miles, just as Clara is with Vivian.
This last week was a bit of a hard one for me because Clara is now the age that Vivian was when her buddy suddenly left her. And Vivian isn't too much younger than Miles was just before he passed. (I'm not looking forward to the spring when Vivian will be older than her older brother.) My heart has been so heavy thinking about it all. These are some of those unexpected milestones that have come up, that I never saw coming. Yet my mind and heart are consumed with the thought.
As Vivian was over playing at a friends house the other day Clara kept asking for "Hee Hee" (Vivian). She would walk over to the back doors and repeat her name over and over. I asked Clara, "Do you want Vivian?" To which she said "Yeah" so excitedly. It was so tender and sweet! Vivian had only been gone about half and hour and already Clara wanted her best friend back.
My heart was so full at that moment. Full of love that my children really are each other's best friends and love each other so much. Yet full of heartache in the same instant as I thought of sweet little Vivian just two years ago wondering where for buddy went. One minute she is having fun with the family and the next minute she is being handed off to family member and rushed away as her brother and best friend fought for his life. She was away from the three of us for almost 24 hours only to find her best friend hooked up machines, tubes and unresponsive. I will never forget her concerned and confused face when she saw him. She instantly tried grabbing his face and tried to free him of all the tubes. Just like us she didn't like seeing him in that state.
I was amazed at how she instantly adjusted to riding in the back seat of the car alone, going places just the three of us, and playing with just mommy and daddy again. But Vivian always seemed a little lost for awhile without her brother who she was laughing and playing with each day. She no longer could follow him around being his shadow each day.
As I continue my journey through and with grief I never thought of how much Vivian's belongings would remind me of times with Miles. As I took Vivian's old clothes out for Clara a few months ago I found myself instantly transported back in time. I literally cried when I got her clothes out of storage in the 12-18 month size. I instantly remembered the pajamas she wore the last time she sat on Miles' lap. I sat there squeezing them tight, bawling as though I might feel Miles through them. And how will I ever forget the sweet dress, tights, pink shoes and adorable jacket we bought Vivian to wear to her Miles' funeral? Dressing Clara in them is so bittersweet. (But man does she look so cute in them.)
Thinking about Vivian being Clara's age I'm just amazed at how much this sweet child of mine has gone through in her life. She has faced trials that had shaped and continue to mold her and probably will for the rest of her life. I truly believe that God only allows special and strong children to experience the loss of a sibling. I am amazed at how sensitive she is to other's feelings and actions, and I attribute it to her life's journey.
I guess through it all I just never realized that Vivian's old things, behaviors and even phrases would be such triggers of our last moments and times with Miles. But I suppose why wouldn't they? Those items, actions and words were part of our daily lives during such a happy time in life.
Vivian and Miles truly were and continue to be best friends. Oh how I long for the day to see all my children playing together again someday. I hold onto to that thought and look forward to that day with every fiber in my body.