Sunday, November 28, 2010

James ~ November 23, 2007 ~

Last year Marietta and I did a presentation about James to her class on November 23rd. Click here to read about this and what we presented. I had taken the poster we made in to Staples and had it laminated so that it would stay nice for a long time. About a month or so after Marietta did her presentation I bought some clips to hang the poster up in the upstairs hall. Three days later I took the poster down and "hid" it behind our bed headboard. Rebecca had not been able to cope with seeing James' pictures hanging there each day.

It has not been an easy journey for Rebecca these past three plus years. Sometimes as parents we ache more for what Rebecca is going through then for what we ourselves have gone through. How can we help her? What can we do to make her feel happy again? How can we teach her how to work through her struggles and recognize what she is feeling and how to cope? So many times I have hugged a sobbing girl and felt my heart breaking as I feel so unable to help her.
When Rebecca came to me and told me that she would like to do a presentation to her class about James I at first did not act upon it, thinking she would likely change her mind in a day or so. But when she mentioned it for the third time, and that she would like to do it on November 23rd I decided it was time to take her up on the idea. Before hand I did talk to her about whether she thought she would be able to do this presentation without "breaking down". She wanted to do it and was sure she'd be okay.

So on November 23rd, three years after James passed away, Rebecca presented her brother James to her class. She did an excellent job and only during the last paragraph did she struggle a bit, but she held it together. What an accomplishment for our girls!! While she may struggle, I am proud of how well she did and that she would even take the effort to try something she knew would be difficult.

We did the same presentation Marietta did last year (last years post) and brought in some of the medical items we had - oximeter, stethescope, nasal prongs. Rebecca also took along the book James' Story which she had just received her own copy of that morning.

After school we made a trip down to the cementary so the girls could each lay their rose at James' stone. This year the girls did watch the movie Babe, something they were unable to handle last year. At first Rebecca did not want to, but we convinced her to give it a try and she did well until the last bit of the show. The girls also spent some time rumaging through James' memory box and talking about the things they remember. While it can be difficult to recall and refresh these memories it is also good.

While we know that Rebecca is not through her journey of grief and may never be, we are happy to see signs of progress in the last half year. We were especially thankful to see that after James' "anniversary" she was able to bounce back, the next day being happy and energetic, instead of being dragged down and miserable. This is definitely a sign of improvement for which we are very thankful! We continue to pray the Lord will grant her more healing and strength to cope with life as it comes to her.


Lisa said...

It's so good for our kids to keep talking about their pain instead of suppressing it... how wonderful that Rebecca was able to do this even though it must have been incredibly hard for both of you.

amymom24 said...

Way to go, Rebecca! We are so glad you were able to do this and to watch Babe, too. Such progress! I'm sure your class liked getting to know about James.

Anonymous said...

just was checking up on Nathan and thought I would see if you posted anything about the breakfast and saw your post about Rebecca and the BEAUTIFUL video of James! It brought tears but what a way to remember your little guy! Just wanted to let you know that we pray for continued healing for your family but especially Rebeccca

Marlene and Jack VanRootselaar