Yesterday Kim had pulled out some old movies of the girls. Elena and Maggie playing together and individually. Cute memories of the girl. They were old enough that they didn't seem like the girl who had died. In a way, that girl was already gone.
You see that as your children grow and they leave certain stages forever. You have some memories of them at that age, but the living, aging reality trumps the fading memory. The girls in those movies were running around in the backyard throwing water balloons at each other. They were whispering in each other's ears while they put on a puppet show for their mother that they were writing on the fly.
Through it all you can hear Kim talking to them. While she was taking the home movies she was still being their mom and it's wonderful to hear that captured on tape as well. The number of times she told the girls how smart they were or how beautiful. The number of times she asked them what they were thinking to draw them out in different ways.
Kim takes most of the pictures and movies in our family and so most of our pictures don't include her. But she was there carving the pumpkin or decorating the gingerbread houses. It was just that she was often the one who thought to stop and capture the moment on film.
The thing is, you get to know a lot about someone from seeing them captured in pictures but you get to know quite a bit about them from seeing the pictures they capture. It's true in any medium. You probably know more about me than I think I've told you.
In one of Natalie Goldberg's books on writing she explains that since writing her previous book she had discovered that she was gay. I was surprised. I wasn't surprised that she was gay, I was surprised that she hadn't known it before. I can't say why exactly, but I thought she had said so in her previous book. After going back to her first book and rereading it, I realized she hadn't explicitly said so – but it was somehow there.
I'm sure there is plenty here that you've seen about Kim and Maggie and me that you understand better than we do. You probably have a better idea of where we are in the grieving process than we do. You hear the stories and you hear my voice from behind the camera talking to the people in the stories.
I think I will keep writing daily until I know as much about our situation as you know.