In October of last year Wesley bought Julia a DVD of Pete’s Dragon. Not one of Disney’s most successful films, but the sweet urchin Pete and his imaginary dragon Elliott are pretty cute. Julia did not discover the movie until recently and now is hooked because like many things that Daddy did with her or bought her, it is raised to a place of special importance. That she can turn to me and say with a sly smile, “You know, Daddy bought me this movie, Mommy” pleases her greatly.
But, I’m finding myself turning a bit chartreuse lately. The green-eyed monster of envy and jealous is raising its scaly and hideous head and I’m finding myself breathing fiery ill-tempered words and raising my voice with threats and ultimatums. I’m jealous of happy couples I see holding hands, fingers tightly linked, as I did 7 months ago; I’m envious of fathers with their daughter perched on their shoulders as Wesley and Julia did earlier this year; I want to screw my ears shut when I hear couples arguing about trivial matters like who should fold the laundry even though it is a debate that seemed just as critical to me in February and March. Incidentally, I was laughing as I folded laundry earlier this week how it drove me crazy, and I mean CRAZY, that Wesley always folded his shirts, socks and other clothing first from the clean laundry pile. I fold clothes more willy nilly style; a shirt here, some socks there…but Wesley was much more methodical and I used to complain, “Just grab something and FOLD IT! Stop subdividing the piles!” But that was his way and as much as it drove me crazy, it worked.
I am finding myself jealous of people who are in a better emotional place than I am. I don’t want the knowledge and heartache I have nestled in my chest and I yearn again for that blissful ignorance of mortality and death and the fallacy that it could not happen to me, to us.
In my dragon-y grumpiness I find that the irony is that the person I’m the most envious of is the young blonde girl who I’m most fiercely trying to shield and protect from this heartache and sorrow. I’m terribly jealous of Julia. She has such a clear and beautiful understanding of Wesley’s death and life and the love we shared. She is the bright light in dark places for me and I’m daily completely gutted by her simple and pure faith and her unquestioning determination. But there is a part of me that is, well envious. I struggle to find that peace and grace feeling instead to be frustrated, angry and just overwhelmed by the sheer senselessness of it. I do not wish anything that I’m feeling to be rained upon her, but how can she see the goodness and purity when I can only see the unfairness of it all?
Julia is mystified by my sorrow surrounding missing Wesley. As I’ve said before, she talks to him throughout the day and in her words, “When I’m sad or scared, I pray to Daddy to keep us safe in everything I do. And we are safe.” Daddy keeps us safe from Heaven because he can see everything and everyone and keeps us from harm. I presume this is while he does his “job” in Heaven which according to Julia is “hopping on the clouds with God, Jesus and Mary to make it rain.” This also is apparently the job of pop star Amy Winehouse, who somehow Julia knows lives in Heaven, as well.
I’m captivated by Julia’s brown eyes, dark and kind like her father’s, as she tries to explain to her weeping mother to “Just try it mommy. Just try praying to Daddy.” So, I try. I stretch my back to shed the stiff and uncomfortable scales of anger and bitterness from my shoulders, I breathe in and out, not spitting fire but warm soft breath that comforts and soothes and I blink my eyes, their color changing from a sickening green to soft hazel again. I pray for guidance, pray for comfort and pray for us left here who seek understanding. Although some seem to understand well enough already.