I walk through the door of my home slowly….not knowing what to expect. I look around at the seemingly empty space. Memories from the previous two weeks flood my mind and my heart physically aches. It was just two weeks ago that my my sweet angels were running the halls…laughter and joy filled our home. Now just quiet, hangs in the air…mysterious…and unusual.
As I step quietly through the kitchen, I can feel a peace…but the feeling that ‘once was’ will never be here again. I walk hesitantly down the hall and peer into Evee’s room… the toys she last played with are all scattered across the floor. It hurts to be in her room. My heart aches even more and tears fall down my cheeks. I miss my little girl so much. Living my life without her seems so void of light. How will I do it?
Evee was the brightness in my day. Her hugs melted every inch of my body. Her voice rung with sweetness. She was always filled with such joy and adventure. How was I going to survive without my Evee Bee?
With a deep breath…I step over the threshold and into Evee’s room once more. Her toys still lay scattered on the floor…blocks…dinosaurs…lip gloss…jewelry….and items from her toy kitchen…all lay still…lifeless…on her floor. My mom and I quietly begin picking up each toy and gently put them back in their designated spots. Neither of us speak because there are no words…nothing can express the sorrow we each feel. Once her toys are all in their places, we quietly make her bed. This all seems so surreal…so unnatural…I shouldn’t be here. And yet… this is what I’m meant to face. This will be my ‘new normal.’
For a long time I kept Evee’s door closed…except when my nieces were visiting. They loved to play in her room. And that made me glad. But for a while it hurt me too much to even walk passed Evee’s room and see it empty. And maybe the quiet and stillness of the room even scared me a little. I thought if I kept the door closed I wouldn’t feel so empty. But…now looking back …I think keeping the door closed only added to my despair.
Almost one year ago, a friend of mine offered me a piano she was getting rid of. Coincidentally, I had been toying with the idea of learning to play again. However, I didn’t have anywhere to put a piano. It seemed that every spare bit of space in my home was already taken…except…maybe some space in Evee’s room. I went back and forth for a couple of days trying to decide if Evee’s room was the right spot for the piano. And I almost told my friend that I wouldn’t be able to accept it.
I remember getting a text from her one evening. She said she felt like her piano needed a good home and although she had family who would gladly take the piano…she wanted me to have it. I don’t know if she knew my predicament…but at her insight…I decided to accept her offer. I would happily take the piano. And Evee’s room would become its new home.
That piano was just the step I needed to feel comfortable in Evee’s room again. I decided that I would learn to play for Evee. I could serenade her with my misplayed flats and sharps. She would gladly listen to me practice. It would be our time together.
Gradually, I began leaving the door to her room open. And I even began opening the blinds to her room to let the sun shine through her window. Her room went from a quiet, sad reminder of what I had lost…to the bright…heart… of our home. Her room has now become a place of peace, reflection, serenity, and comfort.
I still keep her toys in the closet for my nieces and neighbors to play with. Kaya loves playing house in Evee’s room and with Evee’s dolls. Kaya plays games, reads books, and jumps on the bed in Evee’s room. And those moments are theirs. Those are the moments Evee spends quality time with her sister, with her cousins, and with her friends.
How often do we keep closed doors in our lives…scared of what might happen if we open them. Often those closed doors contain some of our deepest emotions, fears, and resentments. But I’ve learned that when we allow ourselves to love…learn…ponder…forgive…serve….those closed doors lead to more open ones. God is waiting to enrich our lives, but we have to be willing to take a deep breath, turn the knob, and step over the threshold.