Like the Rain

I’m missing Jasmine today. I found the bottle of rosemary essential oil we used to anoint her body prior to cremation and opened it to smell. Instantly I saw her small, cold little body in the parlor of the crematorium — the last time I ever saw her whole. Rosemary used to be a scent I associated with cooking, or herbal cosmetics, but now it’s the scent of blessing Jasmine’s body.

While I was nursing Nina this afternoon, I traced the line from her forehead to the tip of her nose and remembered doing the same with Jasmine. Jasmine had a blue mark between her eyes from birth that never faded, though various doctors assured us it would. Maybe it would have, given a few more years. Certainly the more weight she gained, the less noticeable it was.

We’re in the process of setting up the computer room as Nina’s bedroom. We bought a crib — one of those 4-way deals that converts from a crib to a toddler bed to a full bed to a chair, or some such thing. Nina probably won’t be in it as a crib for much longer. I remember Jasmine’s toddler bed — she was in it when I was pregnant with Gabrielle. I was so sick with Gab and Jasmine was so good to me, playing by herself most mornings while I ran from the bed to the bathroom and back. Gabrielle didn’t have a toddler bed because she went straight from our bed to a bed of her own. She wanted to be like her big sister.

The thing I miss the most is touching Jasmine. I miss the feel of her body in my arms and that same little groove between her forehead and the tip of her nose that I traced on Nina today. I miss mussing her hair and tickling her feet.

Days like this catch me off guard. There is no particular thing that brings the sadness and active grieving. It just comes, like the rain. There doesn’t seem to be a grief forecaster in my head to warn me. I’m grateful for Jeff and my girls. Hugging them, feeling their warmth — it’s almost like hugging Jasmine.

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