Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Remembering

On a Sunday afternoon in September, we piled in the Excursion with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Melayna and Uncle Milan and Aunt Rachael to go visit Dexter's grave. Aaron and I were the only ones who had been since the headstone was placed. Isn't it beautiful? I think it's just the perfect memorial to little Dexter Joseph. I don't want to let anyone's right hand know what someone else's left hand may have been up to, so I'll just say that we are so very grateful for and humbled by the generosity of dear family who encouraged us to select just what we wanted and provided the means to make it happen. Thank you!

The past couple days I have been working on turning the blog entries that I wrote during Dexter's life into a physical book, and it has given me a great chance to reflect and remember what I learned. In some ways those memories seem so surreal and so long ago. Yet we've talked about and thought about Dexter every day since he passed, and it just seems normal for him to be part of our family. Just today, Elodie was throwing a fit about something and I sent her to her room to calm down until she was ready to talk about it. When she came back downstairs, she declared, "I was just sad because Dexter's not with us." To which Xander replied, "I thought you were sad because you had to go to your room." That's a perfect illustration of how the current physical absence of Dexter is an accepted, normal part of our day-to-day life. I sometimes wonder if it's too commonplace; my kids don't realize that losing your little brother isn't as common an occurence as getting a new little brother. Yet, how it could be otherwise for little children without avoiding the issue and causing them to forget? And I wouldn't want it to be otherwise; in fact, the way they accept death as simply as they accept birth is profound. With innocent children, you can't call their attitude about death irreverent, can you? I was thinking of including this picture as the last page of the book, but I can't decide if it's almost irreverent or if it's just cute and classic kid. What do you think?
I mean, come on, Xander. What's up with that goofy face? How about a serene, angelic smile? Or at least a little respect? And yes, Elodie is climbing on the stone barefoot because, well, she's 2 and gets in anti-shoe moods. I dunno. Maybe I'll go for one of the options where one or both of them aren't looking towards the camera. This one might not fit the tone of the book. Or does it?

7 comments:

Morgan said...

monette - i think in some ways it would definitely fit the context of that book. when i see that right there i see 3 very happy siblings who love each other very much. i think it's a cute picture.

Rachel Sorber said...

I love that picture. I think it shows how innocent and pure those kids are--after all, I wonder if it would be much different for those two if they were able to visit him in heaven? I'm sure Elodie would feel comfortable with her shoes off if she were encircled by angels and the Savior were there ministering to her.

Stephenson family said...

Monette,

I think it is a great picture. You could use it and also include others like you were talking about too. Love you all,
Nancy

Marliese said...

Anything you choose will be perfect. I think your children have been given a precious gift--they understand death is not the end. It can make you sad, but it is nothing to mourn over for months and months.

Personally, I would opt for a more subdued photo to finish the book, but maybe that's because I am a serious person. Perhaps too serious:).

I'm glad X and E can be happy and silly when they think of Dexter! They will have a lot of fun together one day.

The Easton Family said...

As I looked at that picture, I imagined three siblings playing and goofing off like siblings do. Then I couldn't see anymore, but after I wiped the tears out of my eyes, I saw their smiles, and could feel their love for their brother...no matter where he is. I love the picture.

Sarah said...

That picture is perfect. I think it captures their childlike faith and love for their little brother. That is wonderful that you are putting together a book. That will certinaly be a treasure for your family!

jessica said...

In their innocence, children don't hide their emotions. They aren't worried about or even aware of social norms, which makes them that much more refreshing. It's a great picture and a wonderful way to celebrate their brother:)