I would fill my mind planning what to do next. When “what to do next” was almost done, I would plan the next and then the next after that. My projects took on a sense of urgency. For those fleeting moments, being busy seemed to dull the silence that screamed at my heart. I convinced myself if I made it all as it should be: the house, the yard, the garden- her garden- if I made it all as it should be then maybe- just maybe- the sadness that waged battle on my heart would retreat.
My busyness exhausted and frustrated and still I pressed on. I knelt over the earth in a tireless attempt to make it right. I rationalized that it is my little one’s garden and if I couldn’t tie her riding boots or button her coat, I would dig and plant, prune and weed her garden. The day I saw it, I was tucking dirt-covered gloves into my pocket, restoring my footing after hours of kneeling in her garden- I turned and there it was. The mental chatter streaming through my mind hushed and it was all so clear. So simple, so innocent- so hers.
I would tuck one into her lunch box every day. A love note to my little one to be discovered when she took a break. A reminder that regardless of what the day would bring, she is loved. A reminder that no matter what she did, she is loved. Even though it was a simple note scribbled on a tired scrap of paper, she would tuck each one into her lunch boxes’ front pocket- confident it was sacred text on ancient papers.
When she graced this earth, every so often I would find a love note tucked into my purse, stashed under my pillow or scribbled on a blank page of my notebook. Sometimes it was a drawing of her and me, sometimes a self-portrait with shapes, stars and hearts. Regardless it always included an “I LUV U.” I would find them when I needed them most- somehow she just knew.
I find them now- her love notes composed years ago. I find them in places that I have come to believe they are tucked away until the moment I need them most. I find them in the back of a desk drawer, hidden in the pages of a notebook or folded between the pages of a novel. When I stumble upon them, I stop. I. Just. Stop. It’s almost as if I need to be reminded busyness does not soothe a broken heart. I am reminded to stop and breathe and know. This time it was the simple heart sitting quietly on the driveway. A simple heart that looked so much like hers it forced me to stop. To breathe. To know.