Summer vacation is over for many of the kids in our area this time of year. I go to the store and see parents with their children buying new school supplies and new clothes. I hear giggling teenage girls talking about seeing their friends again and the teachers they got.  

On Facebook, I see all the posts friends have shared of their little ones getting ready for the first day of school. My heart grows heavy. 

 We have some neighbors who have 5 children. Very polite and sweet kids. The two younger girls have stolen a piece of my heart. The other day they came over to my house to watch a movie. We had popcorn, ice cream and juice. After the movie was over I walked them home. The youngest girl took my hand as we walked. She will start kindergarten this year and she is so excited she can hardly wait! She talked and talked to me about her teacher and the friends she knows that will be in the same class with her. The older girl will start 2nd grade and even though she tells me she is happy about going back to school, she is a little calmer about it than her younger sister. 

As I walked back home my heart is heavy once again. I thought about Tylee and Blake. Blake would have been 4 now and start pre-school. Tylee would have been 8 and starting 3rd grade. I thought “Third-grade!” I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Would she really have been starting 3rd grade? I still see Tylee as a little 5 or 6-year-old girl.  

That night I had a dream. I was shopping with Tylee. We were getting school supplies and new clothes. I told Tylee I couldn’t believe she was already in the first grade. Tylee laughed and said, “Nana! I’m in 3rd grade now!” When I woke up I felt so sad. Two years ago, she would have started 1st so I guess that is where my mind got stuck at. 

I don’t get to go to their school on the first day and take pictures. I don’t get to post cute pictures on Facebook. I don’t get to make any more memories. 

I get to go to the cemetery. I clean it up and place new flowers and little trinkets on the headstone. I talk to them. I tell them I love them. I get in my car and go home. I grieve again for all I lost. I run once again into the arms of Jesus to find the peace and comfort I have always found there.