Helping with Homework

March 6, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 12 Comments
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Today’s 1st grade homework assignment for one of the twins was about cultural diversity.  The questions asked about backgrounds, customs and families.  I was helping her with the assignment.  We discussed the questions and her answers.  “Where are you from?”  Where were you born?”  She quickly answered and wrote down, “Atlanta, Georgia.”  All was going smoothly until, we got to the question asking, “How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

I have written before about being asked “How many children do you have?” “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” is the bereaved sibling’s version of this question.  They are both such common and polite questions but the answers for some of us are so complicated.  When people ask me how many children I have these days I usually say something like “I have 2 children at home.”  I then try to change the subject.  Or, the other day I caught myself saying “excuse me for a moment” and  I left the conversation all together.  I always remember Jake and Sawyer but I do not always talk about them.   But maybe it does not have to be so difficult.

At first she did not immediately answer the question “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Instead, she looked at me thoughtfully and asked, “Mama, how many brothers do I have?” Before I could say anything she said “I know!!” and she began to write . . .

I used to have three brothers but now I only have one.  one brother

I used to have three brothers but now I only have one. one brother

When she finished writing she went over to her one brother and gave him a hug.  And, then I hugged them both.


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  1. Alyssa you are a wonderful, beautiful young lady. I know your mom is so very proud of you and all that you do. Love, Amy

  2. lovely and painful. Those questions, that I would have never thought to ask, now hit me hard… I am glad she can answer so clearly and real. It a gift…

  3. So sweet. And heartbreaking. xo xo

  4. We’re starting school this year. I don’t know how to answer these questions. How many children do you have? Are you going to have more. I just don’t know what to say.

  5. Such a touching, heartbreaking story. I love the way children lead us so often. Thank you for sharing it so your daughter can teach us all. ❤

  6. Your beautiful daughter is a perfect reflection of her incredible mama!

  7. Tears in my eyes. You are doing an amazing job every single day, mama.

  8. That is the best sister ever.

  9. Yes to all of it. Big hug xoox

  10. She is so bright and so sweet. Xoxo

  11. Honest and true. Lovely little girl!

  12. SO sweet – she is really sweet.

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