We had my mom and some of Mike's family over for Easter dinner tonight. Everyone pitched in so it wasn't too much work for any one person. We had 8 adults and 4 kids so there were plenty of grown-up hands to help little hands with their food.
Missing was Grandma (Mike's mom) and Eva. Grandma is in care and Eva is in heaven. I know Grandpa was missing Grandma tonight as his children gathered around to enjoy a family meal together. Eva's absence is so palpable to me when there is a family get together.
Little J was hugging and kissing everyone. She is so generous with her affection that sometimes it's disconcerting. But she is sweet and funny and lovely and a show off.
My heart was jealous for Eva. No one was giving her kisses or hugs. No one was giving her any attention at all. No one even said her name. There were even delayed Christmas gifts for the kids and there was no recognition of Eva. No coat hook for her. Nothing. It's like she no longer exists in the minds of anyone else. She is just a photo on the wall. A shelf gathering dust. A piece of furniture.
But, damnit, I love her and I miss her and I hate that no one says her name unless I do. I hate sitting on the couch wishing my daughter was there to get a present. There to sit on Grandpa's knee. But most of all I just wish she was there at all.
Even if just the presence of her absence was there. But more and more it seems like her absence isn't even thought about. We have a little girl so it's okay. Little J fills the void that Eva left, it seems, for everyone else. And, though I'm happy Little J is probably becoming part of our family, my heart jealously holds onto Eva's spot. Her place. The void. The presence of her absence.