Back Together

taylor swiftI would be downstairs and I could hear the music start from up in Anna’s room loud and clear. A few minutes later the music was drowned out by her singing at the top of her lungs.

“We are never, ever, ever, getting back together
We (WHEE!) are never, ever, ever, getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk to my friends talk to me
But we (WHEE!) are never, ever, ever, getting back together”

Who was my little girl  singing to with such passion in her voice? Who was she never getting back together with and when was she with someone?

I went upstairs and peaked into her room and there she was dancing, singing and being so joyful all while sporting a scarf and a pair of “cool” sunglasses. She had no idea what she was singing just that she liked the rhythm and was able to memorize the lyrics. I smiled, and instead of turning it off, I decided to appreciate Taylor Swift for all of her good values, morals and for what she was doing for my daughter ~ she was bringing Anna joy.

Anna only played her Taylor Swift CD ~ that was her favorite and a gift from her big sister. She would listen to it over and over again, always pushing the back button to repeat her favorite, We are Never Getting Back Together, singing that one the loudest and with the most passion. Sometimes she would venture out of her room and sing her way down the stairs, always waiting for me to come and give her a wink or smile. I think she wanted me to be part of her concert.

I knew that one day Taylor Swift would be coming to town, or close to town, and that her concert would be our first together. I knew she would be so excited to see her live ~ when I close my eyes I can see her expression of joy in finding out she was going and I can see the look of excitement on her face as Taylor walks out on stage for her first number. We would buy t-shirts, a program and sing every song together, word for word. Well, she would sing them word for word and probably correct me when I messed up. The thought of this experience with her always made my heart happy ~ I couldn’t wait.

Anna glasses

The time has come and tomorrow night I’m going to see Taylor Swift in Seattle with some of Anna and Abigail’s friends and their moms. I am so appreciative that they have included Anna and I in this experience even though it will be hard. I will get a t-shirt, a program and maybe even a poster for Anna’s room. With tears in my eyes, I will sing each song, word for word, at the top of my lungs for my girl. I know, without a doubt,  she will be there with me, and although I won’t see her I will feel her joy ~ I know I will.

Experiencing life without my girls is extremely hard but I make the choices I do because in them I feel my girls presence. Often, in grief, we want to shut down and avoid the deep pain of absence. Somedays I don’t want to feel it anymore ~ staying in bed with a pillow of my head sounds so much nicer than facing  yet another day without Anna and Abigail.

I have found though, that in the midst of my deep pain there is another emotion that I feel even more deeply when I choose to open my eyes to Heaven and allow myself to see the possibilities it holds ~ I feel JOY.  If I closed myself off to “life” with my girls then I would never experience the joy they feel in Heaven. I think that is God’s gift to me in the midst of my suffering ~ a glimpse of the unimaginable joy they feel in eternity. So I choose to get out bed and experience life as it would be if my girls were physically here.

I’m going to our first concert together and it’s her favorite ~ Talyor Swift.

When I get to Heaven I know she will thank me for taking her and for not hiding and I will thank her for being there with me ~ always.

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Dance Party

This weekend was a busy one with three Annie productions and Ballet Forest Grove’s The Nutcracker. We are so lucky to live in a town that has so many amazing programs for kids and for the community. The Nutcracker was absolutely amazing. The show was dedicated to our girls and was rich in blue and purple accents. The dancers, many of our girls’ friends and role models, are so incredibly talented. They put on a show for our community that was absolutely beautiful. Tom and I felt so blessed to have the girls be honored in this way.

Anna in the 2012 Nutcracker.

Anna in the 2012 Nutcracker.

Forest Grove Dance Arts  has a yearly scholarship set up in Anna and Abigail’s name. It will provide dance lessons for a year and recital costumes to a number of girls that would not be able to afford participating in dance at the studio. Being a teacher, I know a lot of girls that would love to be involved but can’t due to financial restraints. This scholarship means so much to Tom and I. Miss Patty, the director of the studio, has done so much, not only for our girls but for so many little girls in this community. She is so amazing and I feel so blessed to have had her be in Anna and Abigail’s life. I really can’t thank her and the entire staff of instructors enough for all they have done for us as a family. I’m sure lots of people in Forest Grove feel the same way we do.

Yesterday Tom posted on his Facebook page that he wished he could have dance party with the girls. Dance party is a nightly ritual at the Dieter-Robinson house. Tom would take the girls into the family room and let them put on current pop tunes and they would all dance their little hearts out. Tom often would use this as a form of exercise, busting out 100 sit-up or 40 push-ups while the girls danced around him (or on top of him for added resistance). I was usually dancing in the kitchen doing dishes or taking a few minutes to myself while Tom had the girls completely enthralled in complete dancing joy.  They would all surface after about 3 or 4 songs sweaty, smiling and begging for more.

Before we met Tom and the kids, Anna and I would have dance party on a regular basis. We would dance on beds, around Sampson or I would pick her up and swing her around the room to music. One night this Fall she reminded me of this little bonding experience we used to have and asked if we could do it again. So before bed one evening, I picked Anna up like I did when she was 3 and danced around the room with her. She held on tight with her legs wrapped around me. I remember thinking that my little girl wasn’t so little anymore. My heart melted as we danced around the room to 22 by Taylor Swift.

Dance Party to All the Single Ladies

When we blended our families, Anna and I quickly learned that Tom and the kids also liked to rock out to music. We had “dance parties” and they had “rocking out sessions.” Tom would turn one of his favorite “Rocker” songs on and the kids would all dance around the living room. It didn’t take much to get this started – just a little music then Tom putting his hands up and starting to move like only Tom knows how. I love watching Tom dance. How he dances at home is very different then how he dances as a servant of Mr. Warbucks in Annie….just saying.

Rocking Out Robinson Style

We haven’t had dance party in almost 2 months. I’m sure one of these days, when the mood is just right and the song on the radio speaks to us, we will get up and dance again. When we do I know, without a doubt, our girls will be dancing with us.