You were just shy of your three year diagnosis anniversary.
You were given three months to live back in June.
It’s been three weeks since you left this place for somewhere better.
Wednesday is the third day of the work week – the day you left.
I just don’t think I like the number three.
And I really don’t like Wednesdays anymore either.
I had a few moments today when the grief hit me out of the blue.
Something simple – a song on the radio, seeing cookies in the cookie jar, reading an email someone sent me about you, haphazardly seeing pictures of you when I was looking for something else. Pictures from a long time ago; when IT hadn’t entered our lives. We weren’t even married yet.
And there were some pictures from this Summer – with the girls and I. You looked so healthy in July. I just don’t understand how you could be gone when you look so good just months ago.
Yet, I do understand.
I know the brain cancer is a quick and quiet disease.
It steals things, little by little, until there is nothing little left to take.
Then it moves to the larger things; memories, motor functions, the ability to speak coherently.
But IT didn’t take away the way you looked at me from across the room, even when you couldn’t speak my name.
IT didn’t take away your prepared nature; you handled everything you knew you should – and then relinquished it all to me when you knew you weren’t able to do so any longer.
IT didn’t take away the grasp with which you hugged, kissed and caressed our daughters.
IT didn’t take away your humor and wit, even though IT slowed you down a little.
IT was unable to destroy your Faith or Hope in something bigger, something better for yourself.
IT was not allowed to take away our memories, even when I had to help you remember our life together.
We put up the Christmas tree.
I took a few days to decorate it.
And I’m not messing with any other decorations this year.
Just don’t feel like it.
I went shopping yesterday, trying to figure out what to buy for people.
Not really interested in shopping (if you can believe that, I know…)
I wasn’t going to do Christmas cards this year. Didn’t seem right.
But I did them anyway.
It stung when I typed our names on the bottom.
I automatically typed yours too – then realized it’s just the three of us this year.
There’s that dreaded number three again….
The girls are handling your absence pretty well, all things considered.
And truth be told, I think it was harder on us when you moved to Hospice.
We all cried a lot then; and we cry now too – but it’s not quite the same as when you left the house in mid-August.
I think we all knew that was the beginning of the end; and it gave us an opportunity to grieve losing you without you actually being gone yet.
Carys’ birthday is next week. Seven years old.
I plan to give her the card you wrote for her – she will treasure it, I know.
I read it last week and I know you tried so hard to come up with something to say – and to spell correctly.
She will probably sleep with it under her pillow.
It doesn’t seem like a year has passed since you held her hand while she got her ears pierced for her sixth birthday.
She wants a pair of dangling earrings this year. She’s growing so fast, Chad.
And you would be so proud of her – even though I know you were – I think you would be amazed at her strength over the last three weeks.
I gave her a puppy for her birthday, a little early – sorry. I know you would have jokingly threatened to divorce me if I brought in any more animals.
We got a kitten too — just mentioning it for full disclosure.
Today, I saw a bright blue sky with huge fluffy white clouds – the sun streaming through in patches to kiss the ground with warmth.
And I hoped you were seeing that beauty from the other side; it was blindingly beautiful. It reminded me of you and how much you loved to be outside with nature. I can just vision you raking leaves outside, humming along and making piles for the kids to jump into.
We miss you.
I miss you.
Even Lucy the wonder dog misses you.
I was wearing your jacket last night when I let her outside – she was smelling your scent and going absolutely insane.
I did finally teach her to sleep on her bed — and NOT in our bed. Sorry I didn’t do it sooner. You were right. I do sleep better without a 14-pound pup leaping on my kidneys in the middle of the night.
I hope you’re enjoying your time running laps and laughing hysterically and eating and seeing everyone we love who’s with you.
I can’t imagine what that is like; to be free and perfect and calm and whole.
No crying. No sadness. No pain.
I just can’t even imagine.
Even though I miss you fiercely, I am glad you are whole again.
Even though I am not, I am joyful that you are.