I can hardly believe two months have passed.
I’ll repeat what I’ve said before – it seems totally unfair that life keeps going, full speed, without you in it.
There have been a million little things I’ve wanted to tell you; little phrases the girls have come up with, the outstanding grades your oldest daughter is receiving, your youngest daughter is fully out of her shell, the fun we had and experiences on our trips.
Only, you’re not here for me to tell.
It seems strange, still.
I received an email last week from someone you used to work with.
Granted, he’s been out of the country for a while and didn’t know that you had passed away.
He asked me how you were doing and I went into shock.
He meant well; and he honestly didn’t know.
I replied with a brief response; it’s all I could type.
The cards, letters & emails have almost stopped; and I thought that intense period of grief and fact regurgitation was over.
I don’t know that it will ever truly be over, as there are people who have lost touch with you over the years and don’t even know that you had cancer.
I dread going anywhere public because I just never know who I will run into, what they will ask or how I will reply.
I feel like I have a sad, cold, metallic “W” emblazoned upon my chest.
Forget the Scarlet Letter A, my W stands for Widow.
And I feel like everyone stares at me, where ever I may go.
They look at me with sad eyes, think pitiful thoughts and whisper about the way I must feel to have lost you.
I know that a large majority of the people I come in contact with do not even know about you, about me, about this trauma in our lives.
Sometimes I just want to scream.
And sometimes, I do.
I find that my patience is thin.
And my voice is loud.
I’m trying to work on that; I do not like screaming.
I have a hard time going to sleep at night, still.
When sleep will not find me, I lay awake thinking.
Of all the beautiful time we’re missing.
Of all the promises we made to each other.
Of the life we were supposed to live.
Of our daughters’ future and how much they will miss you along the way.
Nightly, I press my finger to your sterling silver fingerprint that is securely fastened around my neck.
It’s like we’re holding hands, as much as we can anyway.
Call it synchronicity or just plain weirdness or times when my grief lets my mind believe something is more than it actually is or moments that God lets me know that you are okay; but that are times that I distinctly feel your presence.
This week alone, there have been three moments that stole the breath from my chest.
Lucy dropped a sock at my feet; your sock.
I have no idea where she found it, as your clothes have been stored neatly in boxes in the garage for a few weeks – until I can go through them and decide what to do with them.
It wasn’t a clean sock either. It was one of your running socks, dirty and grungy. It smelled like you – the sweaty, earthy, after-running-glow you.
Where did it come from?
The girls and I had dinner with some friends Saturday evening; friends that you brought into my life. We usually have dinner with them several times a year; taking turns hosting. You always looked forward to it.
On the drive home, I saw a shooting star, right in front of me.
I think you were saying that you were there, too.
Last night, I let the dogs out.
As I walked towards the steps on the back deck, I saw something shiny on the middle of the steps.
I went closer for a look.
And it was your keys.
A bronze “C” with Mickey mouse – a key chain that Shannon gave you back in high school, if I remember correctly.
How did they get there?
I have been disappointed over the last two months; thinking our bond would transcend this world and let me see glimpses of you.
I believe in angels. I believe in seeing them..
I thought I would be seeing you.
And I haven’t.
But there are moments, little things, that lead me to believe you are showing up the best you can.
And maybe that’s just my broken heart needing to see, feel, or hear something that isn’t really there.
Maybe it is.
But maybe, just maybe, it is real.
I like to believe that it is.
It helps to believe that it is real.
When I was in the shower last night, I suddenly realized that your shampoo and soap were still in the shower.
Small things like that become so second-nature; I pass by them daily and do not give them a second thought.
Finally noticing little remnants of you and your life with me mean so much.
I opened the caps and just inhaled the scent; your scent.
It was bittersweet, to say the least.
To smell you so distinctly, and yet you’re not here.
Although I had time to say my goodbyes to you, it wasn’t enough.
I don’t think there can ever be enough time to do that.
I still want a hug, and you weren’t able to give me a proper one for a really long time.
You held my hand, you squeezed it.
You did what you could, and I know it was all you could muster.
But I want more.
Just one more.
They say time heals all things; and I suppose that each day gets a little easier – if easy is even the right word to use here.
I’m finding it easier to sleep in our home alone at night.
I’m finding it easier to maintain a routine of chaos.
I’m finding it easier to let go of the small things and focus on the grander; life is so preciously limited.
The girls are doing well.
They both are craving attention from a father-figure and desperately cling to any of our male family members or friends.
They even called one of your friends ‘daddy’ this weekend; when I asked about it later, they told me that he reminded them of you.
I hope that didn’t freak him out…
Carys is doing fabulously well in school.
She writes letters to you, draws pictures for you, and she’s excitedly planning a birthday party for you in April.
She is testing boundaries of authority, but mostly with me.
Cailyn is also doing well.
She is embracing her last year at preschool and is testing boundaries frequently, too.
She also misses you and talks about you all the time.
Our home isn’t filled with tears quite so much these days; at least not from the girls.
Which is good. They deserve to be happy and live a full childhood, free from stress and sadness.
I try to stay happy for them; to keep them busy.
But when I’m alone and the house is quiet, it’s a different story.
Little things, like watching a television show we both liked, is difficult.
Driving and looking over to see an empty co-pilot seat, your sunglasses still clipped to the visor.
Buying groceries and not having your favorites on the list.
Sifting through junk mail and seeing your name.
Seeing your handwriting in the address book.
Refereeing between two children who just want attention; attention I can’t fully give.
Blockbuster movies arriving in the mail and knowing that it’s something you put on the list; like the Matrix trilogy.
Having to prepare meals for three, especially when I’m not hungry and don’t foresee myself to be for a while yet.
Keeping the kids happy, or maybe I’m failing miserably. I haven’t decided which.
It’s just hard.
I knew it would be.
You knew it would be.
There are many, many days when I want nothing more than to lay in bed all day, sleep and cry.
But being a full-time single mother doesn’t allow time for that.
I wish I didn’t know what that felt like.
A little easier.
That’s all I can hope for, I think.
We love you.
We miss you.
Every second of every single day.