still, it stings

I can’t count the times I’ve stopped whatever I am doing and just think to myself, “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.” Sometimes I shed a few tears, sometimes I sigh heavily and return to whatever I was doing.

It is okay.
But that feeling?
Still, it stings.

I am watching my girls change into young women right before my eyes. One is on the cusp of high school and will be on to start her own journey before I can bat an eye.
The younger is right on her sister’s heels.
And then what will I do?

I had plans, at one point in my life, for what comes after the girls leave.
We had plans, should I say.
Now I don’t really have any. Everything feels up in the air, all the time.
I know our time in SC will come to an end and I will move on to another area; somewhere I want to be for the rest of my life; a home my grandchildren will eventually visit and fill with memories.

But now? Now, I go to work (which I love, by the way), come home to sleep while the girls are at school and try to be present at much as one exponentially exhausted person can be.
I am here, though. I am good cop. I am bad cop; the comforter and the punisher. I am the fun-planner, the boring-master, the road trip driver, the daily taxi, the short order cook, the lazy housemaid, the dog whisperer, the homework figure-outer, the snuggler, the stern-talking-to-er…the mender of all things, from hearts to jeans to shoe soles to fish tanks.

I am so many different, needed, things.
And I am also missing my husband, my partner in crime, my compass, my best friend.

There will always be a Chad-shaped vacancy in my life. It’s like finding a rogue puzzle piece and trying to make it work in another puzzle that’s missing a section. It just doesn’t work. It’s not right.

I’m learning, every day, that grief is always lurking around the corner.
Some days are easier. Some days are harder.

But the sting? It’s always there.
Just in case you were wondering.

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