We've managed, somehow, to make it though another year without you here to help guide the sun and make it a little brighter. Hard to believe.
A lot has changed. Daddy is about to graduate and start his PhD program; I think he's finally realized that his moving on is about honoring you, not forgetting you. Daisy Mae is working hard at being a Sophomore, and busy with her friends and studies and getting ready to move on to her associates program. I'm just...well, I just keep on keepin' on. It's normal life, and yet there is always the knowledge that something enormous is missing. Nothing is the same, and yet everything continues on.
We had a regular Thanksgiving dinner this year. It was nice, but I think we all missed you a lot. I was pretty sad after everyone went home. And on Friday, I spent some time in prayer and thought, really focusing on your life and what it meant to me. I think your daddy and I are going to set aside the day after Thanksgiving for you, rather than whatever day the calendar says. That way, it's always your day, and it's never a work day or Thanksgiving. Hope you are OK with that.
It's been a long time since I wrote to you here. I think for a long time, I spent so much time here focused on missing you that once that wasn't the focus of all my attention, writing about other things seemed trite. Maybe a little bit dishonest. I know you want us to move on and be happy. And while we all have started to do that, it just seems strange to write about it. I need to do it, though. So much has happened. So many changes.
I miss you. I miss your sweet smile, your goofy laugh, the way you filled a room with all your noise and presence. I miss holding your hand in the car. I miss our bedtime conversations. I miss listening to you sing songs in the bathroom (I'm singin' to the poop!). I miss listening to you do the Soba chant (So-ba! So-ba! So-ba!) I even miss hearing about the countless adventures of all your imaginary friends. I look at your pictures, and I find myself surprised, always, that there are no new ones. I still sometimes gasp with the realization that you are gone, that you are not coming back. I know you are close by all the time, but I wish I could have more of you than the ephemeral brushes of your spirit against mine. I want more. I want my baby back.
And yet, I am still so grateful for the mark you left on my life. Without you, I would never have learned how to love this deeply, this fiercely. I would never have learned to take the time to see the good in every person I meet. I would never have learned to see the good in myself. I would never have learned to love, in equal measure, the good and the bad, the triumphs and setbacks in life. To, as my friend Cathy says, appreciate the beautiful catastrophe that is life. To know, absolutely, that there is something beyond the mortal coil.
Sweet Bug, thank you. Thank you again for the beauty that was, and remains, your presence in my life. You will always stay in my heart.