my third year without you…

My third year without you I missed you.

I missed you so much.  I missed my center.  I missed the top of my totem pole.  I missed my call for all important and unimportant things.  I missed your warm smile, your huge hugs that automatically made my feel like I was 8 years old again.  I missed your approval and my drive to make you proud of me.  I missed you.  I miss you.  Every single piece of me misses you.

My third year without you I didn’t cry as much.

The first two years after losing you I would constantly feel this rush of grief and it would be tipped off at the slightest of things.  I would burst into tears no matter where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing.  This past year that changed dramatically.  I found the right times to cry and release the pressure that built up from losing you and missing you.  The pressure was strong, frequent, and unbearable at times but I was much better about managing it.

My third year without you I felt grateful.

My third year without you I felt less cheated and more grateful for the time I had with you.  I felt grateful that I had you as a pillar of all things I aspired to be.  I felt grateful for our one-on-one time walking the beach in longboat and I was grateful to carry on that tradition with my own girls.

My third year without you I worried.

I worried that my kids would not know you.  I worried they wouldn’t hear your laugh, feel your hugs, and see the love you had for them.  I worried that you weren’t here to walk beside me as continued to make decisions for Bea’s health.  I am realizing that you’re in the best place possible to help her. To help me.

My third year without you I did things to make you proud.

Your door in our yard got a lot of use and I know you’d be proud that Pappy left treats and toys every so often there.  I know you’d be proud that Jordan & I choose you each Christmas to be the giver of the “big gift” – this year you got the girls a pink bike to share.  And they were so grateful to you.  I know you’d be proud that Bea talked about you often – made up stories and told Poppy of all the things she and Pappy did together.  I know you’d be proud that when I had an extremely hard day recently and didn’t explain why to the girls – that they hugged me and Bea said “I miss Pappy too”.   I know you’d be proud that they know you.

My third year without you I talked to you.

I talked to you every single day.  I was always the talker in our relationship and that hasn’t changed.

My third year without you I felt close to you.

I felt you the day Louise Kelly was born.  I saw you in her eyes and felt so close to you knowing you were with her before I was – holding her until she was delivered to me as a healthy, sweet baby.  I felt close to you at church.  I felt close to you in Longboat.  I felt close to you when I held my girls before bed.  Instead of waiting for signs from you, I chose to find you and see you in Mimi, Carolyn, Mom, Jordan, Dan and Zack.  I found that things they each do remind me of you and I let it lift me up.  I saw you & felt close to you through them.

My third year without you I lived what you taught me.

I listened to my conscience.

I developed strong character.

I was courageous.

My third year without you I survived.

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