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.