A birthday and Easter…all in one week. It’s hard enough to get through the birthday alone, but add to that the Easter holiday and I just want go into hiding. I want to remove myself from everything and crawl into that pit. As much as I know that isn’t possible, it IS how I feel. I am now beginning to reach the second milestones of your death…and those have been just as hard as the 1st ones.
Twenty-five years old…that’s how old you would have been. Four days ago was the second birthday that we will celebrated without you here. Last year and this year alike, I knelt at your marker and placed flowers at your grave. It’s not how I ever envisioned celebrating your birthday, but that’s my world now. As I look around me, I see other families, and their children continue to age in this physical realm. And soon, Taylor will be the age you were when you died. That is unfathomable to me. It just doesn’t seem possible. It’s the hardest thing in the world to accept…that you will forever be 23.
I had so many hopes, dreams, and aspirations for you. The day you were born, I immediately began to think what life like be like for you as you grew older….what you would look like. We had a lifetime ahead of us, and I imagined all of the things that ‘would be’ someday. I think back to the day you told me that you had decided what you wanted to do with your life…you wanted to be a meteorologist. That took me back to a day when you were about 2. On that day, we had taken a trip to Sonic. We had gotten our food, and sat down at one of the available picnic tables. Just as we got ourselves and our food all situated, a strong gust of wind came and blew so hard that we had to grab our food to keep it from being blown to the ground. You were petrified and immediately began to scream and cry. But somehow, I knew after that moment that you were destined to do something in the meteorology field. From that point on, you had a love/hate relationship with weather…and you were either fascinated with it or terrified of it. I couldn’t wait to some day see that dream come to fruition. Unfortunately, that dream of yours and mine, was shattered on February 10, 2016.
This year as I drove to your grave site, I found myself for a very brief moment getting excited at the prospect of getting to “see” you. I found myself trying to get there faster and faster….as if I were going to be sitting down and visiting with you hours upon hours. And then, reality hit…..I was going to your grave. It still seems surreal that I drive to visit the marker that memorializes your short time on this earth. As I drove into the cemetery, I saw another person visiting a loved ones grave….and reality once again reared its unsightly head. It seems strange to say that I relive reality and acceptance every day…but it is absolutely the truth. Facing that reality each day is agonizingly painful. I’ve heard others say that the rawness will soften over time…and I do believe that it will. But I know that I will have to wake up for the remaining days of my life and face the brutal truth each morning that you are no longer with us.
And as for today…Easter…a deep-seated sadness has permeated my entire day. I’ve tried not to get on Facebook very much, because I just can’t handle seeing the pictures of families that have all of their family members present…enjoying the day and spending hours with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for those people that have their families…I would NEVER wish this upon anyone. However, it’s so hard to see the happiness of those families, when your family has been dramatically and forever changed. It’s been hard for me today to make myself do anything…I really just wanted to crawl back into the bed this morning and just stay there all day. But, I didn’t….I forced myself to tie dye some shirts in your memory and to do some laundry. But that’s all I’ve had energy for today. I see families in my neighborhood celebrating Easter with their entire families. I’ve heard laughter and joy saunter their way across the road into my yard and through my window. But I’ve tried my best to ignore it. It’s been strange..but I’ve felt almost apathetic and indifferent today. Despite the beauty outside and the wonderful message it represents , my heart has felt dismal and gray.
We celebrated our Easter on Friday and we hid Easter eggs for Eli and Addi. As I watched them look for eggs, memories of you and Taylor hunting Easter eggs flooded my mind. And with Eli looking so much like you, its almost eerie sometimes to watch him do and say things that you would have said or done. Even his facial expressions remind me of you sometimes. That day was joyful…tinted with a touch of sadness…but we all enjoyed each other’s company and the time we had together.
I know I’ve said this before, but to all of you reading this…cherish every single moment with your children. You never know what a day holds and you never know how your life might be shattered in the blink of an eye. I heard a song this week that speaks of someone losing a loved one…and the chorus says:
“Close my eyes and think of you, go to sleep and dream of you. We don’t get to be here long. I gave you the best of me, loved you more than anything. We don’t get to be here long.”
Those words ring so true to me as we have celebrated 2 birthdays and 2 Easters without you here….
We miss you Aaron…every single day…but as you used to say…
“It’s not goodbye, it’s just till next time.”