It happens, still.
Little Boy has a wiggly tooth. He's anticipating his first visit from the Tooth Fairy. He's excited, knowing it means Grandpa will be by shortly.
It's almost too much sometimes.
Incidentally, if you've not read that story before, you can find it here. Just come back. We'll wait. xo
It has been happening more and more frequently these last few months, this subconscious wish that I could pick up the phone and call him, ever since the little boy with the dark hair and the crystal blue eyes arrived, the little boy we named after him.
My Mom has been gone almost a year and a half, though it really seems longer. I miss her so much sometimes. One of the worst moments in a while was just recently when my daughter's birthday came and went without a phone call and another rendition of the birthday song sung across the phone lines.
She almost always called us on our birthdays and sang, regardless of what else was going on.
Everything about losing her, especially so soon after losing my father, was difficult. It was difficult because it wasn't just pain and grief and sadness and loss. There was anger too. So much anger.
That anger though, it's fading.
I didn't even notice that it was leaving, really. It just got up and left, tiptoed out of the recesses of my mind while I wasn't paying attention, without letting me know.
Now, in this moment, I just miss her.
I miss who she was, who she wanted to be, who I needed her to be.
I miss her laugh and her voice and her phone calls.
So many phone calls.
Having this tiny little life around now, having this child that they will never know, it hurts. It hurts because he'll never even know what he's missing without them here. My other kids have a sense of that loss, for him he'll never know life in any other way.
He just lives in the world without them and he always will.
I don't honestly know which is worse, by the way. I was just talking about this with a friend, a friend who I've know for over half my lifetime now, and who knew my parents for all those years too.
She didn't have an answer any more than I do.
I don't know if it is better or worse to never know them. My older children, they remember. They have distinct memories of the times spent with both of their grandparents, but interlaced with all the good moments are the bad ones. For every happy time, there are the pieces of the past that sting. The decline of my father, watching him get a little bit smaller, a little bit more frail every time we made the trip out there. The downward spiral my mother was trapped in, one that they witnessed far too much of.
I don't know that memories of happy times can make up for the bad. I don't know that they even balance out. I don't know.
The baby, he'll never know them. All he'll have to tie him to a past he never met are the stories we will tell him. The stories that, as stories always do, evolve with time.
As the pain fades, as the anger lessens, I want to remember my mother in a good light. I don't necessarily want him to ever know the things we went through with her. I wish I could erase so many of those memories for my other children.
But is that disingenuous? It is a romanticized version of the past? Probably.
I don't know. Like I said, I have no answers.
I just have this reality, the one which they no longer occupy.
Today is their anniversary. It would have been their 39th.
Last year was the first anniversary that came and went on the calendar without either of them here. Last year was the first time I didn't have anyone to call.
Last year on this day, with intention, I had my first doctor's appointment.
Last year on this day, with intention, I waited with my husband in a darkened room with cautious optimism, hoping to see that little flicker on the screen for the first time.
And last year, on this day, I was reminded that even in a world without them both,
And it does.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
I miss you both so much and I love you.