Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Birthday

I started this at 4 am. It is now 5 am. Maybe I just don't have words for this.

But, I do. There is so much going on in my head it's difficult to pick out coherent thought right now. You should be turning 39 today. You should be annoyed that I made a big deal out of your birthday and bought you something even though you always told me not to. Your friends should be ribbing you with old man jokes. The kids should be giving you thier homemade cards that you will keep in your underwear  drawer until I go on a cleaning spree and move them to the box where we keep all of the birthday cards, pet rocks and handprinted handkerchiefs that we've collected over the years.

Instead, I'm tempted to ignore this day. God knows I've become a master at avoiding... except not really. No one is truly fooled. I feel everyone watching, it feels like the whole world is conspiring to remind me, in a thousand ways, of how not here you really are.

Our son goes to Junior High round-up today. He is terrified, and so am I. I'm doing everything in my power to reassure him that it will be ok, that starting something new is always scary and that every other 7th grader goes through the same thing. That he will be fine. And, he will be.

But every holiday, every special occasion you miss, every new chapter we start without you... it just brings it all back at once. Watching you die. Losing you, over and over. No matter how much ground we gain, how much we think we accept it... It's all still fresh. It's always there. Rationally, I know it always will be. That 15, 20 years from now I will still shed tears over all that you've missed. As pointless as it is to dive into the misery of asking "why?", I will probably still do it.

There are moments now, nearly 6 months later, that bring me to my knees all over again. I miss you,  we all do. Our little family feels broken, interrupted and damaged in a fundamental way that I am trying desperately to repair. I try to take a moment each day to remind myself of all that we do have... and it is a lot. But when I try to push away the pain, pretend it's just another day and grit my teeth to get through it, it only serves to poison everything. I am having a hard time with trust, I am angry... so incredibly and futilely angry. When I am so heartbroken that I can barely breathe, it colors everything. I am stupid, over-emotional, a burden. Broken. So very, very broken.

Early Monday we all woke up in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower. It was beautiful. I lay there and thought about how much you loved that sort of thing. I thought about one night last year, driving home from a poker game,  when we both saw the same shooting star and you said it was a sign of good things to come... that life was just getting better and better. You loved me and I loved you and we had all the time in the world in front of us. Except, we didn't. Just like a falling star, you burned bright and were gone too fast.

Happy birthday my love.


  1. Hugs to you Valerie, big giant hugs. And keep writing. It is so hard to read what you write but I read each post and I look forward to the next chapter.

  2. Val, once again I have no words, but know I COMPLETELY understand how you feel. I wish we were close enough to share a hug or a drink (or 3). Not to force either one of us to acknowledge the day just to have some silent strength near. Thinking of you always.

  3. Yes, today is a very hard day for me too. I have been dreading this day ever since August started. 8-13-13. I struggle most days myself, but then I did not have the privilege to live with him every day and talk to him every day for the past 13 years as you have. But I still miss him horribly...his calls, and listening to his loving voice and his "I love you mom" just before he hangs up. I miss the joy of seeing his handsome face and his lovely family when we get to visit. I kiss his heart that you gave me at his memorial every day. I wish I had a mother to be there for me, to hug and hold me when I need her. Or children to love on. And I don't have grandchildren to talk to or pour my love on. I am alone. To lose a son is to lose one's heart. Mine will never heal either. Please don't leave me out of your life. I hope some day soon you can heal enough to come back into my life. I miss you and the kids too. I love you all so much.