This afternoon is just the kind of afternoon you would have loved. Low humidity. Light breeze. Moderate temperature. It's lovely. I'm currently barefoot but in sweatpants, so that tells you what it feels like. It would make you smile.
The past few days have been hard. It's all this build up to the day you died. Remembering every little step along the way is painful, especially the unpleasant stuff. Because so much of the physical act of dying is incredibly unpleasant. I wasn't prepared for that. I don't know that anyone could ever be prepared for that part of the death experience. You just have to navigate it one second at a time, and then you'll have to deal with it one day at time once your loved one is gone.
So here I am, the motherless child, awaiting the 22nd. Since you died in the wee hours of the morning, I will wake up that day and begin a new year without you. Another year without you. So hard to believe still. I will begin another year of my life as a wife and mother and friend without you. I guess I look like I am doing okay if you look at me from the outside. But no one understands what's going on inside of me. No one. Not my husband. Not my best friend. Neither one of my kids. Absolutely no one except the Deity knows.
Last week, Madalyn had a big field trip. We left on Wednesday and headed down to the 4H center on the Coosa River. It's a science/conservation center that focuses on educating children about the environment and all the animals that live in it. We spent two nights there, and during the day we were divided into groups to attend classes. They were all really interesting, and I was surprised at how much I learned. At night, we had an evening program, and the first night was about birds of prey. So they had all these cages sitting on a table. They were solid on the back and all the way around, so we couldn't see what was inside. They brought out the first two birds, and they were these little owls. Have mercy, they were adorable. And there I sat in the middle of 80 fourth graders fighting back tears cause I knew how much you would have loved to see those owls. You would have loved it. In all, they brought out four owls. They were just beautiful.
Everywhere we went around the property, I thought of you. The ferns and moss on the forest floor, the blooms on the random plants scattered around. The peace. The sound of the light rain hitting the newborn leaves of each tree. It was just you. I can't explain it. I never enjoyed these things until you left. I never paid attention. Funny how losing someone so dear to you changes the way you see everything, even the trees. Everything looks different, both good and bad. And it can be heavy and painful, especially around these big dates like the anniversary of your death.
So Wednesday, I have this planned... pull weeds and plant some things in my pots. It's supposed to be a nice day, so I plan to spend the majority of it outside in your memory. It definitely won't be the same since I won't be able to call you and tell you about everything I do.
Love you always.