I picked up the phone to call you today. Hank and I were on one of our sunny afternoon drives back from visiting with friends, and for just a moment, I thought about how you’d answer and we’d talk the rest of the way home. “And how’s Henry?” you would have asked me–remarking just how big he’s getting in all of his pictures and how much he looks like Jason more and more all the time. I’d tell you about Henry’s birthday party (“invite’s in the mail!”) and all the pomp and circumstance we’re planning for our little bug who’s nearly walking and talks all the day long.
Undoubtedly, we would have moved on to the weather next–how beautiful a Spring it’s been, and what a perfect day and temperature for this early on in April. You’d fill me on family things, who’s traveling where and moving when, who’s expecting, had a baby, been sick, getting better. And I would laugh at the little things, all the while drinking in the time with you down to the very last drop–the “I love you, Gramma” and the “Love you, too, Sweetie,” and the click goodbye.
Everywhere I turn this week, it seems, you are there. Present in the tulips standing boldly in the sunshine, the robin perched on the fence through the kitchen window, the wafting scent of perfect Korean Spice blossoms, uncurling on every bush in the front yard. You’ve felt so close in moments, I could almost burst. And more than I wanted to imagine it–over the quiet moments when I’m left to think all alone, over the sweet spaces when I look at Henry or sit with Jason and recall the promises I made to you that I’d, “Be a good mom…Be a good wife,” I am overcome by your absence. In all of the beautiful things around me that you carefully taught me to love, the sting of missing you is suddenly so great…and I hope–in a good way, that somehow you know. I hope now you can see the indelible mark that you made on my heart over all those years.
Easter is only four days away, and as it arrives, I’m left to remember Easter afternoon last year–how we were talking on the phone when my labor with Henry began. How many beautiful days like that one have we taken to celebrate together as a family, always drawing near in the ways we could to be together? I’m so thankful we have so many to recount…I’m afraid I don’t know yet how to have them without you.
I keep trying to hold back the emotion that comes with great loss, as if there are rules about how we grieve and remember–how we carry on when a piece of ourselves feels broken off, washed away. I catch myself warding off tears and wondering why I’m trying so hard to swallow it down instead of letting it just come over me like a wave. I’m not perfect in any other way, so why would I attempt at being flawless in this? I know that you would understand and tell me it’s ok. You’d probably know before I ever got to you that something was the matter, have cookies and coffee waiting for me when I arrived so we could just talk. Just talk. We really knew how to do that, you and I. Didn’t we? Goodness, I miss you. I really, really do.
I’m so thankful for all of the reminders God is sending me along the way as time goes on–even if my breath catches when a butterfly lands and lingers nearby, or when the tears come unexpectedly as Henry and I dance around the living room. It’s a good thing, how many sweet instances bring me right back to who you were and what you loved and exactly what you meant to me. Thank you for all of the ways you always (and still do. See?!) brought me joy.
a bushel and a peck,