I'd classify today as a "better" day. Good is a stretch, but I was "okay" more than I was crumbling from grief. I still cried several times today, but a few of those tear sessions were out of joy that I got to share the last 11 years with you. Our life seemed perfect. We had bumps, but we had more joy and love than some people have in a life time. We knew we had so much to be thankful for, we knew how fortunate we were.
I know we still are fortunate in many ways, but losing you has been profoundly painful. I never saw it coming, not until the very, very end. You were sick, it didn't seem serious, it couldn't have been serious, it happened over night like a stomach bug...it's 2015, healthy young people don't just pass away from unknown illnesses in three days. I was there with you, I told you how much I loved you, I told you the girls loved you, I told you I knew how much you loved us, I held your hand... I told you everything would be okay. Your body was so tired, you fought so hard. I didn't want to let you go. I wanted more time with you. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Your friends have shared so many beautiful memories of you - it's made my heart happy despite the overwhelming grief. Your love of people has connected me with many new people, some of which I've never met, but many of whom I love and deeply value already. I had no idea how many people loved you, how many people you impacted, how many people were grateful for your presence in their life. I knew you were special, I knew you were everything to the girls and me. I didn't know what a profound mark you left on everyone you met. You were truly one of a kind.
I went to Arabelle's parent-teacher conference today. You know, the one I intentionally scheduled late in the afternoon so you could attend without leaving work too early? :-( Yea, that one. I was anxious, I planned for you to be there, it's one of many things I'll have to do without you. Arabelle's teacher told me how great she's doing and my heart warmed and my mind relaxed a little. She told me that Arabelle was appropriately sassy at school (ha!), that she didn't put up with any nonsense from her peers. Evidently, Arabelle has a bossy friend, but she stands up for herself and has since day one. She's not a bully or timid, but she's assertive as she should be. I know you are so proud! I was so proud to hear that! Her teacher also told me that Arabelle has made tremendous strides already, she's learning, and growing, and hitting every mark. They said she was in one of their advanced groups and they were impressed with her growth since she's one of the youngest children. You were right, you felt like she was bright and needed to be challenged. She's rising to the challenge. We've always been proud of her, because she's our first beautiful baby girl. This was just another bit of icing on the cake.
And Emery, oh my goodness! She's been so chatty lately. She's starting to speak so well all of a sudden. I'm having little conversations with her and she understands and responds. She still speaks that crazy gibberish with a serious look on her face at the dinner table and it makes me giggle. She's obsessed with school buses lately, just like Arabelle was at this age. Only she doesn't always identify school buses correctly. She thinks mini vans and dump trucks are school buses. When we pulled into Arabelle's school yesterday, she happily screamed "school bussssssss" (yes, she drug out the "s" sound) and threw her arms up in the air. She was definitely screaming at two mini vans in the parking lot. It made me laugh.
The girls make my heart happy. They're half you. Maybe more than half...only time will tell. ;-) They keep me going, they bring me joy, they make me smile, they are the center of my universe. They're the best part of us. I'm thankful for them every day. I love them more today than I did yesterday and I'll love them more tomorrow than I do today.
I love you. I miss you. I wish you were here.