It's the 1st of May. You would tell me it's your birthday month. I would roll my eyes and tell you your birthday was cancelled. Secretly, I'd be trying to find you the perfect gift. I'd conspire with Arabelle to make you a cake. You and I would probably try to plan a night out with friends, but know that a quiet evening at home with the girls would be perfect, too. I miss you. I miss celebrating life with you.
The month of April was tough emotionally. I had many rough days, many days I would have drawn strength and peace from you, many days I felt the pain of your absence very acutely. We celebrated Emery's 2nd birthday without you. I don't know how, but we managed. How could a two year old have lost her daddy? She didn't get a chance to even know you. Your parents came down for Emery's birthday. It was the first time we had seen them since Christmas. It was so good to spend time with them, to have them here with us, but it was bittersweet as well. You were missing.
I took the girls on our first vacation without you during Spring Break. Nanny and Papa came with us. It would have been tough for me to mange without them. We went to Chattanooga and did the zoo, aquarium, Children's Museum, walked across the pedestrian bridge to a park on the water, ate hot dogs, ice cream, biscuit sandwiches, pizza, and drank too much Coke. The girls had a really good time. Arabelle picked out a blue and purple, semi-sparkly seahorse for herself and Emery. Emery carries hers around just like Arabelle did with the pink otter from the Atlanta Aquarium.
The trip was emotional, just like everything else this month. Our last trip to Chattanooga was our first overnight trip as a family of four. We took Arabelle to see Thomas the Train. I'm not sure if Emery was even six weeks old. You and I met there some on the weekends when we were doing the long distance thing. I have many memories of us there. You should have been there. It was one of many firsts without you.
I co-hosted an evening co-ed baby shower for Doug and Lindsey. It was full of BBQ and beer and jokes about Doug being a dad. You would have loved it. Many good friends were there, but you were missing.
Last weekend, Nanny and Papa moved to Athens, or really Oconee County. That was also emotional. They are here and you are not. Their new place is less than 10 minutes down the road. It's good for the girls, it's good for me. I am relived to have them to close now. Things are becoming more challenging as Baby Girl grows. I'm starting to slow down and my body aches. I'm just so grateful and thankful they're here in the OC with us. The girls were both sick a couple times this month. I had a few days I didn't feel well. We had some additional minor plumbing issues, the AC died...yes, for real. Ugh. Fortunately, Papa is right down the road and was able to meet an AC technician at our house and help me assess my options for repairs or replacement. We're getting a new AC tomorrow and Papa will be at the house to handle that. So, yes, very thankful they are so close.
I'm preparing for Baby Girl's arrival, which meant sorting through your things in the guest bedroom. You guessed it, also emotional. It also meant moving your furniture to the basement and shifting some other things around. Again, thankful Nanny and Papa are here to help me shift things around.
To end the month, a group of volunteers from Chosen for Life, part of Both Hands, were here yesterday to spruce up our yard. They tore out all the junk in the backyard, dug up dead shrubs, cleaned out the building debris, planted many flowers and shrubs in the front and backyard, gave us a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, and put together an amazing play set for the girls. There were over 60 people here giving us a beautiful yard. They even helped move some of the furniture and got rid of some of the junk in the basement. They were here, because you are not.
So, April was full of celebrations in many ways, and all those celebrations were without you. Perhaps, that's what made April so tough. April has ended and now we're headed into your birthday month. We all miss you very much. I still don't see you in my dreams, but I hear other people do. I hope you are visiting Arabelle. She needs to know you're there. She misses you deeply and I think she struggled some this month.
I love you forever. I miss you deeply.