I've thought about continuing your blog. So many things to write about over the last 15 months and continue your legacy of documenting stories for our family.
I get to choose the adventure, so why not just jump into last weekend?
Ma took Mary, Half-Pint, Carrie, Gracie, and Mr Blue Eyes to our hometown last Tuesday. I missed them all before they even left. When Ma reported that just before I called Wednesday night that Carrie had just said, "I like it here, but I miss dad," I knew that I wanted to make the long drive to see them over the weekend rather than wait another full week.
I kept my visit a surprise, and we all enjoyed the surprise and our time together. From taking Mary on a "date" to the farm store to swimming to dinner from one of our favorite restaurants. There were plenty of hugs and kisses as we loved on one another.
Half-Pint had made a trip to our other former hometown to see friends, and I surprised her Saturday by showing up at the halfway point to pick her up.
I was able to talk to one of your friends about some of the events over the last year. She commented that the kids all seem to be full of Joy and that I don't seem to be harboring bitterness. I don't think I ever felt or thought "why me". I kept repeating a phrase to myself that a mentor had used years before about work. "Better get into reality." It didn't really matter how much I wanted things to be different. I have to get into reality.
I do remember thinking at one point that it should have been me instead of you. But I quickly realized I would not have wished this pain on you.
My problem has been thinking too much about where I failed. But I can choose to dwell or learn. I think I'm better at choosing to learn. That is the only productive thing I can do with it. Or wondering how you could love me the way you did. Sadly, your unconditional love didn't seem quite as clear to me until after you were gone.
Recently, I have been feeling like I'm hitting a good new groove (after extensive "emotional heavy lifting" as I call it) and was excited to go see the kids. But on my way to our home state, the emptiness and emotional waves began to strike.
A widower I met told me that year two is worse than year one. I am not sure about worse - just different. I experienced some very powerful - sometimes incapacitating - emotional waves in year one. Year one seemed to be about survival and having to do this. Year two seems to be more of, "OK, now who are we" without you here. I don't know where I would be without the kids. I told someone this and they remarked, "Where would the kids be without you." Wow.
We all learned what unconditional love is from you and will do our best to continue your legacy. I pray that our children will choose to live as intentionally as you did after the loss of your father at a young age.