Milestone posts always make me cry. Most of the ones I write here celebrate birthdays or first days of school or seriously, how can I possibly have a kindergartner? My tears come, but they’re tempered by sweetness that overtakes the bitterness in the bittersweet moments punctuating childhood.
This feels different. Harder.
Grief warps time. At least, mine does. If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that everyone’s grief looks different, feels different, turns us inside out in different ways.
One year feels at once impossibly long and much too short. I remember your whiskers on my cheek when you’d kiss me goodbye, and I don’t know how it’s been a year since I felt that.
Your death helps me to find patience I didn’t think I had. I can listen to the kids longer, pay attention to stories that linger. But I’m also more impatient, because I worry more about how fleeting things may be. I want to cram experiences into too-small spaces because I worry opportunities are slipping through my fingers with me realizing it.
I didn’t know when I hugged you goodbye it would be the last time until the real last time.
I think of you every day. Some moments when you cross my mind, I have an instant where I forget you’re gone. My breath hitches a moment later, the tightness in my chest a reminder that I can’t text you or call you.
You won’t stop by with TimBits for the kids (and Ryan) and a few minutes of conversation.
Mom brought TimBits today, and I don’t know if I’ll ever see that little box and not think of you. She brought a potted purple flower, a hyacinth we took to you, and it looked beautiful against the marble stone. Geese flew overhead, and I’m glad it’s peaceful there.
Every year around Easter, you’d buy a hyacinth, the fragrant blossoms demanding spring, no matter what temperatures Michigan decided to spin that year. Once they grew in Grandma Rose’s front yard, and the plants became a tangible link to renewal and beauty.
I don’t have a hyacinth this year.
I found this candle, and I bought it without knowing it would make me cry to burn it, without knowing I’d burn it anyway and think of you.
I miss you. I love you.