Every day, at times I have a running conversation with you in my head. There are things that I would like to have your opinion about. I miss the reinforcement you provided for me.
People keep telling me that the way I feel will soften. You were the linguistics person and I have tried to figure out what they mean exactly. The only world that comes to mind is resignation. We resign ourselves to the reality.
I can’t think about it for too long, or I begin to panic. I have a number of people who provide great support for me. Your dad, sister and I depend on each other. Your sister has joined a support group. Your dad has men he spends time with working on the VW, and of course the Wednesday night car gang. Work is a blessing and a curse for him. It keeps him busy, but then there are those patients who come back to town, not knowing of your death. They ask about you.
Your dad talked and still talks about you all the time at work. He talks about me and your sister too. I don’t think any of us can consistently provide our love in the format that is most pleasing to the object of our love. It does not negate the depth of the love. He misses the idea of the future he thought he would have with you. His pain at times is harder for me to take than my own. Of all things that I can put down every now and then, his pain is one of them. I try not to carry it around because there is nothing I can do about it. I do remind him that you love him. I have and always will as long I remain here.
You would be so proud of your sister. She is an amazing woman. I know she can melt down and suddenly switch to “high-maintenance” mode, but she keeps growing in the most powerful ways. I love the sense of self that she has. There is a growing confidence that is developing and has the potential to carry her along. She in ways, reminds me of you. It is something at her core.
I know you never thought of yourself as “high maintenance.” You were at times. Especially with me. I think you liked to push me to see when I would crack. I am not sure what your motives were. Perhaps it was just to test your “powers” over me.
How many times can I confess? With you and your sister I am helpless in my love for you. I can’t say no to your dad, and I could seldom say no to you as adults. You all are my beloved.
So it is Valentine’s Day, whatever that means. I know people who have a drawer with the cards their kids have sent them over the years. I don’t have such a drawer. You were not a person to remember these kind of holidays, and that suits me just fine. Your dad sent flowers a week late last year. I fell down the stairs the day he sent them. That is the day the florist took me to the ER and you came home – planning to hike and climb. Instead you took care of me. You and your dad did a great job.
My shoulder still hurts sometimes. I have funny pains in my hand at times and I have to be careful how I sleep. I hold the banister when I go downstairs. I don’t mind the pain because in the strangest of ways it is connected to you. Maybe that is the softening they speak of when others say it will change. We, being so aggrieved embrace the pain because it is connected to the one we so love and miss. We wear off the hair on the monster of grief until it becomes a teddy bear.
I see you in dreams. You are a part of things as you always have been. You are and always will be a part of me. I just have to learn how to navigate differently, to hold the emotional banister.
Happy Valentines day baby.
I love you.