We picked it out in the store, the girls and I. It was a funny Father’s day card about doing work around the house. Very appropriate given all of the projects my husband takes on at my request.
We were running around after kids, trying to get dinner into their bellies and their sunscreened bodies into the shower. We knew tomorrow would be hectic so we celebrated our Father’s day today. The kids gave their dad the presents that they made. We gave him the card from the kids that we had hurriedly signed in the back of the car.
We rushed through tubs and bed and got everyone tucked in. I scrambled to get everything packed so that we could head out early in the morning to see my dad for Father’s day.
I brushed my teeth and got into bed when my husband thanked me for the gifts. That’s when it dawned on me that there were only 3 names on his card. How on Earth could I have screwed up so bad?
He smiled and said it was ok. But it wasn’t. Not to me. Tomorrow I will add Benny’s name to that card. And then take a deep breath. I am not okay with this.
Wow. I cannot believe you would have been 6! A whole hand and 1 finger! You would have been nearing the end of Kindergarten. That just blows me away. You were so young when we lost you.
Of course I’m nearly a month late in writing to you. This year has been HARD. But you probably already know that. I’m just sitting here for the first time digesting the whole idea of a 6 year old you. I’m at a loss.
It used to be so easy to picture you older. I used to be able to paint the picture in my mind of who you would be and what you would look like. But you have so many siblings now. You are all so different and so similar. And seem to change from day to day.
Perry seems most like you. Super laid back and ready for the next adventure. She needs constant stimulation, good thing she has Fletch and Darcy to keep her entertained. I’m scared she will be like you as a toddler. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And maybe a bit excited, you sure kept things interesting!
I love watching Darcy and Per as sister’s, but it makes me miss you that much more. I imagine you and Fletch would make me a bit crazy together. We were at a friend’s house recently where he was playing with another boy and oh the laughter! The crazy boy energy and rough and tumble time we spent made me long for you that much more. Fletch doesn’t even know what he’s missing, but it kills me.
We drive by the cemetery regularly now and Fletch always says hi to you and blows you a kiss. His heart is so big and if he can’t grow up knowing you, at least he will grow up with the idea of you.
The more time that passes, the further you get from me. The more my time with you felt like a dream. Or another life. I suppose it was. So much has changed. I’ve changed.
We did our yearly celebration for you. Darcy wrote a story all about you and read it to all of her friends. I was so proud of her. She’s struggling still, but we’re working on it. Day by day.
All of the kids painted kindness rocks to leave around for someone else to find some day.
You’re still spreading smiles even though you’re not here.
Happy 6th Birthday buddy. Miss you like crazy.
I hate that feeling that something bad is going to happen. Because the unthinkable has already happened to us, it shouldn’t again, right? Or is it because it has happened to us that I know how quickly things can fall apart?
A sniffle, a bump, a fall. I panic. Instantly. I Google everything to make sure I watch for symptoms of what ‘could happen.’ There’s always this little niggling voice in my head saying something can go wrong. They can get sick. They can get hurt. They are not invincible. Your children can die.
Maybe it’s because the baby is so young still, I now worry the most about her. Maybe it will get better once she crosses the 18 month mark. There are three of them to worry about and it’s exhausting sometimes.
I can’t sit here and say, ‘oh, that will never happen to us,’ I no longer have that naivety. I miss it. The pure ignorant bliss of thinking my children will always be ok.
I wish I didn’t over think the way I tend to. I wish that my family didn’t have to know tragedy. I wish that Benny was still alive.