Pre and post her death. Thats how time is for me now. So this is the first Thanksgiving…
It knocked me over. I think I wasn’t prepared at all for it. The night before I just cried and cried. Tony came home from golfing to a heartbroken wife. Its such a hard balance for our marriage. He had a good time but walked in the door to such a dark and pain filled home. He opened his arms to me though and did his very best to try and absorb my sorrow.
I was hurting so bad I honestly in that moment wished that was possible. That he could take on some of it and give me some relief. Its impossible though.. but it did help .. to have somebody there to hold me up.. to bear witness to my destruction and be there to help me re-build.
Thanksgiving was a lot of the same.. I cried on the way to the gym and then right away again when I got in the car. I had this internal pull to go see her. It was the first time I have gone there without the kids. I think it was good. A moment with her and I to come completely undone. ..
Until a lady came to see somebody while talking very loudly on the phone. I learned her plans for the rest of the day and how much money she planned on spending. It was good though because it made me laugh. .. Like a goofy shared moment with my daughter.
As she loved to say “awkward” I love hearing her silly little voice.
I miss that so much. Having a daughter old enough I can talk with and joke with. The relationship between mother and daughter is just unique. . I miss it. The friendship and the shared interests. Having somebody to help me figure out what shoes to wear. I miss our talks.. When we would get ready together we always talked or going on a walk together holding hands. I always wear Unravel shirts now.. I have no choices anymore as to what I am wearing .. But I miss it. Because I miss her.
We had a good Thanksgiving. Tony had wanted to stay here and I wanted to just get out of town again. He felt stronger about it then me so he got to decide.
It worked out ok though.. I missed her.. I thought of her. All of her cousins had made a sign with my Mom of their best Jennifer memories. My favorite part of the night was going down the list trying to figure out who said what with a bunch of the family. Baby Charlotte is the youngest and she is #21 for my parents! So a lot to try to figure out.
There was once a time when I couldn’t wait for the holidays .. Not any more. This weekend we figured we should just jump in with both feet. So once we survived Thanksgiving we thought we shoidl just decorate for Christmas.
We are either genius or crazy.. Or maybe a mixture of both.
We asked the boys if that sounded good to them and they were completely on board. But Jonathan struggled in the morning . He just had so many emotions he was overflowing. I took the his younger siblings out for a drive so he and daddy could have some one on one time together and get down all the boxes. I came home to a different little boy. I found out later they had a good father/son talk.. about how they both were feeling and how decorating for Christmas might be for mommy.
I cried. A lot. I went outside and I screamed. And I laughed some too. Jonathan was calm and seemed to be absorbing it all. Nicholas was over the moon excited.. jumping and singing and bursting with happiness it was infectious. Charlotte was excited to be part of it all. She piled up all the red ornaments she could in one little section. .. very proudly.
Nicholas looked at my tears and a ornament of Jennifer’s in my hand and said “You sad Mommy because you miss sissy?”. Then he smiled big at me and said “You happy Mommy because of me?”.
So simple. Such truth from the mouth of my 3 yr old.
We talked about how much I love all of my kids. That I love all 4 of them with all of my heart so having one not there makes me so sad.. but having them there makes me so happy. Its a difficult concept for adults the idea of being happy and sad at the same time. But for kids I realized it a second nature and the way they live everyday.
I put up the stockings last and by myself. .. I sobbed into her stocking and I begged for it not to be true. ..
Then I hung it up. And went back to being their mom.
Thank you Jennifer.
for all the memories you gave me to cherish.
And now giving me a reason to reach for the stars.
…until there is a cure..