Monday, October 10, 2022

Sweet 16

 Dear John,

I didn't realize how hard today would be for me.  I've been crying off and on all day.  I didn't know how much S's birthday would make me face how much I've lost.  You were the only one who was there to see her right after she was forcibly retrieved - she refused to come out after 24 hours of labor.  You were the first to hold her.  You changed her and fed her and comforted her.  You saw all her silliness and sunny personality (before she became a non-stop complainer.)  You cleaned her up every time she threw up on me, so I could clean myself up.  You took her to school and were there when she came home.  You had epic wrestling matches and ambushed me when I got home from work.  You fought over phones and chores.  You went on late night missions (to take the trash out or search for wildlife).  And now you're gone, and I have no one to remember with.

I have tried not to dump this all on S - I wanted her to have a really great birthday.  It's her 16th, and that's such a milestone.  My sister J (the older one) and T and E came over to spend the day yesterday.  We went to the Botanical Gardens and walked around for the afternoon - and then we went to The Hill for dinner.  I guess I didn't realize, but S doesn't actually like Italian food much.  Today, we had a few presents to open, and in the afternoon, she went to play volleyball with friends.  She didn't take a key, and didn't tell me until late that I didn't need to wait for her.  So she was stuck sitting on the driveway while I finished shopping.  I made twice-baked potato and filet mignon for dinner, with a salad.  I hope she has had a good birthday. 

We were talking about cars, naturally, since she's excited to get her license.  She asked if we got the first Maxima because of her.  I got very upset, because we sort of did, but also because we got it just after our first two miscarriages.  I told her that I'd tell her about it one day, but not today because I'm pretty emotional.  She was all "Ooookay..."  Then we talked about the cars you had when I knew you and she made fun of your Titan.  Apparently, she's not a fan of Nissan trucks.  I told her about that Mustang you bought for your brother, who never came up with the money, so you sold it after a couple months.  She said "Uncle M is kind of a flake, isn't he?"  Yes.  Yes, he is.

Speaking of which, your sisters all sent texts wishing her a happy birthday.  Her older cousins did too, and one apparently is sending a gift.  Your mom just sent some pictures and birthday wishes at 8:45 this evening.  Love that very vague "Let's get together soon."

We're going to go Friday after school to try and get her driver's license.  She wants to go to one particular place, since she thinks the driving test will be easier there.  I'll have to pick her up from school, so she can get through the line...or else we're getting up early on Saturday morning.  Then she's got a hair cut, and then we're having another birthday party in the park.  It's a little bigger this year, but no boys were invited.  I can't make up for you not being here, but I hope I can provide some happiness for her.  

I can't tell how much she misses you.  She never says, which I think is because she doesn't want to upset me. But I know it's a lot, because she's started trying to wrestle with me the way you two used to do.  

This is really hard.  Because there's no way to fix it.




  1. There really is no way to fix this. Hope that she was able to get a happy 16th birthday. It is truly a milestone.

    I grieve for all the shared moments and history, which are now only yours to keep, and reminisce.

    1. I think that's the worst part - so much of my adult life was shared only with him, and there's no one to say "Remember that time when..." to.

  2. This is so hard, A. And I am so sorry for you, since so many might and most certainly will think “it’ll get better in time” and in some way it will, but at the same time IT WON’T. And it’s unfair and you have to go on, because you have to, and no one asked if you want to, nor S, and somehow you just have to. And I cried for you today, and I know it won’t help you, when did crying ever helped, but I’m thinking of you often, my friend, and hope that you are ok. Hugs.

  3. Holding you in my heart. Sometimes the happiest days are the hardest. And sending really good thoughts for the driver's test tomorrow.

  4. Grief is so tricky between two survivors who have different relationships with the lost loved one. On one hand, it's important to have permission to feel the feels, but on the other, you don't want to worry the other one with the depth of those feels. I think it takes a lot of trust. Which is hard when a rug has been pulled out from under.

    I'm just holding space for you and S. (And I'm late doing so....apologies.)