Today you would have turned 69. I still have a hard time believing this is your second birthday without you here with us. I think I miss you more with each passing day. We are all doing okay, but we all miss you, we all grieve still, I think. Most days it's just sort of a dull ache. Every once in a while something blindsides me, like seeing pictures of your high school class reunion from last September on Facebook and knowing it was the first one you'd missed. I still smell your perfume when we visit Dad, it's still sitting on you dresser.
People say that anger is often a part of grief, but the only anger I feel is when I see people smoking. This crazy rage fills me and I want to throttle them. I wish you could have stopped long ago.
I hope you have a view from heaven, but if you don't, you'd be amazed at how grown-up the kids have gotten. Isaac is doing so well in school, aside from the normal misbehavior, that is! Lydia is older than her years. Terry and I joke that she was born in the wrong order- she should have been first born! She keeps those boys in line at the grocery store, let me tell you. Simon is a pistol, no two ways around it. We keep hoping he'll grow out of it, but there is no denying that boy is hard-headed and stubborn. I guess he comes by it naturally, huh? Grandma would have called him spirited, I suppose. He's just stuck somewhere between baby and boy, and doesn't seem sure which one he wants yet. The older two still talk about you from time to time. They miss you, and I keep an album out with pictures of you in it so that they remember your face.
I keep expecting a stray cat to show up, like the one that showed up the first birthday I had after you passed. Everytime I see a stray cat I want to help it, mostly because I know you'd be happy with me. We have so many pictures of you with cats and kittens we don't remember. It seems like you found a new litter each year.
I've asked Dad for all these little odds and ends of yours that I keep around me. Somehow they make me feel close to you. Your manicure set, (I finally quit chewing my nails, Mom!), some nail polish, etc. It seems odd, but it comforts me to see little reminders of you in my day-to-day life.
I keep waiting for the saddness to pass, but it hasn't yet. Every once in a while I open that door and let it sweep over me. But I can't stay in that place, so I don't go there very often.
I guess the bottom line is, Mom, that I miss you. I wish you had stayed here just a little while longer. To see the kids grow up a little bit more, to be my mom longer.
Happy Birthday, I still love you.