It's been one month since I've talked to you. It's been one month since I've heard your voice, and smelled your cologne, and watched you toss Lila up toward the ceiling. One month since you put little Harper to bed. One month since I saw your smiling face, full of life and color. One month closer to healing or just one month further from you? One month since my phone lit up with a ridiculous text from you. I still read through them sometimes. I'm not sure if it makes me feel better or worse to do that...
It's been one month since life felt normal and comfortable. One month since the days felt like MY days and not like myself watching someone else's life from the outside. I am the only parent now. Whose life is that?
When you lose someone, time becomes a strange concept. It literally feels like yesterday we were in that emergency room. Yet, it feels like you've been gone for so much longer. Your absence is more than just painful. It's a gaping black hole sucking me in, and it's sitting next to me on the couch. And it's curled up next to me in that big bed. It stays with me all day long as I continue to glance at my phone for a text from you. It parks next to me in the driveway. And at night it makes its way into my dreams when you pop up to tell me you're alive, only for that cold bitch reality to come crashing back down on top of me when I wake up.
I am making every effort, futilely thus far, to banish the black hole. Not because I don't want to miss you and not because I don't want to spend my days thinking of you. Because I always will. But because I can't let Lila and Harper lose both parents. I can't let myself fall into the black hole that follows me around all day. Because nobody knows what's in that hole, where it would take me, when or how I would get out of it. It's a conscious effort I have to make to not be sucked in. I have to actively pull myself out of it and away from it. I have to use muscles I haven't even exercised, strength I haven't earned, and endurance I'm not sure I have for this task. So, I try to make efforts to be normal; to at least act normal. Pretend to be normal, while I attempt to do the hardest thing I've ever done in life. For them.
This got me thinking about what YOU would be doing if the situation were reversed. What if I had died? What if I had suddenly disappeared from our life, without any warning at all? What if you were left alone to be Mommy AND Daddy? What if suddenly you became twice as important because the we were cut in half? What would you be doing right this moment? Would you be blogging? That's a joke. Of course not. But would you be ok? Would you still take them to that same park? Would you still live in our house? Would you still take Lila to gymnastics each week?
Would you be faking it like I am? Would you give up?
I'm guessing you would be a little like me. You would try to be strong for the girls at whatever cost. Because you were that kind of man. Life kicked you in the teeth more than once and you never gave up. I promised you I wouldn't, even though I know you couldn't hear me. And I keep my promises.
One month down, a lifetime to go...