It has been one year since you left me.
There has been so much that has happened since that day; since the day you died; the day that I hate to think of. There are days when it feels like ages has past since you were here with us, and moments when I think I can still hear you clambering around the house. I think of you everyday. Each waking minute brings the possibility of a thought that has the unwelcome power to throw me back into my old life with you. I struggle each time one of those moments arise with the question of whether or not I should melt into a pile of grief and let the tears overcome me, or push it aside with courage to continue on.
You cross my mind in daily tasks. I let your determination encourage me when I'm faced with things I would rather not take on. I imagine the things you would say to me to get me to try harder. I feel you smiling down on me when I finish a project that I know you would have loved to take on with me. I'm proud of myself every time I take care of my house in the same way you would have, knowing that you are so relieved to see I actually did learn a thing or two from you.
My heart flutters each time I hear Evelyn say, "I miss daddy", and she does so often. I lose my breath whenever Isaac turns his head quickly to look at me, and I see your eyes shining out from his. I soften when I call for Maggie in that low slow tone you would, and she jumps towards me, as if for just a moment she thinks it was actually you calling her to play.
I can't put into any amount of words what I would tell you if I had the chance at one more conversation. I long so much for reassurance from you. Reassurance that I made all the right decisions over this last year. The thousands of decisions ... in regards to our home, to the kids, to the new home, and to all your material things. I would want to hear from you that you are happy I found Brad, and that you give us your blessing in mending our broken family together. I would want to hear you loved me, that you always loved me, and that you had always felt loved by me as well. I would want to know that on the night you died you were not afraid, but instead at peace knowing I was with you. I would ask you what it was you most wanted the kids to know about you, and what you wanted them to know least. I would tell you that Isaac misses you; even if him missing you seems unlikely, I would tell you he does. I would make sure the pictures and notes that Evie leaves you under her pillow, for the angel to take, are all making it into your hands.
I've changed so much in the last year, Matt. Changed how I see life, how I see death, how I see God. I've started putting aside fears so long held in my heart that I had begun to believe they were who I were. I've learned to hold death differently, life differently, and fears differently. I've stopped letting my past get in the way. I've started to step out in faith, and dance around the mystery of unknowing.
To say you are missed doesn't start to explain. To say you were loved, still are loved, doesn't begin to scratch the surface. You made an impact on this Earth, and I feel so blessed that - even if it was for far too short a moment - I was able to call you my husband.
Always and Forever,