My dearest Tim,
Here it is, May 16th. How is it even possible that its been two years since I heard your voice? I wrote about this last year in my post Reliving the trauma – a year without your voice, and so tonight I pulled up old videos, to do just that: to hear your voice. It’s so good to hear it. But hearing it reminds me how MUCH I miss it. How much am I allowed to sit in that pain? How much do I need to let go? I tell anyone who asks me to let themselves simply feel what they are feeling. Don’t rush, don’t try to force yourself to feel differently. But that is advice that its so much harder to give myself.
I miss your voice, I miss your FACE, I miss your LAUGH. I miss your big, lanky SELF. I miss the way you (impossibly) tried to make yourself small. If you had told me this was coming, and asked me what I would miss, all of that is obvious. All of that I could have predicted. What I would not have known is how much I even miss the things about you that got on my nerves. There are times now when I find myself seriously missing and longing for the things that drove me crazy in life. That would surprise you even more than it surprises me!
How is it possible that I’ve had two trips around the sun since I last heard your voice? Since we last talked and joked with each other, and the nurses? Since they told me they would need to intubate soon? Since you told me you were just so tired, and just wanted to sleep? I do not know how it is possible, but here we are.
I spent some time thinking of this letter and the things I would want to tell you if I had just a few minutes to tell you things… the very very top is this: Oh if you could see them, Tim! The other day I said out loud to someone “my oldest was in Kindergarten when my husband died” and I saw the effect that had on them.. this person who knew I had three children… my OLDEST was in KINDERGARTEN. I saw it, but it wasn’t something I had thought about before. I thought about it tonight when I looked at videos with you and the kids. How YOUNG they were in the videos with you. How evident your love for them is in each one. Goodness, Tim, how they’ve grown! A has improved her speech, and is playing lacrosse and loving it! She can be a total jerk to her siblings, and as a fellow oldest child, you would have more sympathy and understanding for that than I do. She is thoughtful, her attention to detail and memory is incredible. She absolutely LOVES when we have visitors, she gets SO excited when we have guests. She loves to have anyone and everyone come, and yet she is the one who thrives most on one-on-one attention. She is the MOST looking forward to your baseball game next month! R is in kindergarten now! And the end of the year is approaching. Two years ago, just before you got sick, A brought home a packet of Patriotic songs, for her June 13th patriotic performance. All through the time you were in the hospital folks at the house sent me video of her practicing her songs. Then the performance was two days after you died. I went faithfully, but when they got to “My Country tis of thee” and Annabelle faltered on the line “land where my father died”… I LOST it. Now, R is preparing for that same concert. We shall see how it goes. R is a goofball. She is not serious like A. She has a great sense of humor, just like her Dad. Also like you, things tend to come easily to her, especially writing and math. She FEELS BIG like you as well… which can be so beautiful, and can be so challenging! D just potty-trained! And he rocked it! He also has a great sense of humor! He’s less good about sleep. But, I think he’s a genius. I love to watch him play on his own and use his imagination. You two would have so much fun playing together! He absolutely LOVED the hockey game, and the basketball game this winter. I think he will be addicted to sports like you. And I think he’s going to be a leftie! But even better, he has a kind soul.
I’d want to tell you about the disappointing things going on in our country and in the world… I’d want to hear your outrage – not because I want you to be upset, but because it always inspired me, and because I’d know there was one more white male in this country who GOT IT. I’d want to tell you what has happened with me, with my work, ask your advice, report on friends, with other family.. well, I’d want to tell you everything. But you probably wouldn’t let me get to it if we were short on time. All you’d want to hear would be our children. I wish you could see them now! I like to believe you can. I wish we could see you! I guess I do. I see so much of you in them every day. No matter what, you live on in us.
All my love, always,