Five years gone.
Five birthdays missed.
I keep having to do the math.
Then, do the math again.
And, then again.
Since I suck at math, I keep convincing myself that I’m simply adding up the years all wrong.
Because, it’s just not possible that they’ve been gone for this long already.
But, they have.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them. That’s something that will never change.
But, I often fear, the longer they’re gone from this world, that others will stop remembering them. This makes my stomach hurt in a way I can’t explain.
Not too long ago, I came across my wedding video. I thought about how fun it would be for Luca to watch his parents celebrate the love that brought him into the world.
So, I popped some popcorn and popped in the video.
And, there they were.
Susie, in her bright blue dress.
Vivi, our flower-girl, in her poofed-out princess ensemble.
The boys, in their crisp, white guayaberas.
All of them were so alive.
Before I pressed play, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that they were such a huge part of our day, so when I saw them it took my breath away.
I would give anything to rewind these last five years the way I did that video.
When you left us, Susie, my biggest fear was that, one day, I’d forget the sound of your soft, kind voice.
Thankfully, that hasn’t happened.
I remember the sound of all of you.
I guess some things are etched so deeply in the heart that they’re impossible to forget.
Sadly, with Leo being so sick, I had to miss your birthday lunch for the first time.
But, there was no way in hell I was about to let this day pass without celebrating you.
While the boys were busy feeding their dinner to the dogs, I quietly crept out the back door holding fifteen bright orange balloons.
You loved orange.
I held onto them for quite a while, scared to let go…scared to feel…scared for another year to begin.
But, finally, they slipped from my hands and floated away. I stood watching them until the disappeared.
Keep an eye out, sweet Susie, they’re making their way to you now.
Happy Birthday, dude.
You are loved by so many.
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