Friday, October 21, 2011

Six Years

Dear Mom and Dad,

Today marks 6 years since you have been gone.  There are times when it feels like the past six years have flown by in the blink of an eye and there are times when it feels like an eternity has passed.  I just can’t believe 6 years have come and gone without you here.

There are days that I wake up and it still seems unreal to me that you aren’t here.  I know you see me reach for the phone to call you when something exciting happens or when something sad happens.  And I know that you see the disappointment in my eyes when I realize I can’t call you to share the news.  Those moments are becoming less frequent, but each time they happen it takes my breath away.

This year has been full of so many highs and lows.  I would have given anything to have you by my side through it all.  There were so many moments where I needed a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen to me or just a nod of reassurance.  I know you hear me and I know you are still guiding me in the right direction, but it isn’t the same as having you here in person.

Your second grandson made his appearance this year, but you already knew that.  I know you spent time with him before you sent him to Larry and I.  Jaxon is a joy – one of the happiest babies you will ever meet.  When he smiles, his whole face lights up and the crinkle in his nose melts my heart every time I see it.  He made quite an entrance into the world.  He scared us for the first few hours of his life – I was a ball of nerves, praying to God and the both of you, to make sure my baby was okay.  In the moments of uncertainty, I had a sense of calmness about me – I know that was the two of you.  I know you held him in your arms the whole time he was in the NICU.  I know you sat by his bed every moment he was away from me, guarding and protecting him.  You watched him get stronger and gave me the strength that I needed. 

Alex is growing like a weed.  He is changing everyday and becoming such a good kid.  He has a tender heart and such an eagerness to learn.  He is athletic and smart and Larry and I are so blessed.  Of course, he isn’t perfect.  We have our trying moments as well.  It is in those moments, that I laugh and think of the smile you are getting on your faces watching me deal with him!  There are so many qualities of the two of you I see in him.  His “attention to detail” that he gets from you, Dad!  And his compassion and empathy that he gets from you, Mom!  He knows all about the two of you.  He knows how you lived, how you loved, who you were and how much you love him.  We talk about you all the time and remind him that even though you aren’t here on Earth, you are in Heaven watching him.  Please keep guiding him and protecting him, Lord knows he needs it!

We lost Larry, Jr. this year.  I know he is with you two and he is watching over us as well, but it was so unexpected and it completely rocked our world.  I wonder if the two of you were just as shocked to see him walk into Heaven, as we were to lose him?  I know that there are reasons for everything, but I still am not sure why God keeps taking the people we love.  My heart breaks for Larry because this road is all too familiar and it is such an unpleasant road to travel.  He is hurting and the hurt goes much deeper than anyone can see.  I wish that I could take his pain away, but I know that isn’t possible.  I pray that you were with Larry Jr. in his final moments and that you were there to welcome him into heaven. I pray that you were with my Larry in those moments of fear when he first learned that Larry Jr. had died and I pray that you both are with him everyday when he hurts and needs you. 

Mom, there are so many times in the last six years that I have needed you.  I have had questions that have gone unanswered and experiences that I wanted you to share with me.   No one will ever understand how difficult it is to become a good wife and mother without having your own mother to guide you.  I know I have many faults, but I hope that you are proud of me and the woman I have become.

Dad, you have no idea how much I miss you each and every time Alex has an “OCD” moment.  I know it is you that is laughing while he has to have his animals “just right” before going to bed.  You would love these boys more than you ever thought possible.  They have a way of wrapping you around their finger with just a smile and a giggle.  I never understood just how much you loved me until I gave birth to Alex (and Jax) – it is an incredible, unexplainable love.  Thank you for loving me in that special way and for teaching me how to love my boys in the same way.

There are moments when my heart physically aches for the fact that you never got to hold your grandsons.  You never got to kiss their chubby cheeks and tickle their tiny feet.  I cry knowing that they will grow up never having been read a story by either of you or will never feel your warm embrace.  Those are the moments when this all seems so unfair.  Those are the moments when I cry to God and ask Him “why”.  And those are the moments I trust in Him that there was a reason for this and a plan that only He can comprehend.

Mom and Dad, I know it is you holding my hand and comforting me when I am crying so hard that it hurts to breathe.  When I am alone and hiding from the world, you are there, aren’t you?  I always hear how strong I am and how much people admire me, but the reality is I am weak and I hurt more than anyone knows.  I am strong because I don’t have a choice, breaking down every minute of every day just isn’t an option.  My world changed forever on October 22, 2005.  Nothing is how it was “supposed” to be.  Prior to that date, I could never have imagined my life without you - now living without you is my reality. 

I know you watch me from Heaven.  You give me strength on my weak days, you give me fight when I am being bullied and you have shaped me into the person that I am.  Thank you for continuing to guide me and protect me.  It is with your strength and guidance that I am able to live without you.

I love you both more than you will ever know.  I love you for who you were and who you continue to be.