It's been 200 days that I've been living without you. Tomorrow 201 and it's Johnathan's 7th birthday...first birthday without you. I opened my calendar and saw the date. I remember writing down 100 days. 200 days..."keep going", our anniversary (I made a plan), your birthday (I made a plan), then one year. I remember writing 200 days and pausing, it looked so far away and I didn't think I would make it that far, there was no way I could breathe without you that long; and here it is. I can't believe I've lived without you for 200 days, it seems unreal, it seems like it couldn't possibly be that long already. We never spent more than two weeks apart. That was the longest we spent apart....two weeks and we talked everyday. When I wrote 200 days down on today's date I was afraid that I would have forgotten your voice in my head, that I wouldn't be able to remember your touch, but I haven't....I can remember every detail of your being, your smell still lingers and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to your haunting scent. A few weeks ago I took off my wedding band, I needed something closer to me but not a constant reminder of what was. I looped it on a silver chain with your wedding band and it felt much closer to you, I cling on to it constantly to remind myself that your near. It felt so empty on my ring finger so I placed the Tiffany ring you got me last year for Valentine's Day there...it's light and not so painful to see down on my finger every moment.
When I talk about you I sometimes get so mixed up.....I'm starting to talk about you in the past tense and I hate it. "That was Josh's favorite" or "he would have loved this"...."Josh wore that all the time". Other days I speak of you in the present like you'll be home any minute.
I didn't think I would survive this weekend and now this week. I keep thinking of all the things you would have planned for Johnathan's birthday. You usually made him whatever he wanted for breakfast and dinner. Probably would have taken him swimming....maybe we would have taken him to his favorite restaurant...Red Lobster! you both loved to the calamari. You probably would have wanted to wake him up and wished him a Happy Birthday first. You would have gotten him anything he wanted. This year he couldn't think of a single toy he wanted for his birthday....I know that his secret wish was to have you back; it's mine too. You would have told him how proud of him you are. I don't even have the energy to be angry anymore, just deep sorrow that fills me knowing that we can't hug you and tell you how much we need you, how much I need you.
Today feels like we just lost you yesterday. I get a burst of energy and then suddenly it feels like I can't breathe, I can feel my heart racing, I get dizzy, nauseated, and can't remember simple details. Those moments feel blurry and surreal.
200 days feels more overwhelming than 100 days....165 more days and it's one year.....one year. I don't want to imagine what that will feel like, but I can't help obsessing over it. This weekend I walked through your side of the closet and the real thought of going through your clothes finally came over me. I took a deep breath and looked through each shirt, pair of pants, jackets, jeans....I came up with a quick plan and discussed it with Johnathan. He was pretty resistant and looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "ok...we can make labels for everyone and give everyone a choice of what they want....but I go first". I agreed and said ok....we can pick what we want first and then let our family chose some pieces. We held each other in the closet and looked around quietly, not sure if we are ready...but knowing that we can't continue living like you're going to come home any time soon. I can't keep pretending that maybe some miracle will bring you walking back through the front door. The more time passes the more I'll get stuck in this place and it's not what our children deserve....they deserve perseverance.
For Johnathan's birthday I'll get him a memory chest to keep all the items he doesn't want to alter...a box to keep all your memories. He had a great idea for Isabella....."get her a glass frame mom and put a jersey in it....with some of daddy's pictures with Bella....we can hang it in her room". So thoughtful and it really is a great idea. Every now and then she still turns to your photo in the living room and says "daddy"...she'll stare intently for a long time, studying every detail of you....you look familiar to her, she knows you're called daddy, but it's almost like she's letting go of hope that she'll see you again soon, too. It breaks my heart that she'll only hear great stories of her dad and who he was...and not see hime for who he is. We tell her stories of you all the time, show her pictures, play your videos to hear your voice...she seems so eager to hear more and see more.
I still can't believe I will be living the rest of my life without you here...I don't think I will ever stop looking for you around every corner. Every morning I wake up hoping to see you waiting up for me....Every afternoon I still wait for you to come home....Every night I still look for you before I go to sleep....that will never go away. Your presence is still so evident, thank you for that. Thank you for giving me memories to last a life time. I love you, I miss you, I want you home.
For us, this song. Last week I dreamt of you so much, we had so many in depth conversations...the dreams were so vivid. I was almost scared and talked to a friend who said to "believe" that you really are visiting me in my sleep and that truth is obviously true by what we talk about...I started to keep a journal of all these dreams that I can never forget our words now.