The toughest weekend of the year is in it’s final hours and as I sit here in my pajamas in the mid afternoon staring out at our WillBilly tree, I see the green ribbons from your thirteenth birthday still tied to your branches and am reminded how much your tree has grown in three years. Its another day of intermittent sun, rain, sun, rain and in many ways mirrors the ups and downs that come with the long weekend that will always be defined as the weekend that our world changed. It has been a weekend of attempts at distraction; a dinner out with friends, a movie date – just Dad and I, of quiet times and withdrawal, of bike rides with Finn and Dad, of naps and tea and a hot bath, and of many tears. It has been a weekend of intense memories, of flashbacks, and reflections of how yesterday three years ago, began so happy and ended so tragically. This long weekend is also another reminder of the passage of time and how missing you gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
As I skim the tops of the trees, searching for a break in the overcast sky for a patch of blue and for signs of you, I think about the many ways love has found its way to me over these last couple of days. Friends and family have shown their love and sent their hugs via text messages and emails and voicemails. Love also came in the form of a heartfelt letter attached to a written poem from a woman I am beginning to realize is magical. Yesterday morning, before Dad and I got out of bed, love found its way to our doorstep in the form of a loaf of freshly baked cinnamon bread. There was no note, but I knew where it had come from and I hope that this special friend knows that her simple gesture was so much bigger than that. It was love. Love came in the form of a friend offering the simple distraction of a ride to Bragg Creek in her new car. Love appeared when Justin came for dinner last night and it came in a loving text exchange with Ben as I crawled into bed last night. Love has come in the form of quiet embraces from Dad and from wet nose kisses from our big, brown dog. Part of Finn’s morning routine is to jump up on our bed and wiggle his way in between Dad and I like you used to do. He has so much of you in him, which explains why we frequently refer to him as the FinnWilly (knew you’d like that, Willly). Some of the most important people in my world are away this long weekend and yet I feel their love as if they were sitting here beside me. There is a string of texts from my most special friend that is like an invisible chain of paper hearts from her to me. Of course, it is love.
Not surprisingly, this weekend is full of a heaviness that I can’t shake off and hard as I try I think it’s just easier to succumb to it, to accept that it is just that — a weekend to be sad. Today, I gave myself permission to have a pajama day and to cry. I’m in my pajamas because there isn’t anything more comfortable and I cry because I am missing you so very much. Soon Will, I believe that a rainbow will fill the sky and I’ll know it’s you sending big love my way.
I love you from my toes up to the stars and, of course, like a bus.
Sending lots of love and hugs your way Joni. xoxo
Thank you, Kayley. Means so much to me. Xo
Dearest Bouchard family,
Our love, hugs, and friendship are sent your way as another may long weekend comes and go as we remember the tragic loss of your Will. Your love letters Joni are a beautiful tribute to the incredible love that will never die or disappear for your son.
Hugs to all,
The Giddens Family
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you Giddens Family. Your thoughtful words and your hugs are helpful, especially during this May long weekend. It was really tough. Writing to Will is therapeutic and necessary for me and I am happy to share them with both moms who have lost children and with moms who are lucky they haven’t. My hope through your reading my letters to Will is that you’ll hug your boys a little longer than usual… because you can and because they are precious gifts.