May 13, 2018
Here we go again. The hardest month of the year is upon us and as your angel date approaches it is this month that is the biggest reminder of the passage of time. The 22nd day of May will mark seven years since our worst day ever and it still feels like yesterday and forever. How can time dance between these two extremes?
May brings with it a flood of memories; an abundant and beautiful playlist of memories that no one can ever take from me. The onset of May meant soccer at the park, riding your bike and wearing shorts again. After a long winter it was the month where we’d have to shop for new shorts and t-shirts and pull out Ben’s hand-me-downs because of how much you grew since we switched them out for warmer clothes and snow pants. With May also comes Mother’s Day and what used to be one of my favourite days of the year. Now, not so much. There is an emptiness that nothing can fill and the empty chair at the table is so blatantly noticeable on this day. I will always treasure the gifts you and your brothers made at school when you were all small. I have kept them all, along with every handmade card.
I will play all of my moments with you over and over and over a million times throughout my lifetime, Will. There is solace in recalling the many happy moments but on the other side of all that “happy” is the pining and longing I have for all that was lost and all that could have been and will never be… watching you navigate through your teen years (whilst pulling my hair out on occasion, I’m sure) and then transitioning from man cub to man. Missing out on celebrating the milestones you’d have enjoyed along the way and all the beautiful, ordinary moments and days in between is something that will haunt me for all my days. There is an aching sadness in thinking about that. A month that used to hold such promise and a change of seasons now feels so different. My patience is thinner, my heart is heavier and the onset of tears sits so close to the surface of my being that I can feel their sting.
And yet, I try. I try to be positive, to be hopeful and to be grateful for the little blessings that present themselves each day because I know, Will, that this is what you want for me. I spend more time these days practicing self care and wake each day with the intent to be kinder to myself… because I need to. Walking our chocolate lab down by the river is the best medicine on these May days. I try to be in less of a hurry and to be patient while Finn sniffs everything in sight. It’s quite a ritual he practices and with every sniff of every tree or rock or patch of grass, dog experts say that he can recall which one of his furry friends pee’d there and when. It’s crazy to think about, really, but for whatever reason he must just need to know this stuff. Silly dogs.
Today, I noticed many fat robins strutting around the ground with their proud, red breasts looking for bits and pieces to finish building their nests so they can lay their eggs soon. Last week I picked some pussy willows and put them in a little jar beside my kitchen sink. Such happy little fur balls and I thought to myself that if I was a plant I’d surely love a little fur coat to keep me warm on the not so sunny spring days. While I walked I noticed all the signs of renewal that Mother Nature so intentionally orchestrates. I thought about how hardy the trees and bushes are when after a long winter they spread their branches up to the sky in an effort to begin their growing cycle again. I love how after a few warm days buds appear and how soon after that those buds uncurl into new, tiny, green leaves. I don’t know where else you can even replicate that color of green. It really is quite beautiful.
The forest floor is still covered with a blanket of dead leaves from the fall but here and there there are tufts of new green grass trying to poke through. Though I’ve not yet seen any wildflowers I know they’ll be here soon. This cycle of renewal that is spring is a reminder to me that I can find beauty in little things and that if I set out with the intention to find it I can and will. Even when the sting of tears is so close and my heart aches I can find you, Will. You are every tiny miracle I see on my daily walk and as we circle the sun again I know I can count on you to lead the way. I feel your hand in mine and that helps.
I love you, sweet boy. More than a bus full of spring miracles and the color of brand new leaves. More than pussy willows and and a chocolate lab named Finn.