I played pool with your son tonight. That's one of those things I don't do often because it reminds me so much of you. How is it that he holds the cue just as you did, that he puts that same spin on the cue ball, that he has that same swagger as he works his way around the table, when he never once saw you shoot a game?
I was struck by his hands, as I always am. They are definitely yours. I was struck too by his smile and his laugh, as I always am. And for a moment, a brief, fleeting moment, I felt as though you were still here.
He's happy. He knows he's loved. He loves his Momma and is fiercely defensive of me.He knows who you are. And he knows how much you loved him. He misses you and hates he never got the chance to know you better.
So do I.
I look at him now, at the threshold of manhood, still so much a child, and I think of you, of the life you deserved. I wonder, just as I have wondered a million times before, what your life would've been like had you been born to someone else, had she been able to grasp reality and not let her own insanity soil you so much. I see him in front of me, bright smile, laughing eyes and I have my answer.
He has chosen to be Baptized tomorrow. He was worried, for a while, about whether or not you believed, about whether or not you would be allowed to meet us on the other side, whether or not you were a child of God. I assured him you were...not just because of the conversations we had when you were here but because of the sense of peace God gave me as I prayed for you incessantly after your death.
You would be so proud of him...of the man he is becoming. I've explained that you believed he was the only good thing you ever did and he is determined to be the type of man you wished him to be - good, strong, kind and loving.
I miss you most during these times. I think of the sweet little kisses you gave me when he was born, the tender touch of your hand in mine as we watched him play as a baby and I wish you were here to see him now.
I wish he could know you as I do...that infectious laugh that lit up a room, that soft look of love in your eyes as you looked at him. I try so very hard to do right by you. To raise him as you wanted him to be raised. To keep you as part of our lives.
But oh, how I miss you!
It's gotten easier. I no longer cry every day. Yet still I long for your touch, to hear your voice. But I thank God every day for giving me a part of you. And I still thank Him for not allowing him to have your brown eyes. I'm not sure I could handle that.
You told me, oh so often, not to plan for you to be a part of our lives as he grew older. You were so sure you would die young. I told you, oh so often, that I simply couldn't imagine it any other way. I was so certain you would live forever. And here we are, all these years later and you are still part of my very being.
The day we married you kissed me and whispered "not even death."
I take a breath and hear those words, feel your breath warm upon my ear and I know you were right.
There are not words to express how much I miss you, how much I long to have you at my side. But I have also yet to find the words that describe how I still feel your presence, how I know you've never really left my side.
I love you.