Last night was our annual Bowling for Backpacks fundraising event at work, which like all of our other special events, I am in charge of organizing. I've been working on this event since March. It was supposed to be the last big thing I had to do before going on maternity leave. I'd always say things like, "I hope the baby is born at like 37 weeks, because she's gonna be huge like her dad," and everyone in the office would say, "just as long as she waits until after Bowling for Backpacks!" As I was planning the event, I'd try and imagine how big I would be by the end of July. I thought about how I needed to be sure we had plenty of big, strong guys volunteering to help set-up, since I wouldn't be able to lift much, being almost nine months pregnant and all.
Well, last night, I was able to do all sorts of heavy lifting. I was able to fit into a size small event T-shirt. I was able to stand on my feet for hours without getting tired. I was able to drink all the Diet Coke I wanted, without worrying about things like caffeine and aspartame.
And, somehow, I was able to make it through the evening without dwelling on those things too much.
It's not that I'm not sad anymore. In fact, I think the "sad moments" come just as often as they always have since you died. I'm just getting better at dealing with them, I guess.
If I'm being completely honest, I don't think I've yet to go more than five minutes without something "triggering" one of those "sad moments." I see my reflection, my flat stomach in a window. Sad moment. I take a bite of Pad Thai, your favorite. Sad moment. Someone mentions something cute their kid did. Sad moment. I see a mom taking pictures of her little girl crawling around in the front yard on my way home from work. Sad moment. I walk past the "first birthday" party decorations while looking for raffle tickets at Party City. Sad moment. I trip over dogs toys, not barbie dolls. Sad moment.
Right after you died, one of these sad moments could last all day, maybe even put me in a funk all week. Something would make me think about you and it would be all I could focus on for a long while. The sad moments would consume me. They basically controlled my mood, my life.
Now, the sad moments are just...there. They're something I expect and have learned to live with. A part of this new life, I suppose. A sad moment comes, I acknowledge it, and I move on. I keep the sad moments contained to one tidy little area of my heart, and very rarely do I allow them to spread out and multiply inside of me. With each sad moment, my heart aches, but my overall mood stays the same. The sad moments used to have free reign over me, and now, they're like a dog confined to its kennel, or something like that.
Maybe this is me "faking it" for most of each day, but I see it more as a survival mechanism. I mean, if I allowed each sad moment to truly soak in, I'd be a blubbering mess all the time. I'd never be able to function.
Sometimes I wonder, will the sad moments ever come less frequently? Or do they just sting less and less as time goes on?
In a strange way, the thought of ever losing my "sad moments" makes me, well...sad. I don't want to imagine a day where you're not present in every thought that goes through my mind, where the sight of a baby girl doesn't secretly take my breath away. In a sad, sick way, my sad moments are what keep me so connected to you. They hurt like hell, but I'd rather feel the pain of the sad moments than to feel like your memory is fading away.
I love you so much, Stevie. Please know that. Please know that even when I'm smiling and laughing and having a good time, you're still on my mind and in my heart. Even though I've gotten pretty good at keeping the sad moments tucked away, deep in my heart, out of sight from the rest of the world, they're still there. I still miss you so, so much. I always will.
Makes the Missing Lighter
1 hour ago