Right now it’s the little things that get to me. Last week Mae had her pre-K graduation. She ran off the stage to hug a teacher for comfort after every song. I had never felt so helpless. Finn’s last day of Kindergarten was Wednesday. He wanted me to take him to school on the last day instead of him riding the bus. I held it together on the way there. Immediately afterwards I was weeping. It felt like just yesterday that Kate and I gently cried as we dropped him off.
Last week my nephew took Dax and Finn fishing. To make life easier, my nephew took my Kate’s van instead of switching out car seats. Leo and I are outside as they pull back into the driveway. Leo screams “Mommy’s home! Mommy’s home! Mommy’s home!” I of course lost it.
Dax made it on a very elite hockey team. You could tell his happiness was dampered by not having his biggest supporter there to share the news with. He texted his mom instead. Kate loved watching her kids play hockey. Sadly, she wasn’t up for much of that since she started chemo.
I’ve taken to doing that also. I know it’s silly, but my first inclination was to always text Kate when the kids did something amazing or if they had a great day with a friend. Again, I know it seems silly…but it is also a release. It’s a habit that doesn’t have to go away any time soon.
Yesterday I was looking for a document in our file cabinet. I found the first birthday card Kate sent me after we got married. She ended it with “I can’t wait to grow old with you. Love, Kate”
It’s these little things that just stop me in my tracks. They feel like literal punches.
I have a reoccurring dream where the two of us are just sitting there chatting about how we just know we are going to “beat this damn thing.” It usually ends with Kate asking me if I want another drink.
I think not beating cancer, and how the end came so suddenly, are some of my biggest hangups right now. I hate how it looks to the kids. If you make countless sacrifices, you put in the hard work, you take the meds that zap you of your energy, this shouldn’t be the outcome. And if it is the outcome, it shouldn’t come so quickly. I’m not saying the kids feel this way, but I could see how they could think “what’s the point in trying your hardest? It doesn’t matter anyway.”
There’s no making peace with this. Not the way it happened and definitely not to someone who enriched and helped save so many lives (mine included). I’m angry and I’m hurt.
We “decorate” the area by Kate’s urn every day. On Finn’s last day of school, he put his perfect report card next to it. When Mae graduated from pre-K, she put her hat and diploma on it. Leo colors things specifically for it and will put one of his stuffed animals up there. An anniversary card that I didn’t get to give her is next to it as well. While I love that the kids are doing this, it’s a huge reminder of not only who we lost, but what I have ahead of me.
Love you all.