It is amazing how quickly Eight Years goes by! So much has happened in the last eight years. So much joy and happiness. So much love and fun and life. So much that I wish I could have shared with Mom. It doesn't get easier. There are days that go by where I don't realize she is gone. The regular days where we are a family and just having fun. The routine days that I love with my girls and my wife. They are days that I cherish and I want to remember the smiles and laughter and the funny stories. I love those days.
There are other days, engagements and weddings and anniversaries and birthdays and days in the hospital, that it is painfully evident that she is gone. Those are harder days. May 19 is one of those days. Brooke suggested a tradition that we plant each May 19 to remember Mom. I get to share some stories with Brooke, Kya, and Kinley about what I remember and the things I love about her. One of the things that she especially loved was her garden, I love planting new plants with Kya.
She remembers riding Grandma Marilyn's horse ET last year in Michigan. And this year, as we started talking to Kya about May 19, Kya decided that she needed to send a note to Grandma. She really wanted Grandma to come get the letter so she could give her a hug and tell her she loved her, but we told her that couldn't quite happen. Brooke had the idea to get some balloons to send the notes to heaven. After planting the plant, writing the notes, and attaching the balloons, we stepped into the backyard to send the notes up. Now, it was a very windy day. After a couple quick pictures, we let the balloons go, and they raced out of view in a matter of seconds to the other side of the house. It wasn't the best photographic moment, so we jumped to the front of the house to try and watch the notes float to Grandma. When we got there, they were no where to be seen. Kya was a little disappointed, but when we told her Grandma Marilyn was really excited about her note, and that we thought she swooped down to grab them up right away, Kya thought that was pretty cool. I am not convinced that it really didn't happen that way.
Later that night, sitting on the couch with both my girls cuddled in my arms, I couldn't help but picture Mom holding the girls much the same way and playing with them. Brooke could tell that I was having a hard time, and she gives me some space and lets me be emotional. I can also picture the conversations Brooke and Mom may have had together. I think I would have ended up in a lot of trouble at times after those converstations and they would have been great friends. They are the two most amazing women in my life, now and forever. I am so lucky to have such an amazing influence like Mom early in my life, and now Brooke who continues to love me and challenge me and care for me and support me in this new phase of life. Unfortunately, we can only imagine what might have been. We don't get to have those days where we see her here, where she pushes Kya on the swing or crawls with Kinley on the floor a teaches Kya to ride horses, but Mom is a part of us everyday. She shaped me and taught me a great deal, and I hope that I can continue to pass on all I learned to my wife and my girls. Mom was amazing, and we will never forget that.