Six years ago today was absolutely one of my hardest days…our hardest days. I’ve stopped calling it the worst day. I’ve had my share of hard days since then. Still, it hangs on my head. I start to dread seeing October 10 come up on the calendar. Then it happens. I wake up almost surprised that it is actually just like any other day. If you’re new here, you can read about our Jessa here.
I’m not writing this for pity or for you to feel sorry. I’m tougher than that. I just need to document it to alieve guilt I think. So Jessa somehow knows that I will never forget. I dread the 10th once October starts. I distract myself with Bria’s birthday or fall break but it hangs. This year like most years, I’ve woken up and it’s just like every other day. The cloud just hangs a little heavier. This year like most other years I had my major pity party on the 9th. I guess that’s appropriate. We found out Jessa was gone on the 9th. On the 10th I was blessed to hold her. I got to stare at her face and decide that she was going to favor Hanan. I counted her fingers and her toes and tried to show her how wanted and loved she was before we had to say goodbye. It was hard but I got that. I might not have.
It’s funny how grief ebbs and flows. I’ve compared it to a scab before. Yesterday my scab was picked. Mom told me about running into someone who knew my Dad. I spent so many years telling myself that God’s plan for Dad was better. He couldn’t had another stroke and not really been able to live. That would’ve been so much worse for him. There are days like yesterday when I’m just heartbroken. I know how much he would love my kids. He would be kicking a soccer ball to the girls, playing Infinity with Jack and throwing everyone in the pool. He would convince Arleigh to race him the length of the pool and just let her squeak out a win…maybe. He would be doing handstands with Hanan (in the pool) and throwing Jack in the air as high as he could get him. He would have Bria standing on her boogie board and teaching her to flip off. Oh my word I hate not having him around for my kids. Yesterday was one of those days when I really felt the weight of it.
My dad didn’t have a dad. He didn’t really know how to teach us to fix things although he did teach me to change a tire after I shredded one. He did know how to participate. He coached baseball. He played basketball with us. He had a bike so he could ride with us. He loved to run and would sprint with me around our house and the house next door. I thought I would never be able to beat him. I was happy with I could just stay with him. He was always there doing with us and I never gave him enough credit for it. Yesterday as I imagined all he would be doing with my kids, my heart hurt a lot.
As I spent the day thinking about Jessa I realized Dad is probably doing all those things with her. It’s selfish but I want them both here with me, with us, playing with us…doing life with us. My scab is open. It’s another hard day.
I’ve stopped calling October 10th my worst day because I got to hold her, to see her, to know her for a second. So many people, some I didn’t even know were so kind and compassionate in our grief. It was awful but there was good in the day too. There is good and bad, sometimes awful in every day. I’ve just come to hope for more good than bad.