It's 5:41 am on Monday and I just woke up from a night of very deep sleep. The slumber was so deep in fact that I'm struggling to spell and type a bit, and my face is covered in tears so I can't see.
I don't cry like this all the time now. But, today is your birthday. I sleep with my phone, you know. On Facebook, I saw the beginnings of a day full of wishes to you and it broke me. I read back through the last few months, the random notes, the photos from me. Yes, I tag you in photos because I just do. Does it seem weird?
Ginger drew you a rainbow yesterday for a piece of birthday art. We also made a pumpkin pie, but only the pumpkin part was from scratch. She wanted to bake that instead of a cake. Don't worry, I bought lemon scones, too.
I don't sleep often like I did last night. But, if I can be active enough, perhaps I'll go without waking for enough hours to keep me going during the day.
Lately, I've been traveling and incredibly busy with weekday and weekend activities, and my sleep has suffered. I dreamt last night that I caught a cold from the sick woman on my flight back from Washington D.C. last Thursday. In my dream, I was more ill than last October, when I couldn't come see you for eight weeks because of pneumonia. In fact, my nose isn't dripping and I feel okay. I ran five miles yesterday faster than I have in weeks. My legs don't even hurt.
I probably don't sleep because you didn't sleep, and we clearly have a genetic issue on our hands. Or, perhaps it's because most of my recent days have been spent avoiding grief. I'm not dealing with it or maybe I am, but it's unclear. I spent the summer avoiding everything and everyone and went to the pool and read a lot. I stayed near my girl every second I could. I wanted and still want more time with her. We talk about you constantly. All of her new teachers know who you are even though they've never met you.
This fall has been warm and nice. I came out a bit more. I've been more social. We have garden snakes again, one in the garage. I planted about a hundred purple flowers for you early in the summer and they're still blooming. My yard probably looks like a chintzy grief garden. I wasn't sure how to plant and keep things alive. Like you, I don't read directions. I have really failed in the cooking department. But recently, a sign of hope! I subscribed to Blue Apron and while it's nice to see the portioned chicken and explicit instructions and I don't have to drive to Safeway, it's just okay. It's not enough food, basically. I need lemon scones, too.
I like to think you are with me everywhere. I miss you with something I cannot describe. It's an adverb, an adjective, a verb, a noun... it's so hard to say and think.
This morning I cried and now my tears are dried and I flew out of my bed to write this post. I haven't felt like writing much of anything in months, so you've triggered that once again. All that said, I'm writing a book for you, about you. The book -- it will take me a long time to finish, if I ever do -- is your story and I've been writing it for more than five years. Today is just another page or chapter. The story is now about your effect versus your illness. Recognize I said "effect" and not "affect," grammar queen.
Happy birthday, momma.