The following is the letter that our mom put in Darah’s stocking this Christmas. Thank you, deeply, to each of you who helped us stuff her stocking.
It is Christmas Eve. I have asked other people if they would write a letter to you, but I find it very difficult to do.
I think it is because I feel that a letter I write should be read. If the letter I write is read, all of those thoughts will be out – out in the open. When they are inside they are easier to control. Easier to contain.
Two years. I cannot believe it. Sometime a few months ago we passed the point in time when you were gone longer than you were sick. Maureen and I talked about that briefly. All we could say was “unbelievable.”
Time continues to befuddle me. It seems like the days drag – but the years fly. The moments of pain are interminable – the moments of joy, fleeting. But, I must say that oftentimes when I am scared or heartbroken, I feel you telling me that it is all OK, and I feel better.
We are figuring it out. I guess I should speak for myself. That is what I like to say when people ask, “how are you doing?” I say “we are figuring it out.”
We are not “getting used” to it. We are not “getting over” it.
We are daily figuring out how to live our lives without you here with us. We are daily figuring out how to find you and connect with you, where you are, now.
Daddy visits the cemetery daily and is just present with you. I make almost daily visits to say HI and tidy up and then I am on my way. I wistfully think I have always been this way. In a hurry. On to the next thing. When Daddy and I go together I am a little better at just being there with you.
Daddy and I hope you are glad when we hug or kiss at the cemetery. We hope you know that our love for you, and for each other, is stronger than we ever believed would be possible. We hope you are glad that we love each other and that losing you, has brought us closer. All of us. Your illness and loss has brought love to a whole new level. I venture to say it is a level of love not everyone gets to experience.
I write to you almost every day in my journal. Private thoughts. Questioning thoughts. I will never stop writing to you. I will never stop talking to you. I will never stop thinking about you. I will never stop remembering you and all our “things”. Especially some of the moments of love, tenderness, fear and joy we experienced when you were sick. Holding each other’s hands…reaching for each other when the doctor began to speak.
Because of you, we have children in our house this Christmas morning. Little, beautiful children, whom we love because they are part of you. Karter is a part of you, because he is and always will be your Godson. He bears your love and we feel you, through him. He is a good boy. A SMART boy. A talented BOY. A fun, good natured, friendly boy. I know you are so proud.
Darah is part of you because she bears your name. She probably began her life on Earth, just around the time you were getting ready to leave us. She will grow up learning about you and getting to know you. She reminds me of you. She kind of sits back and observes. She lets Karter do the talking. She is soaking it all in.
As I write this I still cannot believe you are gone. Sometimes I pretend you are in Africa or something. And in a way, how different would it be if you were? If I can truly believe you are somewhere far away and I will see you again – I feel comforted by thinking that I am just a parent whose child is far away in another country or something.
So honey, this is the life we have received. We have been tasked with being brave and living until it is our time to join you. Sometimes I feel strong enough for that task and sometimes I don’t. Then I try to think of you and how strong you have been. Taking the lead. Going out in front of us. Joining Sito and Gido and all your other ancestors. Getting to know the “lay of the land” before we get there. I miss you every moment of the day. I am the proudest Mom I could ever imagine being. Thank you for your strength and your example.
I love you, Sweet Darah.
There is such a beautiful vulnerability in Mom’s words.