This Friday marks the third year anniversary of Ben's death. This week is always hard. We spent the better part of today, July 4th, at the pool. Kyle jumped in the pool with the girls, they begged for me to come in too. "I just don't feel like it," I told them, trying not to reveal too much. "Why not?" they asked. My oldest is eleven now, and an emotionally mature eleven. Part of me wanted to share with someone close to me. I wanted to pull her aside and whisper in her ear, "Friday is the anniversary of Ben's death." But, of course I would never do that. I love her too much, and I've worked too hard to protect her innocence. If July 7th means nothing to her other than it being another sunny, summer day then I've done my job in my eyes.
I've had friends tell me "life goes on," and in a way it does. I know what they really mean. "You have two wonderful girls who need you....love them, soak up their joy." And, I do. But, anniversaries serve to remind us that parts of life don't go on, at least not in the way they used to. Anniversaries are slivers of the past that keep needling their way in to cause a recurring pain. This anniversary has made me contemplate how far we have come. We are trying to rebuild our life out here in Colorado, though I desperately miss our old life and friends in Connecticut. We have a house we love, jobs we enjoy, two daughters we cherish. Life seems rather normal. We wake up, live, go to bed and do it all over again. But, that's the point. We wake up, live, go to bed and do it all over again. I miss having more than that. I never wanted to just "get through life"...I wanted to knock it out of the ball park. The trauma and its aftermath changed me in certain ways -- I have a higher level of anxiety, but I'm learning how to deal with it. Some days, I just go through the motions and get through. Other days are good enough to give me hope. Saturday soccer games, weekend movie nights with the girls, a particularly good day at work.
I guess if anyone is reading this who has lost a loved one or suffered through some form of trauma, I just want to let you know it is okay if life doesn't move on as usual. For some of us, it just won't, but we can try our hardest to make the most of what we have. I continue to live and learn so much. I will never be the same, and maybe that is a good thing.