How did you do it?

November 23, 2008

The most rewarding, least acknowledged, most demanding and influential job and you were flawless. There is no time for yourself, including naptime. You had to do laundry, pick up toys for the fifth time, unload the dishwasher for the second time, vacuum the floor, plan dinner, finally eat something and take care of yourself all while your body and mind are screaming for a nap. And, you always looked amazing when I got home… you didn’t have to try too hard though. Dinner was always ready, the house always looked great and everything greeted me like a King. Forgive me if I ever made it feel like I expected all that and did not appreciate it. Forgive me if I ever made you feel like you had the easier lot. Forgive me if I did not engage you when I walked in from managing people all day and I was too tired to provide you with the first adult conversation of your day.

I hope that I am at least doing half the job you could do. I worry that Linen will be different without you. How will I understand what she will go through? I will never be able to provide the perspective and support that you could. You had more grace in your squared off little toe than I have in my entire body; and maybe because I am the oldest and you’re the youngest, you were anxious for nothing while I’d lose sleep over a tee time. Much has changed and I am not who I was. Much of who I was died with you. When I look back on what our lives were like when we met and what we had when you left, its like we unlocked something in each other. Our relationship with each other and ourselves evolved and progressed every day.

It is tough being a parent without you. I often wonder what you would be doing in this circumstance, if it were me instead of you and I did wish that early on. I wish that I had died that day, on that road in Afghanistan but I would never want this grief, pain and loneliness for you. I am happy for you. You are more fulfilled and complete than you ever could have been in this damaged world, even in the protection of my arms. I wonder if I am doing okay. I wonder if you are watching us and laughing at me trying to fill your shoes. I hope that you are proud of me… of us. I don’t know how you did it, but I will do my best.

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