11 May 2008

From My Heart, Laid Bare

Happy Mother's Day Boo.

I bought a card to go with the flowers, but when I looked at it more closely I realized that it sucked. It didn't say what I wanted to say.

So I went back in to the store and looked some more, and realized they all sucked. None of them said what I wanted to say.

So my only option is to write it out, hope that it comes out the way I want it to, and hope that you will appreciate it as much as a card.

It's been almost 14 years since we met. We joke about my name for you, but the truth is that by September of 1993 I was comfortable with being alone, with not needing anyone to make me complete.

Then there you were, on my beach.

Kicking down my sandcastle walls.

Scaring me.

I was afraid of facing the same pain that I had so recently put behind me. It took me 5 years to put that pain behind me, and there it was right in front of me again, staring me in the face.

You were afraid, too, and for a similar reason. It would have been easy for both of us to turn away, to not face that pain. But we did face it. Together.

And now 13 and a half years later I am again faced with pain, the real possibility that I will not have you for very much longer. And I am afraid again.

I am afraid of the pain again. In some ways it may be easier because I have some slight idea of what is to come. But, because I have an idea of what is to come, I am afraid it will be worse. Much worse.

Then, too, there is Christopher.

I had a vision of my post-Navy life that is quite different from what actually is. In my vision there was just the two of us, the kids have moved out and we had each other all to ourselves.

Nine years ago we brought Christopher home. He had no one, but now he had us, and we had him. And I would not trade that for anything.

That adds to the problem. He needs you in a way that I never really have, and at his young age he doesn't understand what is going to happen. Your......


there. I said it.

Your death will affect him in a way that it will not affect me. He doesn't understand the concept of death, and I do. I grieve for him, the way that he will be forced to find out about it.

I don't know if I can be for him what you are. I know only that I will try. And that we will be OK. But I selfishly wish for you to live long enough for him to grow into maturity, so that he will not have to find out about death with yours. And yet I do not wish for you to linger in pain, either.

These are not the happy thoughts that I wish for you on Mother's Day. So let me say instead that if the choice was between having you for a little bit, or not at all, that I will choose to have you for however long I am allowed to by the grace of God, and I will cherish it and thank Him for every day.

I love you more than life itself.


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