3 day weekends are the worse. I used to love spending the extra day with Eddie and the boys but now it is just one more day to find something to occupy my time. It is even worse coming off our first week long vacation without Eddie.
When we started talking about the family trip last year, Eddie had not been diagnosed but then life changed in an instant. Even though things changed we longed to give mom a vacation with all her kids, so we really got serious back in December and Eddie was feeling great. He had finished his radiation and first chemo, all scans showed no cancer and life was somewhat back to normal. We had a future we could dream about again. We never talked much about a future that did not include him. A trip that he would never see. It just was not something we could ever imagine but it was always the big pink elephant in the room. Now all these months later, here we are traveling a road that quiet honestly stinks. It seemed like I I missed him more on vacation than I do at home. He was our leader, our safety net, our driver. He was my next breath. He was my cheerleader and my protector.
After I had the boys, altitude has always caused my migraines to be worse. He understood that and helped me manage them. After all these years he could see them coming on almost as well as I could. So every morning at 4 am I woke up with a migraine, took medicine and spent time with Eddie. In the quiet, cool Colorado morning I felt him and missed him terribly.
This trip has been about our family loving on mom, my boys getting to know my brother and family from Georgia and to give us memories with my mom. But it is harder on the boys and I than we thought. This was Eddie's and the boys kind of trip. They loved the outdoors. We all feel closer to Eddie in the outdoors and the pain is bigger there. His absence if more evident there but he is more present there too. Probably because all the distractions are not there. No mindless tv or places to go just fresh air, God's beauty and quiet.
We are so thankful for our family and the opportunity to love on each other, to begin to build a new normal and to create memories that will last a lifetime with my mom. As our vacation comes to an end and life enters a new season I feel the loss of Eddie with every breath. As Fall moves in so does hunting season, TTU football, cooler weather and holidays. All the things we love and all the things that make us miss Eddie more. I find myself struggling to take deep breaths and I look for signs of Eddie everywhere. Sleep does not come easy and neither does peace in my heart. It is crazy how the smallest thing can bring on crippling despair.
Saying goodbye to our dog, Mogey before vacation was hard and took a lot out of me. We lost another friend to this stupid pancreatic cancer this past week and I received word today that another close friend who has been battling a different cancer is not doing well. Another husband, father, brother, son, wife, mother, sister, daughter. All these young people who have so much to give are being taken way too soon. It all seems too much most of the times.
I am not sure how it is for other people but for me the months leading up to Eddie's death and the couple of months after, I felt a peace that got me through. Now as I learn to live again, each day becomes harder than the one before. It is like I was living in a fog and as the fog lifts real life begins to set in. Whatever real life might be, I guess we will have to see.
Even with all this despair, God keeps giving me the grace to see the beauty in each day and I see glimpses of healing in my boys. I thank God everyday for the path he is helping me walk even as I find it harder to breath each day I am without Eddie. I am so blessed that God trusted me for this journey even on days that I do not understand. I live with the knowledge that God is walking beside me and will carry me through, even on the days I am filled with anger and days that I fail him.
Make memories, take silly pictures and laugh with each other. Thank you for walking with me.