It was eight months on Thursday Dylan; two thirds of a year, 240 days now since you left us. I wish I could write that things are easier now and in some ways, I suppose they are but there are days when I still struggle; you are never far from my thoughts. I’m really trying to just be present with my feelings and not force or judge them. I do have good days when I feel my old lightness and positivity return and I try not to feel guilty about that. I also have bad days when I find it hard to be positive and dwell on the past; days that whenever I stop and think about how deeply I miss you, I feel a terrible weight and ache in my chest that almost takes my breath away. Tears are just below the surface every moment, every hour of every day.
I had yet another shocking reality check about just how fragile life is a week before Christmas. Jim and I went to Ainsworth Hot Springs for a 3 night getaway before Christmas. It was on our last night and we were driving from Nelson back to Ainsworth after spending a really nice day in Nelson. It was just turning dark and there was no snow on the road - out of absolutely nowhere, a deer leaped right in front of our car. It came up from my side without any warning; I didn’t even have time to shout or gasp but the thoughts that raced through my mind were “I’m so glad Jim is driving, good, he’s not going to swerve, this car is much bigger and heavier than the deer and we should be okay…”all of this went through my mind in less than a second. The deer practically exploded when we hit it and fortunately our airbags didn’t go off but our car was badly damaged. Our car limped for a few miles more so we could get back to cell reception and find a safe place to park. The whole front end of our car was smashed in and at this writing – a full month later, we still do not have our car back but things could so easily have gone much worse. We could have crashed into the rock wall on the other side, we could have driven off the road into the lake on the other side, into another car… we could have been killed - all in the blink of an eye. We felt so lucky to escape with nothing other than a badly damaged vehicle.
Christmas was actually much better than I feared it would be.
I thought of you many times throughout the day and how the last time I saw you alive was last Christmas. I remember snippets of our time together and it’s incredibly frustrating that I don’t have every moment we were together completely preserved in my memory like a movie. I remember taking that photo of you when you were sitting on the sofa with your hat, scarf and new robe on. You were looking down at something in your lap and I softly called your name and you looked up – “snap”, a beautiful photo of you. It was always so hard to get a good photograph of you – you just hated the “fakeness” of photos. I’m so grateful now for every single photo I have of you… there really are some beautiful ones where you let the camera capture that inner spark that was so you. I remember drinking pickle shots with you and Justin in the kitchen… delicious and disgusting all at the same time. I remember the egg s benedict in the morning and watching you open your gifts. I remember you cuddling Seymour on the sofa and how happy you were to be with your dog. I remember arriving in the car with Jim and seeing you and Justin walking down the laneway and thinking “what handsome men my boys have become”. So many beautiful memories; it was the nicest and gentlest Christmas we had ever had as a family and I remember telling Jim I was so hopeful that we all had rounded a very jagged and difficult corner together and that things would be better from now on.
We had a quiet morning this year - just the four of us. There was a beautiful real tree in our living room (you would have approved) and the stockings were all lined up on the sofa. We made eggs benedict for ourselves and got the turkey in the oven by 11:00. Grammy and Grampy were due to arrive around 3:30 and Jim Sr., Gena and Roslyn were supposed to come over at 4:00 so we decided that we would not open any gifts or stockings until everyone was there. I was sad in the morning but as people began to arrive, there was a lightness that breathed into our house. Dinner finished around 6:00 and Jimmy and Allie arrived around 8:00 and we opened all of our gifts. With all of the happy talk and laughter, it was a really nice evening.
I have been busy making memory stones in your honour. A total of 20 have been completed now and shipped out and as I’m typing this, there are 16 more on the table that I’ve got the base paint on. It’s so beautiful – so many friends and family have come forward to say that they would like to place a memory stone somewhere in the world in your honour. will now have stones placed in Canada, Mexico, throughout the U.S. and even The Netherlands. It’s an amazing and wonderful thing and there is a part of me that wishes you could somehow see it. I believe there is energy in things and that somehow there is some part of the awareness of you that knows. I have added a new page to your website to post photos of where your stones end up. Adriane has placed the first one at the weeping cherry tree we planted in Longbrook Park in Stratford, CT. It seemed somehow very appropriate that this was the first stone. We will be taking three to Maui with us next month… one for each of us to place. We are moving forward Dyl – I think you would be proud.
Loving you always and forever,