This is the time of year when I allow myself to go back to that night. I allow myself to remember everything about the moment my ears were assaulted with the news, and the moments immediately following. Adam and I, collapsing into a tangled heap on our hardwood floor; Tali jumping all over us while my mom tried to control her. My fingers trembling as I struggled to dial my mother-in-law’s phone number. Choking out the words and trying not to vomit.
“Dirk’s been shot.”
I have days every now and then where I’m driving in my car and tears just start falling, or I’m watching my kids tickle each other and tears just start falling, or I glance at a picture of him on my living room wall and tears just start falling. I can usually swipe them away quickly before anyone notices, but that becomes increasingly difficult come this time of year. The beautiful, crisp, yellow leaves that cover the ground right now? They remind me of that night, that time of year. Halloween, unfortunately, reminds me of that night, and that time of year. I still have the package of paint I purchased because Adam had begged me to let him draw an eyeball on my giant pregnant belly for Halloween that year. We obviously never got to that, and now the paint sits untouched, unopened, in the back of a cabinet where I keep random supplies. I came across it when I pulled out the pumpkin-carving tools last week, and… tears just started falling.
I’ve spent a lot of time being “okay” with everything, and thankful that Dirk is in a better place, and comforted knowing that we had a wonderful guardian angel, and blah, blah blah. Right now… this time of year… I just want him here. I MISS HIM. I want to tell him all of the ridiculous things Ellie says EVERY DAY, and I want him to melt just like Adam does whenever he sees Jameson, and I want him to tell me all about how I’m being too lenient with my little bratty toddler, and I want to show him the picture of Ellie’s first fish, and I wanted him to be there for Ellie’s first fish, dammit.
I want him here for me, and I want him here for my girls, but most of all I want my husband to have his dad. Here. Now. Alive.
I want him to hug me again, just like he did the last time I saw him - a great big giant bear-hug, where he picked me up off the ground even though I was 9 months pregnant.
I just… really, really miss him.
It’ll get easier, come January, I know. It always does. We’ll be going into our fourth year without him now… but come this time of year, it always seems like yesterday.
Go hug your families. Great big giant bear-hugs.