Originally written Sunday, May 24, 2015
Today has been filled with some “firsts”. Dad, Austin and I went to church in Calhoun for the first time together since you’ve been gone. It was a lot to take in. Sitting on the same pew we’ve sat on for nearly 20 years. Singing the same songs, some new ones too. It hurt. It hurt not to have you there, and the reality that we are a family of three set in.
I thought I would have so much to say. I’ve been feeling so much. But I just can’t find the words right now. Tomorrow is another first—and really today it began. We leave for our first vacation without you. The organizing and planning have made me emotional. Standing in the kitchen talking with Dad and Austin about when we need to be at the airport in the morning leaves me choked up. It’s in those moments—the everyday, non-eventful moments—that I have to pause to catch my breath.
Austin and I surprised Dad with a trip to Montana at a guest ranch for Christmas. That’s where we are going. I found a shirt in your closet I’m going to take and wear while fly fishing. I know you’ll be with us. I’m just so sad you won’t be with us. I miss you being my Mom. I miss our family. I know I wrote a lot of this in the last letter, but I’m still reeling from the weight of the truth—we’re doing things as a family of three now.
When I came home today (we celebrated Nanaw’s 82nd birthday and actually surprised her at church—she didn’t know we were coming), I saw where Dad had placed a bouquet of yellow roses by your urn. He misses you. They were there for your anniversary. We all still love you very much, Mom. We always will.