Difficult Days

Today was your birthday. You should’ve turned 67. We should’ve laughed with you at dinner and while you let the boys lick the icing off your candles. There should’ve been lots of hugs and lots of pictures. The boys should’ve gifted you some silly gifts that they picked out themselves and you would’ve cherished.

There are so many should haves, but they didn’t happen.

Instead, we laid a blanket in front of your headstone and squeaked out a tearful rendition of “Happy Birthday”. The boys blew out the candle for you and shared a few memories of you. We all missed you. We miss you every day, but today was particularly hard.

I hope you smiled when the boys were sharing their memories today. Maybe you even got a kick out of how much I cried today. You probably saw it as payback for all the times I gave you gifts that made you cry over the years.

I looked at lots of pictures today. I cried while looking at them, especially ones from your birthday last year. How much has changed in one year.

I am so grateful for the memories we have of you, especially on the difficult days. I am grateful that my hobby (now career) is one that helped me preserve those memories. I am sad, really sad, but I am still grateful, even on the difficult days.

I love getting to share pictures and videos of you with the boys. I’m grateful that, while most of my tears are sad, a few, just a few, are happy. When I see images of you laughing, I can still hear it. You were always so silly, especially with the boys, and being reminded of some of your shenanigans can make me laugh through my tears.

We missed you today. Even more than yesterday. We missed you, but you’re always with us. So when I get really sad, I look at your pictures and imagine how your smile must look as you look down on us from Heaven.

Today was a difficult day, but I see your smile and it makes me smile. Even through my tears.

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