I know I haven’t posted much. I think about it. I have some posts in my head. They’re working themselves out. They’ll come spilling out soon enough.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m floating by….feeling but not feeling…

I still have grief pangs at least a few times a week. A couple of months ago it was when Gina brought home her Senior photos. She looked lovely (though she wants to have them redone in the fall). She’s beautiful and smart and polite and an all-around good kid.

When she was younger her passivity drove me crazy. In the past few years I realize she is her father’s daughter. She would rather not argue, would rather not confront. She’s no push over but she’s a very go with the flow kind of kid. If she breaks the rules (not often but sometimes) she takes her grounding or taking her cell phone away with a grain of salt. No back talk. Occasionally a grimace. She is, for the most part, a sweet, cute, funny kid. And I know that Michael would be so proud of her.

When she brought home the senior pictures it brought tears to my eyes. She takes Honors and AP classes, makes the Honor Roll every semester…does well…stays out of trouble. But that doesn’t make me teary eyed. We’ve worked hard, she and I, to keep going since Michael’s diagnosis. Her sophomore year was tough but she’s done well in her junior year even though Michael died right before it started.

So I felt so sad when I saw those photos. I know he adored her and he would be so proud. He deserved to see her like this. She deserves to have him see her. And it made me sad.

Father’s Day also took a chunk out of me. I had a few days, leading up to it, that I was just so grief-stricken. The actual weekend was nice…surrounded by the kids and grandkids and that morning the kids went to breakfast where they always took Michael for breakfast. Just them and it was a nice tribute.

Sometimes I still think of him…his smile, his laugh, his easy nature…his sidekick presence in my life and I feel a deep stab of missing him with my whole being. Sometimes I cry and sometimes I don’t. I never really know.

But other times I feel as if I’m just sort of floating. Like I’m not really moving past the grief but not wrapped up in it either. I’m suspended in mid-air. It’s not that I’m not going to get past it and it’s not that I won’t be in the thick of it again, but most days I feel that I am just in a bubble making my way through.

Michael always made a big deal of the 4th of July for the kids. Especially his daughters. They both have a lot of great memories of him and I remember falling in love with him so hard when I saw him the first time on the 4th and how he made it a special day for Theresa. I loved him so much that day 14 years ago and that day forward. One year we all went up when Gina was old enough and we went to the petting zoo and then to paddle boats and then to Billy’s Chowder House in Wells, Maine and then to watch fireworks on Ogunquit Beach. That was a typical 4th when we lived in New England. Michael had been doing it for years with Theresa before I ever came along and then we all did it with all the kids. It was wonderful.

In California he took Gina to the parade every year where she marched as a Girl Scout and then they ate crawfish on the California Delta and sat on the barges as the fireworks lit up the sky over the Delta. He always loved the 4th of July and he loved doing things with the kids.

I loved that about him. I loved it so very much. And when I think of it, tears float down and then dry up. Sometimes I feel as if it’s impossible to recount every single loving memory and to process it and cry over it. Sometimes I feel like it will take me the rest of my life. Everything reminds me of him and everything makes me know how much I loved him and how very much I miss him.

I sometimes read how people hear their loved one’s voice or think they see him or her or dream about them. That doesn’t happen to me. I hate it too. I almost never dream of Michael. I want him to visit me in my dreams. I want to dream about having him and holding him. And I don’t. And I don’t know why. I wonder if it’s because there was nothing unfinished between us, nothing unsaid or undone. No regrets, no resentments, no guilt. Nothing. Just love. And is my reward just the waking ache and I never get the dreams of being in his arms, of being with him once again? Somehow that’s not fair.

So in between the waking aches and empty dreams, I just float. The next big day is the anniversary of his death. I can’t even believe it’s almost a year. I can’t even believe I have to think about it. I don’t want to.

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