Over the last several months, Momma has had to walk through many different types of emotionally significant doors. Some have closed gently, with a mere "click." Others have been solidly heavy, as if made of pure mahogany, inches thick, and have closed with a weighty "thud." And then there are the doors that slam closed with such ferociousness, they take Momma's breath away. Today was a slamming door day.
This week's vacation was cathartic. Healing. A much needed break from the painful reality of what has become our day-to-day life. It was a time to share stories about you, reconnect with memories, and feel your presence in the beauty of nature. I had anticipated sadness - had actually prepared myself for a week of crying and sorrow. Instead, I was greeted by love, light and joy.
But then, today arrived. It was time to say "farewell" to vacation, to Big Cedar Lodge, and to head home. As we drove up the steep exit hill, with the full property reflected in our rearview mirror, Momma burst into tears. Deep, buried tears that stole my voice for minutes on end. I looked over to see Dadda struggling with his own emotions. He shared he was recalling this same drive from last summer, with you in the backseat jabbering away and all of us turning around to call out, "See you next year, Big Cedar!"
I had actually forgotten that moment. Hearing Dadda recall it actually helped calm my sobs, and brought additional memories to mind. How we discussed what fun things you would get to do at Big Cedar when we returned next summer. What cool plans we had in store for your 1st birthday party, which was just days away. It was a 4-hour drive full of laughter, excitement, future plans.
The door that slammed shut for Momma today, the door that literally shut your Momma down, was the realization that we'd had a vacation - beginning, middle and end - without you. That this was the last vacation we would ever take that was fully intended to include you. This whole vacation was planned while you were alive...so you were still very present in every detail of the trip. But...what now? How do we ever plan another vacation without feeling like we're missing a huge element of our family? How do we move forward with "joyful, relaxing" vacation plans when you aren't here anymore?
Peanut, I know life can't stand still. I know we need to create a "new normal." But, right now, in this moment, tonight, I can't. I don't want to. I just want you. So, there it is. I just want you back. Since I know that can't happen, won't happen, I am instead going to head to bed to see what tomorrow brings. Peanut, I'm sorry for the tears and sadness...just know Momma's sadness is only a reflection of how much I love you. To the moon and back - a gazillion times.