This last week has been full of highs and lows. Moments where I've caught myself laughing without reserve, and moments where I've surprised myself by bursting into tears while shopping. Times where I have caught myself confusing The Pickle with you, times where I have envisioned you are still here and times when I have berated myself for seeming so "fine."
There are three moments Momma is going to focus on in this letter:
1) shopping at Baby Gap on Friday
2) opening the mail Friday afternoon
3) Saturday morning at home with The Pickle
On Friday afternoon Momma and Pickle wound up at THE MALL to return a few items and shop for some small gifts. Your brother was captivated by all the holiday lights and decorations, and THE MALL itself wasn't too crowded. So, Momma decided to duck into Baby Gap. Just to look. For Dadda's birthday we are taking a family photo after Thanksgiving and we need something for The Pickle to wear, right? That was the thought. But, Momma found herself standing there with a sweater in her hands meant for a 3 year-old. And then another. And then a pair of jeans. And then...wham! It hit me. You will always be in our photos...in spirit. As a balloon. A baseball cap. Hopefully a ray of light that finds his way into the frame. But...there won't be a Peanut sweater or shirt or "picture outfit."
This moment was interrupted by a timid hand and shaking voice, "Ummmm....ma'am? Are you OK?" Oh jeez. I'm still in the store. And she just called me ma'am. Damn, on so many levels.
Later on Friday afternoon The Pickle and I returned home and fetched the mail. Oh look - a card! Personal mail is very exciting for Momma. I opened the mail and...exhale...a special card. I cannot even express or describe this amazing gift, this tribute, so a picture is included. What I will say to my friend and to everyone who reads this this...THANK YOU. Thank you for remembering.
Which brings us to Saturday morning. Dadda left to do work at his newly opened restaurant (big news!) so the day was unplanned and open for me and The Pickle. He took an awesome nap, woke up, ate lunch and had a phenomenal diaper blowout. Momma thought this would be the perfect time for a bleach bath...even though we were expecting a FedEx package (note: this is foreshadowing, folks). Off came the diaper, into the sink went The Pickle, diaper safely placed to the side. Until...
WHOA! Here comes Henry the Dog! Up on the counter! Diaper in his mouth, off and running! Poop everywhere! Knock, knock, knock. Are you kidding me? The FedEx guy is here now? Pull The Pickle out of the sink, wet and naked. Football carry. Chase the dog. Give the FedEx guy the "thumbs up." He gestures back...and throws the package at the door and runs for his life. Grab the dog and diaper. Crate the dog. Bag the diaper. Get The Pickle back in the bath and wait for some sort of "protective service" to arrive at the front door...or counseling for that poor FedEx kid. And, realize...we are making new, funny memories. Memories we will share forever. Just like all the memories we have with you.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Peanut, there is so much to say. So much to process every day. But my message to you tonight is this - you have taught me to find joy and tears in remembrance. And to embrace the future actions that will build tomorrow's memories. Yesterday, today and tomorrow...they are all one.
I love you sweet, funny, loving Peanut. I love that I see more and more of you in The Pickle. I love that I see you protecting him. I miss you...and love you. To the moon - and back!