Last week, while enjoying lunch and talking about kids with Kalli & Sharon, Kalli asked me, "And what about Taylor? Remind me - where does he fit in your line of kids?"
"Second," I answered. "Actually, this Monday, it's been eleven years."
It's not that I hadn't been thinking about it, but I was actually proud of myself for not having burst into tears right then and there at the table. I thought to myself, Maybe it will be different this year. Maybe it's getting easier.
That evening, I was organizing the kids' clothes, like I do for the seasonal closet changes. I mentioned to Darin that I would have to take Bubby clothes shopping soon, and at that moment, it hit me:
He doesn't have hand-me-downs.
That night I sobbed myself to sleep, tears soaking my pillow as Darin did his best to comfort me while rubbing my back.
Each year I give myself this time. A week, if I need, to just mourn, to just feel. In years past, it has, at times, meant locking myself in my bedroom, curling up on my bed, and crying. Each year is different; this year is different.
On Saturday, I wasn't floored by the idea of it being The Anniversary Of Finding Out My Son Was No Longer Living; rather, I woke up, showered & dressed, attended a business brunch, enjoyed General Conference, visited with some friends, and took my daughters shopping. Sunday was a very nice day at home (again, General Conference) with my family.
Today, I don't predict that I will require the time to take a crying break, but if I do, I will. I will take flowers to the cemetery, that remains a constant.
On Thursday (the 6th, the day of Taylor's funeral), I will be occupied with keeping two of my kids comfortable in their newly-acquired braces.
I'm not saying that there isn't time, or necessity, to mourn. I guess what I'm saying is that this year, I've found a change. Maybe it's a gift given from the passage of time, or the distractions of being needed (now, and each minute, more than ever?) by the rest of my family, or even a combination of these and many other things. I'd never deign suggest to someone at the beginning (or at any part, really) or this journey that time will make it better. Yet, I find that at this point, for me, at least a little bit, I think it has.
Even so, I may get caught off-guard this week and need to excuse myself for a healthy cry*. If I do, you'll know why.
*Oh, who am I kidding? I couldn't even write this without crying. Man oh man, I miss that boy.
Posts from Taylor week in years past:
**Thanks to Tori for emailing me the link to this talk. You are a kind and thoughtful friend.