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Dear Michael, it's been two years...

Updated: Jan 19

Dear Michael,

It’s been two years since we laid in that hospital bed together.

I found a recording of our very first appointment at Jefferson on May 19, 2021.

The appointment that led directly to a hospital admission for your brain biopsy two days later.


The doctor says “so tell me what’s been going on” and you begin the elevator speech of how your symptoms progressed. A speech we gave at least 300 times over the next 17 months.

 

We had no idea what was about to transpire when we walked into the office that day. How beautifully heart wrenching it is to hear your voice in that audio – filled with naivety.

 

It’s been exactly two years since the doctor called me to tell me your surgery went well but that those lesions on the MRI are in fact, brain tumors.  

 

It’s been two years since I was faced with the reality that I’ll be raising these boys without you. That you would likely not be here to see the boys graduate college, high school, or even preschool.

 

The only thing more difficult than coming to that realization was watching you come to that very same realization.

 

It’s been two years since I began grieving the beautiful life we had planned – the babies, the trips, the vow renewal.

-

Gosh you’d be so proud of these boys.



Dante's more confident. He’s outgoing. He tells his class and his teacher about his weekends. He’s a little jokester at swim class and he’s become so much more comfortable on the baseball field. He says hi to everyone, everywhere we go. He is excited to leave me and sleepover Pop's or Mimi's once in a while. In fact, he tells me “Stop worrying! We’re ok!”

 

Dominic just isn’t a baby anymore. He talks in full sentences and he rides his bike without help. He’s our little social butterfly with a bold personality that can’t be ignored. He wants to do everything his big brother does but he wouldn’t dare get lost in his shadow. He's brave and strong willed and makes us laugh constantly.


I think about this week two years ago and I think about everything you're missing out on. Visions of your struggle go through my head.

 

I still wake up some mornings with my heart pounding out of my chest because everyone around me is dying in my dreams. I text your best friend first thing in the morning to make sure he’s ok because my dream was so vivid and I couldn’t catch my breath. You were there, too.


I’ve been cleaning out our house and going through notes and cards that we wrote each other. "Here's to another 15.."



It’s been almost 9 months without you but it feels like 9 years. Then again, the feeling of my body collapsing as I was forced to leave your side plays in my head like it was yesterday.


So much in my life has changed since that night. So much of me has changed since that night.


I’ve faced so many fears and I’ve done so much more than I ever thought I could.


This weekend I cried because I miss you and can’t comprehend how it’s been two years since we got that news. Within the same 12 hours, I laughed my butt off at a comedy show with people that I’ve quickly come to love.


I’m happy for our happiness but I also feel guilty. I have excitement for the first time in two years and that also makes me feel guilty.

 

That’s the weird reality of grief.

 

I often wonder what you’d think about our life right now.

There’s a quote I’ve seen shared around Instagram several times that says:

 

There should be a clause in wedding vows after “til death do us part” that says “and when death parts our lives, do you promise to live your life to the fullest after I’m gone, to shine your light, to love and laugh and do all the things… because that’s how much I love you, and you deserve to be loved for the rest of your life?”    posted by @bouncebackwidow


I think you'd believe that.


I know that you know that relationships are hard to process after a loss – you know best how hard it was for me after my mom died.

 

But I’ve come to believe that if you and my mom could see what I see….


Like Dante asking Matthew to watch his baseball game or Dominic asking if him and the kids are here as soon as he wakes up from his nap. Or the boys begging him to tackle them and belly laughing as he does. Or Dante and Dominic running into the ocean with pop and Ms. Mary, filled with joy...

If you both can see what I see...

 

Then I know you are both relieved. I know you are both proud of us.


I've realized that it’s not about what should be or who it should be anymore. In order to move forward, it’s about finding the very best out of what is. That’s all we can control.


Plus, how could more love ever be a bad thing?


Anyway, we're doing it. And I think we're doing it pretty well.


But I miss you.

Love always,

Reebs





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2 Comments


Guest
May 23, 2023

Wow! This really brought me to my knees. I am so sorry for your lost but also here to see you and the boys happy again.

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Guest
May 23, 2023

This is so beautifully put. Having experienced a major untimely loss myself, I have also tried to live my life as fully as that person would have wanted me to. You are doing a great job and you have lovely kids.

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