The number that will forever make me think of you.
Especially when it rolls around each month.
The day I began a new journey without you.
But I’m learning it’s not really without you.
This new journey,
It’s heart shattering .
Breath stealing .
It’s completely life changing.
It’s so sad right now.
However , I am trying to remind myself , it’s not really without you.
It is different. But it is still with you.
The last thing I remember you saying , was words to Jake. Words you said so often.
He had come running in our room that night to beg us to buy cars 2 on the tv. I said yes of course , because the tv has stolen all our money during this damn pandemic 😜
But your words to Jake , your voice will always be with me.
“Love you buddy “
I didn’t know those would be the last words I would remember you saying . The first thing celia said to me the next morning was -I didn’t get to say goodbye. We probably all felt like that a little bit. But I reminded her that it wasn’t good bye. That we will be with you again one day. But also that you knew exactly how much she loved you by how many times she rubbed your feet🧡
Life is so hard without your physical being each day.
But with each passing day I am feeling a tiny bit more of you still with me. The feeling of you with me seems to be getting a little stronger.
Because slowly , in Gods time , you are showing me you are still with me on this next journey.
I think it’s in your time too. You were always the patient one. I have always been the panicked one. You took your time with everything. Even your health. I would rush to text Dr Kota and you would make me wait. 🙄
I rushed to text him yesterday, when I was wishing we were still in this fight. Wishing you still had a chance. For a new cure on the horizon . Or a new way to manage your skin. Or lungs. Maybe could still fix something and the trip to MD Anderson could still be in our future.
This is only one of a million things that makes me miss you in a day. When I wish we were still here together fighting for a cure. Still doing day to day life together. Still eating in our spots at the counter each night or even on the TV trays. Still eating ice cream or gummy bears in bed at night together after the kids went to bed . Will you please make them go to bed 😝
You tell me you are with me , when I am trying. I feel your presence the most when I am doing hard things and have made myself get up off the outside couch. When I feel like I am drowning in sorrow but drive the kids to Dairy Queen anyways. When I don’t feel like swimming but take the kids for a bike ride anyways.
When I make myself live like you did. Like how you pushed yourself on days your body physically wouldn’t let you. When I try this hard.
You show up for me.
In this number 29.
29 , after I thought about it . Is actually my parents number.
Sorry yall , if I am sharing your secret.
But to them 29 means the most love there ever was and ever could be. They sign it on all their cards to each other.
Funny , our new journey of love began on 29.
When I have had time to reflect on that , I realize , we parted our time together in this life time , on the day that meant there was the most love there ever was.
I am finding comfort in this. That we could not have loved each other anymore than we did.
When I drove to the funeral home not even a week after you were gone, this really hit me as I was trying feel you with me.
Everyone offered to go with me that morning. Everyone is loving me so good for you, don’t worry. But when they called and said for me to come. Everyone was happily in places and I felt God tell me to go by myself.
On my way , I realized Lawrenceville hwy. is also hwy 29.
And in that 10 min drive on hwy 29 You were with me on every sign , billboard , and license plate. 29.29. 29.
After I left the funeral home I drove you , accidentally , in the front seat through Chick-fil-A to get me a cherry coke.
I sat there and realized the humanness in me , the absurdity and weirdness of the moment. One thing you taught me was how to not take life so seriously, so I turned Remedy on the radio and played the song for you. Just like we did after leaving an appointment at winship.
“Pray to be stronger and wiser
Know you get what you give
Love one another
Amen , amen
I've been thinking about the mark
That I'll be leaving
Been looking for a truth
I can believe in
I got everything I need
Let this heart be my guide
In love, in music, in life
I'm not saying I'm a wise man
Making my way down this winding road
Holding on to what I love
and leaving the rest behind
For love, for music, for life”
Pretty sure I will never be wiser but I am trying to be a little stronger.You are still making me stronger like you did in the time I was gifted with you. I am holding on to every bit of you. You have left quite a mark in my life and so many others.
I’m sure you were rolling your eyes at me trying to find meaning in this strange moment of grief in the Chick-fil-A drive through. And I will be always thankful for the smile and laugh you brought me and the ease you brought to my hurting heart.
You were best at that. Making me laugh on the most awful days.
We chose cremation . Because part of your heart lives in Louisiana. And part of your heart lives in Atlanta. And like your dad said , you were always trying to please them and others. And you have. I hope you know just how much.
We never liked to talk about the really hard stuff. We were too young to know exactly what was right. We believed you would beat this. But I’m not convinced we would ever know what is truly right. These decisions are bigger than humans. They take faith and trust. I am trying to keep trusting the journey now, the same way I did when you were beside me , but I won’t lie and say it’s easy. I miss you as my sounding board.
I hope you are happy wherever you are. And are pleased with the ways we have honored you so far.
You did get your wish of not adding extra sting to the kids in the early days. Your service was beautiful and we felt you in every way. However , lots of people loved you and Want to celebrate your life and I can’t promise we won’t have another one 😜
Your dad and my dad helped me pick out two urns with three beautiful birds on them. In the moment with them, on what could have been the worst day of my life, they surrounded me with love and I felt you were with us. I felt the birds were Jakearoo , Sissy and Gam.
I felt they would always be with you wherever you are in the sky. We watch the birds flying in the backyard like a pot of boiling water or more like graham watching the damn iphone. We actually haven’t done a lot of cooking or watching water boil lately , restaurants are still getting most of your money😳
I told Celia that I talk to you all the time, like you are still with me. She quickly said that You can’t talk back and she can’t hear you . I told her that you do talk back. I told her that I see and feel signs that make me know it is you.
What are signs, She asked .
Like when I am really sad and don’t want to move , but I make myself go for a run. And the first song that comes on Pandora radio is - Zac Brown - You got whatever it is. She knows that was our song , the one we danced to at our wedding. I tell her That I felt like that was my sign you were with me , saying you got whatever it is, I am with you , and I am proud of you for going on a run.
And on that run , I pass all these mailboxes that have the number 29 on them.
Or when I was trying to learn how to make the hardest friendship bracelet for Jake ( key word trying ) . It was on page 29. I thought maybe this was a sign from you. That you were telling me to keep trying hard things, that You will still fail 😜 but I am with you.
Or when I actually gave in with Graham one morning and played the game on my phone with him . You always did that with him in the mornings. The number in the sequence we had to find was 29.
I hope she believed my signs. I am still trying to believe in them myself. But I feel a little more comfort in them each day. The more I try to live. To fight and live each day like you did, the more I feel your love.
I want more than anything for Celia to learn how to feel you with her too. I have to try harder each day for her , for Jake , for graham.
Leah told sent me this text of a quote she read in Harry Potter.
After I had been missing you for one month.
One month of missing Mike 🧡 I finished the first Harry Potter book yesterday 🤓 and toward the end it says “...love so powerful leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will leave us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.” Love y’all so much. ❤️💪🏼🐠
I want Celia , Jake , and Graham to know that you are in their skin , blood and heart. That you are a part of them. That you are protecting them. That your love did not die. Because love does not die.
Your love continues to be with us every minute of every day. And one day that will bring us more joy than the pain it is bringing us now.
Days feel sad right now. And I have written many words on the way that grief feels like it is drowning me.
But you told me to keep swimming.
And so I have reached out to therapist and counselors to tell me that the drowning feeling is
Normal . It’s a sacrifice of great love. At least now I am feeling a tiny percent of the pain you suffered for years for me.
You are also sending angels of friends and family who text, call, or show up in the exact moment I feel I can’t come up for air.
I know you are.
And I am grateful.
I’m not going to harp on the ugliness of grief today and drown in the depths of sadness today.
Because that was not you.
You got back up.
I am going to try and live like you. And smile.
Because this is truly when I feel your love the most these days. And that’s worth keeping going for.
And in my dreams. Thank you for visiting me in my sleep. 🧡
I will you tell you that I hate having to try to be organized . You did that for me. I ordered myself a new grown up wallet in my attempt. But Jake reminded me I will probably just lose the wallet. He is keeping things real for you.
I miss you Snookie. I love you 29. I won’t give up.
Thank you all for your donations and t-shirt orders. They provide so much hope. We are going to put a car magnet and yard sign on the website in the next week. Money raised will go to cancer patients / nurses / and other effected by covid 19.
I was talking with a friend/counselor this week that reminded me that AA was founded by a man who said his only way to stay sober was to help someone else become sober.
One way I know that makes me feel better and feel Mike is with me , is helping others on this torturous but beautiful journey.
Thank you for your ways of reminding me of this in the darkness .
You have shared your love so freely with us. We want to share it with others.
That’s really All.
“The art of spiritual companionship through the realm of the liminal can be learned, whether we are accompanying others or attending to our own souls. The first step requires trusting that, in the course of time, the very healing we seek can emerge by our journeying through liminal space, listening attentively to what the liminal seeks to tell”