Five down, one to go.

Well, today is the last birthday in the family before mine.  Unlike the other birthdays I am unable to be there.  I know family members end up living other places but I have never gotten used to you being so far away.  And never more so than this year.  I felt a sense of desperation that you were so far away as Steve made this one life changing decision that forever changed us all.  We talked about that a little in February, I so wanted everyone in one place.  When you were able to change your schedule the relief I felt was overwhelming.  Though still emotional over what was to come, I felt calmer and less hysterical.  We would all be together.  I could not imagine you not here with us.

While I know your life will continue to take you to new adventures and places, I still regret the distance of land and time between us.  I miss your calm and healing presence, my sister.

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A time to dance

It’s funny.  The things you remember.  I went to see the new Footloose  with Holly.  I love the original movie.  The dancing and music really stand out to me and make me want to dance.  It is hard to listen to the title song and not want to shimmy and shake.

I totally forgot the premise of why dancing was outlawed in the movie.   The death of a son, brother, friend.  I have to admit I was a little frozen for parts of the movie.  I forgot the happiness in the movie was preceded by sorrow that tore people apart.

The last few weeks have been rough, but also special.   Birthdays, basketball games, I got to take Kellen to be fitted for his homecoming tux, Maddie off to college, Kellen breaking his leg (missing his homecoming).   My mom and a sister had milestone birthdays this month. 

I feel an intense need to be with everyone on their birthday this year.   And true to my nature I have been trying to figure out why. 

Is it because I don’t want any of us to feel our birthday is less than?  That would be rather egotistical, like I can really make up for Steve being gone.

Am I trying to figure out what it will feel like?  Later this year it will be my turn.  My birthday missing Steve.   So, what does it look like, feel like?  Maybe I can lessen the blow by easing into it, watching other birthdays.   I hope that is not what I am doing, it is creepy and voyeuristic.

So what does this have to do with Footloose.  This movie is about creating a time to dance, giving ourselves permission to dance, even after a tragedy.  One of the memories of Steve I think of a lot is him dancing at my wedding.  And by dancing, I mean he turned in a circle.  All the men lined up and danced one at a time to “I’m too sexy”.  When it was his turn, I wondered what he would do.  I am sure this was not in his comfort zone.  But he went with it.   He danced, and by dancing I mean turned in a circle.  I think he even kept his hands in his pocket.  That simple turn he did meant a lot to me.  This was him dancing. We laughed and laughed.  He could always make us laugh.

I am settling on wanting to help make it as happy a birthday as possible.  I want us all to be able to dance on our birthdays. 

(And I am probably watching.  I prefer to call it being observant over voyeuristic.  It’s my blog so I can call it what I want.)

Just My Imagination…

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday.  I wanted to ask him what it was like.  The first one without Steve.  I didn’t even mention his name.  Sometimes I am not sure if I should talk about him, maybe it will make someone cry…make me cry.  But if I don’t talk about him does it look like I forgot him?  But if I talk about him too much will it look like I am obsessing?  If I don’t, does it look like I don’t care? 

So I didn’t mention his name.  I didn’t ask what it was like to have a birthday without him.  I just pretended it didn’t happen.  Chicken.

But today, Chris and I went to the cemetery to see Steve’s plaque.  Can’t pretend there. We just sat on the bench and I cried.  It still does not seem real.  It can’t be real.   This was not supposed to happen.  I cannot imagine him gone, and I can’t wish him back.

I don’t know how long we sat there.  The tears just wouldn’t stop.  I used to make a lot of noise when I cried hard.  Now it just seems like the tears silently pour down my face.  The plaque says “Always in our hearts” which is perfect.  He is in my heart.  I thought my heart was incomplete, but it can’t be with him still there.  All the pieces are there, but it hurts.  What I found is my heart is bruised. 

Later we walked around town a little, visited the creek Steve used to fish.  Chris pointed out places Steve used to take him fishing when we were young.  Another thing I did not know about Steve until recently…he used to take three of my guy friends fishing when we were in elementary school and Steve was in high school.  How cool is that?

I find myself wishing I had more imagination.  I could use my imagination to revive memories I did not know I would need later.  Memories of things forgotten long ago that I did not know were important.  Memories of him I did not know would be so treasured now that I can’t create more.  If I could have imagined ever loosing him so early, I could have written down every story he told, every funny moment we shared, every trick he pulled, every giving gesture he made.  I could have recorded his giggle that I miss so much.  

Better yet, I could have imagined a cure and we would not have lost him.  Imagine that.

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