Yesterday was a normal day for me. I was babysitting, like I often do. I planned a playdate, like I often do. I vacuumed and swept and moped, which I don't often do but I got a little dose of housewife while I was hiding inside from the cold and wind.
This cold and wind made me continue my search for my winter boots. I have small feet so I was fairly confident that my sister had not stolen them and I have a 1400 sq ft home that lacks excessive storage. The blasted boots were no where to be found and I was beginning to realize I was going to have to search the trunk of my car.
I really don't like doing that.
When I get groceries I sort of throw them in there and that's only if I have no room in the back seat. My goal is to not look in the trunk of my car until I am good and ready, though when that will be I have no clue.
Good and ready for what, you say?
The trunk of my car is still filled with the things that we packed to stay those long and sad and hopeful weeks in Memphis. When I shove milk in there I can see the backpack with Pipers name on it. I see little shirts that she will never wear again and the soft blanket that she and I would curl up under while watching movies and napping.
As soon as I popped the trunk open, I saw one boot and kept looking for the other as I began to cry. I was sobbing by the time I located it and slammed the trunk shut. Such sweet toys and books and the little phone she liked to chat away on...things I am not emotionally stable enough to touch.
I drove through the carpool line at Linley's school while attempting to get my mess under control and chatted with Linley about her excitement for the Halloween activities planned for the night. She had put together one adorable cat costume, complete with a tutu, a collar and this mommy painting her face.
After getting off work, she and I met up with friends and my tears, though gone, sort of clung to the back of my throat. Last Halloween it was Piper and I inpatient getting chemo and she had not one, or two but three costumes she would wear for a few laps around the unit in order to get the smiles and the attention. I would follow her holding her IV pole and she would smile and show up.
As wrong as it truly was, it felt incredibly right.
This year it was Linley and I. She got her fill of candy and she was beautiful and she reached for my hands often.
There were no IV poles, not even any tears since I was determined not to rain on her excitement of the day.
As right as it looked to an outsider, it felt so very, very, very wrong.
What a difference a year makes. This is the first holiday of the first holiday season without my sweet girl. And I will tell you now that Chad and I are deliberate in our plan to keep tears to a minimum and happiness on our faces for Linley despite the memories each special day brings up.
I will wear the boots that brought on the tears and I will keep my trunk closed as long as I darn well please.