Birthday number 42

Today should have been Mike’s 42nd birthday.  And after over four years I still have a hard time writing that.  His life was jerked out from under all of us, and I’m still occasionally wavering to hold myself upright in it’s wake.

It was harder than I expected it to be today.  Most likely because of my extreme lack of sleep, but also because of the questions and conversations from Eli.  He enjoys hearing those funny stories about his Daddy and keeps asking for more.  Until this morning when he blurted out, “Mom, I don’t really like talking about people that are dead.”

Eli’s looks and mannerisms are more and more like Mike every day.  Obviously it’s a constant reminder, but sometimes it still catches me off guard.  I mean, he’s his own little person, he’s Eli.  But randomly, like when I’m driving and I steal a glimpse of him in the rearview mirror, he looks so much like his Dad it hits me hard, like a punch in the gut.

So I’ve been thinking about doing something for some time now… but I’m just not sure if it’s the right time yet or not.  I’ve been contemplating taking off Mike’s wedding band that I keep on a chain around my neck.  It’s been there since the night of his memorial service, almost four and a half years ago.  It didn’t come off for my c-section.  It didn’t come off for cleanings.  It didn’t come off when baby Eli was pulling on it every day.  It’s not come off my neck ever.  This is a big step for me.  I know that taking it off doesn’t mean I love Mike any less.  It doesn’t mean I’m “over” it.  It doesn’t mean even that the grieving has stopped.  But I can guarantee that it’s going to mean that to others who might notice the change.  I haven’t made that definite decision yet, but perhaps I’ll get a feel for it, and should it not feel right, then I’ll try again later.

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