Just let it out

This past Sunday the kids and I spent the afternoon with the folks at the dive shop where Mike used to work for an Easter celebration.  Though spending time with them is always enjoyable and meaningful, it still brings up memories, which lead to the heartache of just missing him.

As I stood there talking with a gentleman about some life events, my mind wandered around thinking about how if Mike were here talking with him, his mind wouldn’t have drifted, he would have been engaged in the conversation.  And shortly after that hit me, one of my children came up and asked for help opening a favor.  And so my mind wandered again, but trying hard to gracefully step back into the conversation taking place.

I told a friend about a story one of Mike’s co-workers had told me a while back.  Though this story about Mike impacted me deeply at the time, I haven’t thought about it in some time.  Recalling the way it was told, and reliving the oh-so-Smitty moment, left me with a gaping hole in my gut.  At dinner that night with the kids we had Mike’s iPod playing in the background, when “that song” came on.  The one that will forever be related to Mike, and his death.  I got through most of the song, willing myself to not let the drops slide from my eyes.  Until Eli looked at me sideways, got a concerned look on his face, and asked if I was ok.  I couldn’t stop it then, and just let all the emotion from the day, and the song, and just plain missing my love come streaming out.  Eli got up from his chair, came over to me and wrapped his small arms around my body.  And as he was rubbing my back he said to me, “It’s ok Mom, just let it out.”

I often feel terrible about all the sadness my children see in me.  I try hard to hold it in and manage my emotions so they aren’t subjected to it.  And I usually hold myself together quite well, if I do so humbly say so.  But there are times when it all just spills out and they see me in the pit of my grief just barely hanging on.  Then one of my sweet babies will grab me a tissue, I’ll wipe away my tears and we go about with the rest of our day as if nothing happened.  It’s ok for them to see me cry as long as they know why — I can have those moments of missing him so much and wishing he were still alive, as long as I pick myself back up off the cold hard ground and carry on, warrior.

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