You should be a 20 minute drive from here…  but you aren't.

     I "joke" that I have convinced myself that you're on vacation, but I didn't realize just how true that lie was…  until now.

When I was home, it was unbelievably easy to think we were simply too busy and too far away to pick up the phone, send out a quick E-mail, or get together.  Now that I am here, right around the corner from the ol' home, it's impossible to think that way…  I can't help but wonder where you are, why you've not called, why we've not gotten together.  I can't help but think about all the places we're not going, all the pictures we're not taking, all the giggles you're not hearing…

I missed you before, but it was with a passivity that made it possible for me to think that I was just missing you because we didn't live around the corner any more.  Now I miss you in a very active manner…  I miss you at every turn.  I miss you at every smile and giggle from Kili Bug…  I miss you all over the place.  I miss you all the time… 

I miss all the things you miss…  With me, with Chris, with the children…  With all of us, with all of everyone…  I miss you so much more than I knew.

I see our church and I miss you there.  I see Henry's and I miss the sour apple straws you would send with your care packages.  I see Sea World signs and I miss your broken leg and the wheelchair from the time you promised to take me, even though you broke your leg right before I came to visit.  I miss seeing you with Mega Man and talking about what I was like as a baby versus how my children are now…

My gawd I miss you so much I can't even articulate.  I can't find a single word or phrase to even come close to how it makes me feel.  It's a blanket, but it's devoid of warmth and comfort.  It's a burdensome weight.  It's a funereal shroud…  It isolates me from others…  as well as you from me.

The grief has come close to overwhelming me before, but this evening, it all but turned me inside out.  I sat on the phone with DH sobbing, rocking with my knees drawn to my chest on the pavement and I just didn't know what to do.  I didn't know what to say, how to say it, or what to do about the things I couldn't express.  Grief rendered me completely helpless.  I still feel that way…  I feel as though there is a vital piece of me that is missing… 

My gawd this is horrible…  No wonder so many people drink, try drugs, and use all sorts of other coping mechanisms that aren't "healthy."  No wonder so many people go crazy with grief…  I totally see it…

*Day 91: I am grateful for my children and their smiles.  If Kili had not come on this trip with me, I don't know that I would be able to come back at all.

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