I am not one to make my grieving public. I don’t feel like I need an audience to witness my tears, anguish or struggle in order to really feel the pain. But yesterday was Chris’s birthday. He would have been 33.
Waking up with his daughter sleeping next to me, ending our trip to Walt Disney World and spending so much time with her this week, was just a real kick. I couldn’t help but think of Chris as I was seeing so much of him in her. Being in places with her that held special memories for me and him.
I shared some of those memories with her, but I didn’t want to overshadow our girls trip. I wanted her to know what I remembered and why they were special then and now.
Mom took Chris and I to Walt Disney World twice when we were younger and man we had a good time. I remember very few things from our first trip, but I remember a lot from our second. Riding Splash Mountain repeatedly and sprinting up the inclines at Space Mountain to try to beat the other to the top. The first trip, Chris got sick on the Mad Hatter Teacups, and she wanted us to go really really fast like him and see if she too would get sick. Sidenote: Thank you very much Dramamine.
And her shopping. Oh my, it was like living life with Chris all over again. If that boy had $20 in his pocket to spend, he would find the thing that cost $19.99 and beg mom for the tax. I on the other hand would have spent $5 and added the rest to my secret drawer of cash. She was just like him. It blew me over.
The kids have started watching “The Book of Life,” it is a really cute movie that involves The Day of the Dead and explains The Land of the Remembered. I think it is such a lovely idea. That as long as someone on this earth remembers you that you get to live in an incredible place with all of your relatives. I cried the first several times I watched it with them.
Last night we celebrated Chris with his most requested birthday meal, as mom always let us choose what she made us. Lasagna and strawberry shortcake. Mom, Trin, Grandma, Katrina, me and my kids all celebrated a life gone too soon and shared a few stories.
I kept saying I needed this week to be here for my mom. I knew it would be hard for her. What has surprised me is how hard it has been for me.
So, today, I am putting my sadness out there. Not so that I have a witness, but so Chris does. I just want him to be remembered.