To my Andrew,
6 months. Unbelievable. It can’t be real. I still can’t understand how you are gone. I look through old pictures and you come alive. I can hear your voice, I can see your mannerisms, I can run my fingers through your scruffy beard and lay my head to rest on your strong shoulder. I can clearly picture us sitting in your truck, holding hands, driving off together on our date night, not saying much but simply being present in the moment, just us.
If I close my eyes tight enough you’re here sitting right beside me: strong, resilient, you. My defender, my provider, my protector, my beautiful other half, I miss you.
Time is really strange. It’s almost as if it has sped up since you’ve been gone. So much time has passed and so much life has happened yet it feels like you were just here. You were just riding skateboards in the driveway with the boys and planting new flowers in the backyard. You were just sitting in your office working, dreaming, praying, and planning out our future. You were just laying beside me at night, keeping me safe and warm.
And then you left. So abruptly you left. I will never understand why. Every time I try to make sense of it all I crumble to the floor. You didn’t want to die, you wanted to live. You loved me and the boys so much. You didn’t want to cause us pain. I know you were hurting Andrew I am so sorry I didn’t fully understand. I am so sorry I wasn’t right beside you that morning, rubbing your back and reminding you of who you are. Everyday I wish I wasn’t waking up to this reality. Everyday I miss you more.
Everything has changed since you left. The boys miss you so much Andrew. We talk about you every night before they go to bed, I call it our “daddy talk.” They share special memories of you. Their favorite thing to share is that one time you pooped your pants when you were sick, they laugh really hard. Every memory is a gift you gave them, I am so grateful they remember you for who you are, their amazing daddy. Smith reminds me so much of you. He is a deep thinker, he is creative and you would love this: he’s obsessed with basketball! It’s all he wants to do! Your sweet buddy Jethro, the one who had your heart, you had such a special connection with him, he is growing up. He has a new girlfriend every week, he learned how to write his name, he is starting to ride his bike without training wheels and he still looks the most like you. And Brave, our sweet boy, he is still our baby. He is sensitive, kind, and gentle. He is talking a lot more now and is still really passionate about monster trucks, his favorite is the “mohawk monster truck.” You can’t help but smile when you look at him, he’s a precious gift.
And I’m still here. Somehow by the grace of God managing to get out of bed every morning and walk this out one day at a time. It’s really painful. My whole life died with you. I was handed a blank canvas the day you died. Not knowing how it would ever become beautiful again. Yet, here I stand, six months later, staring at the blank canvas, starting to see tiny bits of color. God, the master artist, the one who holds the brush, is stroke by stroke creating something new: a brand new life, a brand new work of art. While the blank space still stretches far across the canvas, a new picture is beginning to emerge. It will take time to become beautiful again, it will take a lifetime, but a lifetime isn’t forever. Forever is with you and I can’t wait to meet you there.
Until then, I promise to make you proud, raise our boys to be Godly men, and continue to spread the message of “God’s Got This.” Because He does.