This morning, the pressure of trying to make sure everything was perfect started to get to me. My youngest daughter left her toothbrush at her grandma's house days ago. She somehow failed to mention it until this morning when I asked her if she brushed her teeth. She normally has pretty bad morning breath due to sleeping with her mouth open and having allergies so imagine after this has been growing in her mouth for days. No extra toothbrushes in the cabinet. She brushed her teeth with her finger and some toothpaste. Please, God, don't let anyone get too close to her today.
Then, when I was ready to gather everyone together for the annual back to school morning photos (come on, you know you do it too), the camera battery was dead. So, no photos until this afternoon when they come home with stains on their shirts and their hair sticking out and they've drawn on their hand or new jeans with marker. Deep sigh. Maybe I am exaggerating but it is possible.
Then, there was the whole time issue. The older kids catch a bus from the elementary school to the middle school but when we got there, the buses had already left. This led to them complaining and me yelling. They had to wait because I had to walk the youngest ones to their classrooms.
When we arrived at the school, it seemed all of the common sense that the other parents had just left them. For some reason, they couldn't drive the normal loop through the entrance. There were cars going every which way, no parking spaces, and no rhyme or reason to any of it. I finally pulled up on the curb. After I got back to my car, I noticed several other cars had followed suit. I left the elementary school and noticed my gas hand was not just on the E but dropping below it. I made a run for it anyway and dropped the rest of the kids off at the middle school.
By this point, I was nearly in tears. I couldn't cry though because I had to go put some gas in my car or spend the rest of the morning on the side of the road. A few gallons and a few more dollars later and I was on my way back home so I could feed the poor, forgotten cats.
While driving, I did something I find myself doing from time to time: I started talking to Richie. Richie is their father and he is no longer with us. He passed away five years ago. I told him, "The kids have started a new school year. M is in eighth grade now and he looks so much like you." Then I started thinking about how old they were when he passed. My oldest son, the one in eighth grade was a second grader.
Now the youngest, who was just a baby then, is in second grade. That's how old my oldest was when he lost his Daddy. Our youngest son was just in Kindergarten. I kept thinking how much they have grown and how much he has missed. I thought of how much I wanted him to see them. To see how big they've gotten, how smart they are.
I wanted him to see them dressed up for their first day of school and how excited they were. Well, I just fell apart. I sobbed and sobbed. Even though it's been five years, it is a hurt that never heals. I go on with life but every once in a while, no matter how much I push those feelings down, they come back up and can no longer be ignored. Sometimes, when I least expect it. Like the first day of school.
There is a part of me that believes he is in heaven, watching over us. I believe in God and I believe in heaven so he must be there but I just wish I could know he was there. I could have a sense that he still goes on someplace other than in my memories. I think some people who have lost loved ones still feel there presence and know that they are there but all I feel is his absence.
I have gone on living. I have found love again and even found myself. But for all that I have found, I cannot help but feel that I have lost so much.