Three years

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Has it only been three years?Has it already been three years?So much has happened that it has to have been that long since the last time he was with us, since the morning we spent around his bed, holding his hand, waiting, watching. So much that it must have been that long or longer even.In some ways it seems like decades have passed.In others, it seems like he was just here.This is the first time that this day has arrived when my mind hasn't been occupied somewhere else, worrying about her, my mother, nervously wondering how she would cope with it all this time around. The first time without the phone calls and messages left and awkward exchanges and wondering if she really was okay and her never being even a little bit concerned about me and her minimizing whatever I was feeling because she always felt more, hurt more, needed more.This is the first time that I can grieve for me.Without the distractions.Without being worried about someone else.Without being told that my grief wasn't big enough.It's calming, actually, this place that I am in now.It still hurts, but the edges of the pain are dulled a bit. . . .

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