Ronan. You are not 4 and you are not here.
I am so aware of the fact that you never got the chance to turn 4 and it haunts me daily. Because of this I often feel as if I live in a world where I am complety consumed with the fact that Poppy is 4. This age of 4 is so precious to me and it hurts on a level that is such a complex mixture of beauty and pain.
You didn’t get to turn 4 but you almost did.
You didn’t get to turn 4 but your baby sister did.
I threw her a 4th birthday party complete with barn yard animals and all. I sang her “Happy Birthday,” helped her blow out her candles and it was impossible not to think of you. I smiled through my tears. I loved on her and held her tightly all through out the day. I cried myself to sleep once her party ended and she was safely tucked away in bed, sound asleep. I woke up the next day with an emotional hang over the size of Donald Trump’s ego, but somehow did the day and did it well just like I manage to do most days now. Not all days, but most.
I am aware every day while walking Poppy in and out of school that I never got to hold your little 4-year-old hand, but I am holding hers. Her hand feels extra sweet to me. Extra delicate like at any moment it could be taken away. The loss of you has made me hyper sensitive to all of her 4-year-old moments. Her 4-year-old lips that I am so lucky to kiss. Her 4-year-old hair that I get to brush. Her 4-year-old laugh that I get to hear. I savor it all, even when she is sooooo sassy that I want to pull my hair out. Every second with her is so precious and I know a lot of that is because I never got to have any of those 4-year-old moments with you.
I wonder if it will always be this way with her or if it’s just this way now because you were so close to turning 4. Either way the loss of you continues to impact me daily even though it has been over six years since your death. Time heals all wounds will always be such bullshit to me. Maybe some wounds aren’t meant to be healed. And that doesn’t make me weak, it makes me stronger than I ever knew I was capable of being.
I’m writing at my favorite book store tonight and a little girl who looks be about 10 just walked by me, gave me a smile and her head was completely bald. I’m having one of those moments where I’m like, “Is this real life or just a dream?” It’s real because I can taste my tears and feel the pinch I just gave my arm. I think I’ll go home now.
G’nite, little man. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.