She is all personality;
full of passion;
the light in our home;
and the comedic genius.
She is one special little girl.
When momma is busy putting sisters to bed, she’s also an expert selfie taker.
3,285 sun rises ago on a rainy, October morning he soared.
The rest of us left with lingering memories of the booming voice, bear hugs and weekend runs.
I love to dream of him. When I wake up, for a brief second, I am granted a reprieve from my grief, as I forget he has died.
Most days though, while his passing is a part of my life, the scar is covered by the realities of this world. We all just move forward, nine years into our journey.
What do I want to leave you with?
I want you to know, in ways I cannot articulate, how wonderful my daddy was.
And, I want you to understand that others walk this path and feel the loss too, year after year, day after day.
Our fast paced world seeks to rush past it. We speak less and less of those whose passing was momentous to our lives.
How about instead we recognize that we are all always recovering?
That loss does not occur in a moment.
There is no time limit on grief.
Let’s give each other the grace to dance with the pain in public long after its perceived expiration date.
Three years gone.
I mark these anniversaries not out of sadness or out of celebration.
I mark them because it shouldn’t be forgotten.
I should remember where I was.
The young woman I left behind,
her fears and her failings.
I wasn’t escaping her, just growing into her next version.
If it hadn’t happened,
if the thread hadn’t been pulled on fourteen years of marriage,
I wouldn’t be here now.
I wouldn’t be the mom, the friend, the woman, I am today.
So today is marked, looking back with respect for the process that brought me here.
I thank God for the gifts of this journey.
I thank God for the gift of this life.
I’m not with her,
or with him.
It’s not that I can’t decide.
It’s simply that I decide neither.
He’s not my party.
She’s not my person.
Neither represent what I believe.
Neither (for different reasons) are role models I want my young girls to emulate.
I don’t care if you feel I am throwing away my vote.
I am standing on principal; doing it loudly, not in silence.
As we do every spring and fall, the little ladies and I will walk into our polling station.
I will check the box for men and women I know make me proud of their service and their ideals.
At the top of my ticket, one box will remain empty.
I’m not with her.
He’s not with me.
Given a choice,
I vote neither.