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Dear Reed . . . it’s February

February 19, 2019

Dear Reed –

I almost feel I should start this letter with and then there was February.  I don’t how to explain it.  Life will go by so swimmingly well, and then it’s like some cosmic explosion of sadness comes sprinkling down from the universe.  Stardust of grief covers every surface and I realize, Oh it’s February.

I can hardly believe that eleven years have gone by without hearing your laugh, seeing your beautiful red hair and mischievous smile, watching your little old man imitations, or being wrapped in one of your sneak up behind a person hugs.  Those years have, at times, felt like a blink of an eye and at other times, like a lifetime.  I still find joy to be elusive on occasion, but I am dogged in my pursuit because I know confidently you would never want us to live our lives void of happiness. Being a thinker is definitely is a wonderful skill as a lifelong learner and as an educator who daily reminds her students to stay curious, but it can also be a curse when I wonder what life would have been or would be like if you were still with us.  My imagination gets the better of me, so much so that I almost grab the phone to call you to tell some random thing or another.

Aspects of February remind me of when I was little and we would go to the beach.  I was so tiny that standing a few feet from the shore was never a safe bet.  The waves coming in were so strong they would simply knock me down and current going back out into the Gulf was strong enough to pull me under.  No matter the direction – coming or going – I could not shake the strength of the sea and days, although fewer than in the early years of losing you, feel exactly like when I was little and I would try to keep standing upright.

I don’t really believe that time heals all wounds, but I do believe that over time, our ability to live with our grief – the new normal so to say – improves.  There are some things however that I avoid altogether, because they always bring incredible pain such as the school’s Hall of the Forgotten, only that isn’t what they call it.  I have never understood how a Hall of Fame would be in that location. A thousand times I have implored for change, leaving a trail of broken promises.  No matter how hard I try I cannot find joy there. It is the very definition of February for me.

Thankfully, even though February moments happen, there are more moments of joy. This last year has been one filled with amazing experiences with lots of travel adventures and buoyed by incredibly hard work of going to school to realize my dreams.  We have had celebrations and we have others anticipated in the near future – Sawyer’s graduation from college, Erin’s graduation the following year and watching her simply flourish as a teacher, Cloie’s moving on to high school and most recent math accomplishments, and finally Sawyer’s and Sydney’s wedding.  I will admit that they are all tinged with some February because you won’t be there, but we are joy-filled for where life will take them.

Despite moments of February, there are so many incredible blessings that we experience on a daily basis.  Experiencing a loss as deep as ours gives you eyes for how others are hurting in this world.  We never had the visual acuity that you had for seeing what others live through, but now we have the clarity and the focus to be able to help.  In this way, we keep your legacy of loving others alive.  Losing you also provided our circle.  Don’t get me wrong, we are surrounded near and far by incredible, loving people.  But the circle.  They cheer the loudest and love the largest.  Spending time without them is akin to a fish out of water, and many of them chuckle when I say I just love breathing the same air as you.

There are some blessings so amazing that we could have never imagined or hoped for them.  Some are little, like tattoos in memory of you and Jesse, Hunter, and Emilee.  Others are so precious that I thank God daily for them in my life.  In only the way heaven creates family, Lydia, Claire, Brinkley, Ethan, Taylin, DeShawn, and Keaghen Reed are just about the best blessings that we could have ever asked for, especially the timing of the last grandchild on the list.  His birthday exactly two days before your homegoing date.  In only the way that God could, his birthday lessens the blow of our darkest day.

While enduring February may always be a struggle for me, loving you never was and never will be a burden for me.  There are moments where I pause and think of how we will make sure to remember you, especially with all our littles and others bigger in the circle and beyond, because in our blessings each of them are also being raised to know about you.

To answer the question, What about Reed? It’s really simple, we are all going to continue to live out your legacy of loving others like it is oxygen for our souls.  Simply because that is the best way to diminish the waves of February.

Waiting until the day I can hold you again.  Hug all our peeps and especially that red-furred wonder, Huck, who I still miss incredibly too. Watching with hopeful anticipation for the next cardinal and . . .

loving you always, now and forever because ours is  love stronger than February.

Love – Momma

reedhuck

8 Comments
  1. Tammy permalink

    So beautiful

  2. Tom permalink

    Your words are beyond words Kandy.

  3. Ernestine Williams permalink

    Love you.. 💖 I know he and Nannie and granddaddy are up there looking down. Saying how proud they are off you! 😘💞

  4. Aching with you. Hope is alive and remains the anchor of my soul, as I know it is for you, as well, my fellow grief mom. ((hugs))

    • Angie – such precious words of comfort you have offered. Hope is indeed the anchor of my soul and such a beautiful reminder of how we will someday hold our loved ones again. Be blessed. Hugs are one of my most favorite things. Kandy

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