11 years of missed memories

I’m not sure what made me think about Cathy today, but as I was working on our landscaping- clipping dead stems, cleaning out old leaves, pulling weeds and imagining that someday I won’t find random Hot Wheels and sidewalk chalk in our landscaping- my mind wandered to her.

It’s been nearly 11 years since she’s been gone. Eleven years since the dynamics of our family changed forever. It’s weird to me how the pain of losing someone so dear to you fades as the years go by- it gets easier, and you just slowly shift into a new normal. And after 11 years, this is our normal. But you never forget and you never stop wondering “what if.” I randomly find myself wondering what life would look like if she were still here. On family vacations, I wonder what it’d be like if she were with us. I wonder if we’d still be as close now as we were when she passed away. I wonder what family holidays would look like, and if we’d have continued traditions, or made more.

My heart aches thinking that our girls never got to meet her, and that the boys were so little that they don’t remember. Though part of me is selfishly thankful that they didn’t truly have the heartache of losing her. I imagine how much she’d adore our kids now. I can picture Lulu curling up on her lap and snuggling with her, and her just chuckling at her funny quips. I can literally hear her laughing so hard at Hudson as he tells her one of his exaggerated stories with his expressions and drama added. I can picture Porter joking with her like Ryan did, being witty and sarcastic. And I can imagine Amelia writing to her, and sharing her pictures and writings, and Cathy just soaking it all in. She’d be so proud of them.

I’m not sure why this strikes me now. Maybe it’s because Easter is coming up and that was a holiday we always were together, and I’ve found myself thinking of her randomly- remembering how she’d have a huge basket on her table at Easter full of candy for all the adults. It’s funny how having some quiet time to just think allows your mind to wander. I came across this funny meme the other day: Mucking out stalls is 10% cleaning, 10% talking to your horse and 80% making life decisions. So much truth in that. I find that mucking stalls (and gardening) allows my mind to wander and process and think about things that get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life with 4 kids. Whatever the reason, I welcome these memories.

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