Six years… 72 months… 313 weeks… 2191 days… 52,594 hours… 3,153,600 minutes…
That’s how long Timothy’s been gone. It’s hard to believe really because it feels like just yesterday when it all happened – the accident, the hospital, the preparations, the wake, the funeral and then the moving on with our lives. Not a day goes by, that some thought, some memory, some sense of deja vu doesn’t go through my head when it comes to my stepson.
But unfortunately for me, I had practice at this before Timothy died because I had lost my dad seven years prior to cancer. So my understanding of the pain and the sorrow was clearer than most and my knowledge of the whole subject was deeper than most too. I had already come to realize that it never really gets better. Life just keeps moving. The pain never goes away. It just lessens, but at any time, it can flare up and strike like a rattlesnake and hit without any warning. And when it does, you just simply need to let the storm roll in, learn to breathe and then just go on with your life.
But like most things in our lives, everyone has to learn that there are things we can control and things that we just simply can’t. Most of us wanted the world to stop moving the day he died because that meant there would be less time between when he was alive and when we lost him, but the clock kept turning and the days continued to wash away.
But as the days continued to pass, so did the things that continue to make our lives worth living – the birth of another handsome little brother, the birth of new beautiful niece, high school graduations, family members’ and best friends’ weddings, people moving away to find new adventures, the college years for close friends, more new babies, changes we never saw coming, numerous minor disasters, a few trips to the hospital and countless days in the pool, at the zoo and trips to favorite places and so much more.
While it was obvious that Timothy wasn’t here, when we take a step back all that stuff still happened despite our pain, despite our hesitation and even despite our continual strength to hold our lives together. And all of us know that our lives will continue to move forward no matter how badly our hearts ache and the amount of tears we cry.
I have come to believe that life keeps moving in order to help us heal, to help us face a new day, to help us feel something else and to help us learn how to live again.
While there is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish Timothy was here to share in the adventures of his two little brothers, his sister and his niece as everyone continues to get a little bit older, I know our lives have continued to prosper because he is watching over us every day, giving us his blessings and then showing us every now and then how much he misses being with us too in his own way.
Everything truly does happen for a reason. Yes, it’s been six years without him. But, we’ve continued to live our lives for six years as well. While the glass may be half empty in this scenario, from a different perspective it is also half full. Because nothing stopped, the lives of his family and friends continued to move forward, some in his memory, some for the better and some not-so-much. We wear the bracelets, have the stickers on our cars, wear sweatshirts and t-shirts with his name on it and some even have tattoos – all to remember the life he once led as the pages of our own lives continue to turn one after another without even much notice when we just let life take hold and let the cards fall where they may.
We miss you every day, Sweetheart! We love you so much and wish you were still here. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been six years. Gone, but never forgotten!