Today is your birthday and I would give my right arm, both my legs and my spleen to be spending today with you. I miss you so much and it's hard to believe you aren't here anymore.
You drove me crazy when you were alive many times and I just wish I could hear you give me a hard time about my lack of lipstick and makeup one more time. Last year on your birthday, I was very much in the dark rooms of grief and I'm happy to say that this morning I woke up with a smile on my face thinking about how today was your birthday. I slapped on some of your bright pink lipstick and took AK out shopping where we both got new clothes and had a lovely lunch together. I tried to soak up all the sweet little girlishness and I knew this would be exactly how you would want me to spend the day in your honor.
I called Dad to check in on him. He is in the midst of preparing to move to Tennessee in the next month and really isn't focused on anything else. He is crazy happy in his newlywed bliss and can't really begin to relate to the grief I feel today. His energy and focus is on his new life and it is painful. I hung up the phone and cried, regretting that I even called him at all. So, I called Mr. Man who encouraged me to write, he knows there is such solace in writing for me.
This past year, the days I miss you the most... are the days where I am navigating the school system and miss your teacher insight. I loved that you had a successful career as a teacher, but I wish I had your advice as I try and figure out what is the right thing to do in educating my children. If there has been one thing that has been a constant this year, it is the overwhelming feeling that I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to these kids. I know how to have fun, to take them on adventures, but when it comes to their educational needs or how to raise them right to be good people... I'm lost. I've learned I'm not the only one and to trust my instincts. But there are some days where I just want to raise my hand and wait for someone to call on me and say, "Um, I have a question.... about these kids of mine.... am I doing it right so far?"
Mom, you would be so furious with me. Mr. Boy got the equivalent of a D in reading this year. Yes... Mr. Boy, I know.. it's crazy right? Since you were a reading specialist for a million years, I can just hear you yelling, "Wendy Kay Mary Katherine Kate Mary Margaret! How is MY grandson failing reading?! Not on my watch!" Well, here's the thing... you aren't here and I'm not sure how to work this out. He reads ALL THE TIME, but refuses to take the quizzes at school. In fact, he would just turn it over and draw on the back. Don't fret, I got him a tutor and she tested him, he is reading at grade level just fine. He just really didn't try very hard in school. But again, these are the things I wish you were here for. How am I ever going to get him into college?
I have some regrets about your last few weeks, I'm trying to work through them. Every time I feel guilty about them I can hear your voice, "Wendy, stop, it doesn't matter and it's not worth dwelling on." I am grateful for your voice that often enters my thoughts, whether it's my subconscious or really your voice it doesn't matter, I'm grateful for it.
Mom, I miss you and love you. You will always be in my heart and if you ever felt like you didn't know what you were doing when you raised us... You did a fine job... well done.