It’s Just Another Day, Innit?

Dearest Rachel –

I still have that balloon that Our Father allowed to drop on our driveway last year at this time, and let me pretend was from you. It’s long since gone flat in a bin in the basement, but I can’t help but treasure it, as I don’t think I can expect such a thing to happen a second time. After all, how many birthdays can I expect something from you after you’re gone? It’s not like you could have prepared anything like that for the day, let alone made it an annual thing.

Sure, I wish you could have. But then, there’s so many wishes about you that I could have; it won’t make them come true.

As you can tell, it’s that time of year again. I’m a year older, maybe a little wiser for it (certainly, after all that’s gone on this past year, I ought to be), but I wouldn’t say I was happier or better off for it, necessarily. The absence – or perhaps more accurately, the dulling – of pain and sadness does not equal happiness, honey. I may have gotten more accustomed to the house being empty – and, much as I hate to admit it to you in particular, I kind of like the fact that it’s cleaner and more orderly – but that doesn’t mean I consider it to be even a remotely fair trade-off. I’ve said it before, and I stand by it even now, I would gladly go back to those piles throughout the house if I could have you back again.

But as I’ve also admitted before, there’s no option to summon you back, and even if there were, why on earth – literally – would you want to answer that summons?

Beyond that, I don’t really have anything to ask for in terms of presents. Anything I might want is either unobtainable (you, or something from you, or someone to be you – or at least what you were) or illegal (if you think in terms of that last possibility on a temporary basis – which I’d never seriously consider. I’ve said it before, I want to find a Ms. Right, if she exists, rather than a Ms. Right Now). Jenn actually came up with the brilliant suggestion of making a donation in my name to the camp, and Mom and Dad followed suit at my request.

There are times when it feels strange to be supporting the very place where you… left us, honey. While there’s no point in being angry or bitter at the place for something that has been agreed upon by one and all to be a freak accident, the idea of supporting the place – almost in your name, even – seems a little incongruous, doesn’t it? And yet, what else can I do? The place needs someone to do the job I do, and who else can do it? Granted, at some point I should probably show a few other people certain parts of the process – you’ve proven that I can’t be expected to do this forever, so having a backup or successor might be a good idea – but for now, I’m the one who can do what needs to be done.

This milestone is also another reminder that I keep getting that much older than you’ll ever be. It seems unfair; I already was more than two years your senior, and with every passing day, I’ll have spent that much more time on this earth than you got to. I keep trying to remind myself that you’re that much better off than I am for it, already walking in eternity and the bliss thereof, but a few more years on earth shouldn’t have been all that much to ask for, should it?

And yet here we are, with me continuing to mark the passage of time, while you exist outside of it, perhaps taking the opportunity to observe on occasion, but no longer chained within the fourth dimension. I wonder what that’s got to be like.

Well, I’ll get there someday, I’m sure. It’s not the sort of thing for me to ask for as a present, as I’ve still got a fair amount to deal with down here; I assume that’s why I’ve been left here, after all. Today is just another day, with the usual tasks, so I’d best get on with them, shouldn’t I?

Anyway, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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