Good morning, sunshine. I woke early today. Lots on my mind, I guess. Not terribly surprising that I woke at 5:55 after having woken at 4:44. (Thank you for those awesome little visits, by the way.)
Did you know…Daddy and I bought this house 8 years ago today?? We had such plans for how to fill these walls with sound. Love, life and sound.
We started with the buddy nearly a year later and he made us laugh (and drove us crazy.) Nevertheless, he was ours. Crazy, wild, BIG and ours. You joined us a little while later and our house had everything I’d ever dreamed of. Endless chatter from the friends & family we’d have over, baby squeals, dog barking and laughter. And then later, the sounds of you growing up.
You two never seemed 100% certain of each other. Afterall, you were little and squeaky and he was huge and intimidating. But we know you both loved each other. Conan would stand watch over your bedroom at night. I swear, I think he knew when you’d fallen asleep and he could let his guard down. He was never as protective until you came along!
My life was everything, Kate. Even a cancer diagnosis couldn’t change that. It scared us. Broke our hearts. it changed everything we knew to be true about life and taught us so much. But life, even when hard, was so unbelievably good.
I’d race home at the end of the work day, so thankful that it was Grandma’s car that waited outside. I never had to pick you up from a stranger’s house or race to fetch you when you weren’t feeling well. You and Conan both lit UP with excitement when Daddy & I got home.
Life was every dream I’d ever had come true. Not the cancer bit, sure. But YOU. DADDY. Even that silly dog.
Conan died two years ago today. We got to let him have a few good days before we said goodbye. He spent them with us – eating his favorite treats and basking in the sunshine. He was loved and I think he knew that. Our family was sad when he left, but we knew we gave him the best life. We’d be okay…after all, it was the summer before you were done with treatment and we had big, big things planned. Life was waiting!
10 days shy of six months later, you would join Conan in heaven. But we didn’t get those days in the sunshine. We didn’t have a warning. We didn’t know, and we’d be catapulted into a life of loss so fast that our heads spun. In 10 days shy of six months, we lost it all. Everything.
This house we love still stands. The love still fills the walls. Your room…your playroom…mostly untouched. This is your home. It always will be. But there is very little life left here. It’s quiet and dark. (Painfully quiet.) It’s sad and lonely. Your presence – both of yours – is everywhere. Every claw mark in the hard wood. Every growth chart pencil mark on the wall. Every bite marked pillow case (his, not yours!) Every crayon stain in the bathtub. You will both remain here forever. NO MATTER WHAT. No matter what or who else comes. YOU were here first. You, who gifted us with the life we’d dreamed of. Who taught us what family meant. Who filled these walls with more love and laughter in far, far too few years.
This is your home. Our cute little split level on a quiet cul-du-sac in Herndon. And in my heart. Your home.
Both of you.
We love you. We miss you BOTH. Best friends. Family. Forever. I promise.