The 36th Birthday

Dearest Andrew,

Some days suck.

Some days are just never over fast enough. Some days on the calendar we dread for months.

Some days we know will always bring pain, whether it’s been one year, five years, or even 20.

Today is one of those days.

August 26th.

I tried to stay busy. Tried to keep my schedule full.

But it didn’t work.

I’m leading a new Life Group at church. I’m very excited about it. I intentionally started it this morning knowing I’d have to get up and running early. I went to work afterwards. That’s when it all crumbled.

I was at work. Where we met. The radio seems to always know what days are hard and feeds my emotions with songs that remind me of you. I’m paralyzed with listening to songs that make me cry but I don’t dare change stations because I’m crying from memories that I love.

I only told 3-4 people that today was your Birthday. I functioned. I peopled. Although not a lot. I adulted. I even showered.

I didn’t stay under the covers locked away from the world. I even laughed. I gave a lesson at small group. I played with a couple of sweet children I love. I played Bocci ball with my sister, brother in law and niece. I sat by a fire and roasted marshmallows in the dark. I ordered a bug zapper on Amazon.

But mostly, I thought of you.

  • I thought of your smile, your laugh & how I have to remember your voice. How when I went to Alaska you Skype’d me and sang “Hello Delilah” to me while you played it on your guitar. (You were so proud of knowing that one song.) Even after all this time, when that song comes on the radio, I stop and smile as I remember that night.
  • I remember the times we went fishing in the pond by my place. I made you bait my hook. And just as you’d throw your pole in, my worm would be gone and I’d make you bait it again. Over and over.
  • I remember my birthday party when you jumped in the pool after almost everyone was gone. In the dark. And the pool was closed. In your skivvies. You had no trunks. No towel. And for months I heard how disappointed you were that no one jumped in with you.
  • I remember when we went bowling and on the scoreboard we listed Mr. Awesome & Ms. Fantabulous. The teenage girls next to us laughed. Then a week later at Halloween you asked where my costume was & I said “I’m Ms Fantabulous! Where is yours?” Your reply, “I’m wearing it-Mr. Awesome.” We used fantabulous so often my phone recognized it as a real word and auto suggested it.

You’ve left such a huge hole in so many people. Your work husband came up to me the other day and asked if I would be ok today. I told him I planned to stay busy but I doubted it. He said he misses you every day so it wouldn’t be much different. I agreed but said some days are worse than others. It was the probably one of two conversations we have had since we lost you that was genuinely compassionate. Usually, I just feel his anger for me. As he walked away from my desk, I burst into tears.

I don’t cry as often as I did when you first left. I’m in a much healthier place emotionally. I’ve worked very hard through a lot of things to find this new place. I know God has given me strength to continue without you. Even when I didn’t want it or think it was possible to keep going. I am amazed at the girl that looks back at me in the mirror some days. I didn’t think I’d make it through. But I did. I fought the devil for my life and I won the battle. My God wins the war.

I still wonder “How do we ever completely recover from losing a best friend? Someone we love & value so much?” I’m still not sure we ever do. But I do know one day I will see you again. Yet for me and so many others, it will never be soon enough.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Andrew.

Till we meet again,

Love,

Matilda

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