I thought that once we reached the one year mark of Kenton being gone that things would be easier. Softer. More tolerable.
I was wrong.
Everything is sharper.
More riddled with emotion.
There are days where I want to just huddle in my bed, covers pulled tight, shutting out the whole world. Yet with a full time job, a part time job, a family, and a church calling, that doesn't become an option. Ever. And it's probably a good thing.
We've become pretty recluse, our little earthly family of 3. We don't go out with friends. We don't really go out at all other than to work and school. McKayslin does go to friend's houses on occasion, and once in a while we get really big and brave and she invites a friend over here. Those friends are ones that played here when Kenton was alive. Because they seem to understand and accept us as we are - in our sad times, our broken times, through our tears. And they talk about Kenton. I love to hear the "remember whens" sprinkled throughout their conversations. Kenton is always remembered with love and laughter. Because that's who he was.
That larger than life kid that loved everyone. That made sure everyone had a friend. And even when faced with terminal cancer, some of his last words were, "Take care of Goose! Take care of each other!"
What most people don't understand, what we didn't understand, is that LIFE is dang hard.
Watching everyone else move on, their kids growing strong and healthy and whole - that hurts.
I try not to be jealous.
Sometimes I'm successful.
I appreciate those friends that don't expect too much out of us.
They ask us to do things, but if we say no, or if we back out at the last minute, there is no judgement.
They don't understand what we're going through.
They don't try to understand.
They just love us through it.
And when we bail, yet again, they bring brownies and don't expect to stay and visit, or send a card, a text, a Facebook message, a pizza, or leave a bag of treats on our door, because, gratefully, they love us even in the midst of our crazy messed up reality.
I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever be okay again. And I'm okay if we're not. Because sometimes, getting stuck in our memories brings more smiles than tears, and being together where we can just be is sometimes about all we can handle.
We miss Kenton with every breath. With every heartbeat. In every sunrise and every cloudy day. Things are so different without him here. Everything is such an acute reminder that he's gone.
So when you ask where we are, or how we are, please know that your concern does not go unnoticed... it just might be too painful to answer just then. But until we can answer, please keep praying for us, keep loving us, and understand that we're doing the best we can.