One year ago today my kids’ dad didn’t show up to Chloe’s soccer game. I called his work, asking them to please tell his ex-wife if he had reported to work. He hadn’t. Standing on the back porch so my kids couldn’t hear my concern, I called the police. They called me several times after that initial call to ask questions: “Do you know the garage code?” “Could he have gone out of town?” “Are the dogs friendly?” I tried to keep things as normal as possible so I took Chase to Tae Kwon Do, standing outside the studio clutching my phone, waiting to hear something… trying to keep a smile on my face for every time Chase looked at me through the window. The longer I waited for news the tighter the knot clenched in my stomach. When the police called and asked me to come to his house I knew. I told the kids I was going to check on things, and cried to my mom on the phone the whole way there. I pulled up and saw several official vehicles out front and two officers in the driveway. I got the news very matter-of-factly right there, and ended up in Brian’s dining room with the detective answering questions, knowing he was laying in the bedroom 10 feet away from me. I made it back to the car and called his sister before driving home. I had to tell my kids their dad was gone. How does a person do that? I still feel like I did it wrong (knowing full well there was no right way).
This day one year ago changed our worlds forever. It has been one helluva year… but you know what? We’re good. Nothing can prepare you for something like that, but we’ve moved past the surviving part, and on to the thriving part. What doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger.
The kids chose to honor him tonight by eating at one of his favorite places and watching one of his favorite movies.
P.S. I can’t believe they convinced me to go to a buffet in the middle of a pandemic but I was actually really impressed with all the safety measures they had in place.