Part 2

Kate started ice skating lessons last week. Today was her second time on the ice. She's a natural. Her smile radiates off her face when she's on the ice. Grinning from ear to ear she just keeps getting back up and trying again. Just like her Dad.

I imagine what their conversations would be like right now if he was here. I know she's disappointed to come home to the empty house and not have anyone else to share her good news with. I sense the pause in her when we enter through the garage and she yells "were home" adding "Jake and Becky". Like she doesn't still want to yell "were home Daddy".

His room is her playroom now. Neither one of us like to play in there. The indentations in the floor from his bed still a reminder of what isn't here. We'll sit in there sometimes, lounging on the floor, and talk about him. Telling stories. Sharing.
She's asked to hear the story of his death more in the last month than she has in the last 11months. She wants to know every detail. When she's sure she's heard it all she asks to hear the story of her birth, or of Scott and I's first date or of the Cub's game. Absorbing as many of those details as she can before finally moving on to other important things. Like, would Ariel really marry Prince Eric?

Today she skated and we went to Daddy Lake. We ran, we chased, we played and we sat. We sat on that pier and we talked. She told daddy all about skating. She told him about starting kindergarten in the fall and about her friend Azier at school. "he's a boy Daddy. But don't worry he's not my boyfriend. I don't want one of those until after college."
This is all stuff we tell him every night and before every afternoon rest. But being on that lake with the glorious sun shinning on us, I'm pretty sure both of us knew for certain that he was sitting on that pier with us. How else can you explain 80degree weather on March 15th in Chicago?
It felt so good to be so close to him. So close and yet so far.

She is so much his girl. Quick with a joke. Always wanting to make others smile. His long eyelashes and small mouth. But it's her calm that is most like him. Her gentle ease. Sitting on that pier, a tear ran under my sunglasses. She just leaned her little body on mine and whispered "he still loves us." A true grace that can never be defined but that can only be experienced to fully understand. If you knew him, you know the grace I speak of. How did I get so lucky to have it in my life twice?

Our dinner at his favorite restaurant didn't go as well as our trip to Daddy Lake. No warnings, no signs, no information. Just locked doors. Not ones to give up, we made it work at the Olive Garden. It doesn't really matter where we are after all, it just matters that we're together. In thinking about it now, the Olive Garden is really a pretty good place. His last birthday with us was spent there. One of my favorite pictures of he and Kate, the one that sits beside my bed, was taken there. Looking at my big girl sitting across from me tonight at dinner and trying to connect her with the six month old baby in the picture on my dresser... an impossible task. Realizing that her daddy is holding on to her now just as he was in that picture; so very easy.

Every date on the calendar has now been lived since he left. Every major holiday has been conquered. We got through the past year. I'm sure we didn't do everything "right". I know it wasn't always pretty. I know there is more longing, pain, heartache to come. Beyond that though, I know we can do this. I may not always want to. But we can and we will.

This is our one wild and precious life.

and we're going to live it.

Mommara  – (March 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM)  

<3 love you beautiful girls.

Cindi B  – (March 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM)  

Good to see updated pictures of Kate she is beautiful both on the inside & out. You are blessed!

Glinda  – (March 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM)  

Many, many hugs, my dear. You ARE going to live that life, with a whole lot of love and friends sharing in it.

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