Some mornings I look around and really take notice of all the things in my every-day life that are new or changed since losing Britt. There is this house, which she would have loved for its old-fashioned quirkiness, its location on the stable grounds, its proximity to her favorite restaurant but which she never saw since it did not become home until she'd been gone nearly two years. A different car in the driveway and a new couch in the living room. Daddy has an iPod and we both have succumbed to Facebook. There is Mojo, our new dog...here just a year, and the absence of our Boomer - a valiant SuperDog until the end of his also too-brief life. There's her littlest cousin, Jack, who charms us every day and a growing roster of first cousins once removed. Our beloved Nana is gone. And, then, there is her father and me, reunited first by our grief and then, slowly, by the discovery that in the face of such loss it simply wasn't possible to bear the loss of each other as well.
In the lives of my nieces and nephews and the children of my friends, I hear the faintest echoes of the many things her life might have been: graduations and trips abroad, commitments made and lives being forged, all while I stand here holding my breath. I'm almost, but not quite, ready to exhale and start wondering what the coming years will hold.