It’s been a week since we said good-bye to our girl. And there hasn’t been a moment that I don’t miss her.
I’ve been without her for longer periods of time, but never here, never in this house. She’s always been here, a permanent fixture as much as the the walls and windows. She was here for the building of this house, the moving in and furnishing of the rooms. (She even christened the sub-floors in a couple of spots before she knew better.) Her presence is everywhere… But she’s not in all of the usual places. She’s not lying on one of the beds that we’d strategically placed for her to lay on. She doesn’t pop her little face around the corner of the kitchen cabinets with an expectant look on her face whenever I’m in there. She’s not waiting for me outside the bathroom door because it’s right next to the “magic cupboard,” and since she’s here she might as well have a cookie. She doesn’t follow me up and down the stairs 9 times in a row because she might miss out on what momma is doing. She doesn’t curl into the bend of my knees to keep herself warm at night.
It seems the only solution to my eyes’ constant search for her is to get out of the house, leave, go anywhere but here. And yet, in the car I still search the rearview mirror for a glimpse of her face, and my heart hurts as I pass the places that she loved: the park, the beach, the ice cream store…
But even with the current pain and grief, I know that it won’t always feel this bad. I am searching my memories, even now, for a smile that she gave me. She left me with so many smiles. I just have to remember to look for them.