Right where I am - 5 years, 365 days
Tomorrow would have been Tripp's 6th birthday. I take photos of the kids for their birthday, but I have no new ones of him. He is my forever baby. . . . It is actually funny. For years I pictured him as a baby, but lately I picture him as a kindergartener. Not sure how or when that changed in my mind. I wish I knew more about how heaven work and what he was doing right now.
I think of Tripp more times a day than can be counted. I think of him without even being aware that I am thinking of him. There would be no possible way to count even if I tried. How many times a day do you think about your kids? Its the same thing with Tripp. Although, I don't have to think about getting him to hockey or having a snack ready for him after school, his being is woven into the fabric of my life. I think about him not being here all the time. Sometimes it comes from sadness and sometimes it is born of curiosity. What would our lives be like if he were here? What kind of boy would he be? How would Calder be different having not faced a loss as great as a brother?
Six days ago Lawson turned two. We were talking about ages at the supper table and through a bit of play with the numbers, Calder came to the realization that this year he would be three times as old as Lawson and twice as old as Boone this year. We noted Tripp's age, but being 1.3 repeating times as old, isn't quite as neat. On the way home from piano that night, Calder was still talking about ages. He noted that when he was in grade 8 Boone would be in grade 4. He then started talking about what grade Tripp would be in when he was in certain grades and Calder moved along all the way to when Tripp was in grade 10 he would be in grade 12. Calder then said, "That will be so cool having someone in my school all the time." . . . . Will be. . . Calder was thinking of this incredible hypothetical world where he already had a sibling in school with him and one where he would go to high school with his brother. This conversation made me sad and happy. Sad because Calder will only ever go to school with Tripp in some made up world, but happy because Calder didn't seem sad about it at all. It was fun just to dream about it.
I still cry a lot about Tripp. I am learning that I have this strange attachment between grieving and my love for him. I feel closer to Tripp when I am crying. This is messed up. And I don't want to spend my life needing to cry to feel a connection to him. I want to feel close to him in happiness. I have starting seeing someone to help me with this. I also continue to worry about what other people think about my grieving. Also messed up. I am working on that too.
I usually don't cry when I hear about a new baby being born anymore and seeing a squishy newborn rarely makes me feel nauseas like it used to. I still don't hold babies. . . . Since Tripp died, the only babies I have held are Boone, Lawson and my 2 nephews, Nash and Cruz. I feel no desire to hold someone random's baby, so I likely won't hold another until my sister gives birth in May. This doesn't bother me much. I know deep down I am missing out. Babies are so precious. But I also fear the pain that might come with holding one, so I am content just to let others get their snuggles.
I have been dreading this week leading up to Tripp's birthday since Christmas ended. When the calendar rolls over to a new year I can sense the pain that comes with it. I feel anxious about it. It starts to eat at my stomach. Because of this, I know I will be thankful when its over. I don't miss Tripp any more this week than I do the other weeks of the year, so I know it is illogical to be more sad. But I am, so I will be thankful when February 24th arrives.
I will be tweeting throughout the day tomorrow how we are celebrating Tripp. If you think of him, light a candle for him, or do a random act of kindness, please feel free to use the hashtag #RememberingTripp . Grieving can be lonely and when we hear about other people thinking about Tripp and learn about the love that gets spread through our baby boy, it makes us smile.
May there be cake pops in heaven for you tomorrow, my boy. We love you.