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December 26, 2013: Sweet Rhapsody

Some people might say that I shouldn’t keep looking at Stella’s pictures. It will just make it harder to move on. And others might say that maybe I shouldn’t keep blogging about Stella. That maybe the blog simply becomes an online shrine and I the caretaker.

Perhaps I shouldn’t dwell on reminders of her absence because I need to be able to walk away.

But I can’t do that.

I loved everything about Stella and I can’t let go.

I love her smile, her laugh, her voice. I loved all the tiny imperfections that make us all unique individuals. So I loved the way her little feet curved as much as the way her eyes would sparkle. I even loved the charming craziness that made her who she was. She would walk into a room where I was reading a book and turn off the light, saying that I didn’t need the light. Yeah, it would drive me insane, but that’s what I loved.

And what I will never forget.

Sure everyone knows about her kindness, her zealousness about showing appreciation. Her complete modesty and ability to stay in control no matter what was going on around her. In an old file I found a work evaluation from the Children’s Defense Fund, her first job when we were married in Washington, D.C. The evaluation proclaims that when everyone else was panicking over some event, she stayed smiling and calm and knew what to do. This was in 1990, twenty-four years ago.

And when I was nervously fiddling with the morphine bottles trying to ready an injection without cutting myself on the glass in the middle of the night, she would give me gentle encouragement even though she was barely conscious. “Take a deep breath. Hold it up to the light. Inject it here. You can do this.”

So many memories.

I stumbled on to a video of her and two friends at a Karaoke night singing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” A part of me told me not to watch, yet how could I not?

And there she was a few months before getting sick, smiling and laughing and singing. “I don’t want to die, I sometimes wish I’d never been born before. Carry on, carry on. Because nothing really matters….” No sh*t.

Fu## that. Where’s the freaking justice in the world???? What the hell happened???

How can I not dwell on memories of this amazing angel with whom I shared most of my days???

I’ve tried to not think about her and get on with life. But you know something? It’s not possible and days with memories — even painful memories — are better than days without.

They say that pain makes you stronger. If that’s true, look out.

Sometimes I really wonder how I can possibly get out of bed in a world without her.

But don’t worry. I do. My mission in life is to take care of the kids. I know they need me, and they will get me. But beyond that, sometimes all I want to do is stay in bed with the pain sitting on my chest.

Because to skip the pain would mean to forget just how much she meant to me.

And I won’t do that.

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