Twenty years. Twenty. Years. TWENTY. YEARS. Can it really be that long that the world hasn't had you in it? Even as I type it over and over, it still seems impossible to be true. Twenty. Years.
I've lived more of my life without you than I did with you. It's weird being on this side of it, hard to believe it has really been that long since I talked you, or saw you smile at me, or felt your comforting arms around me. I miss you. Oh, how I miss you!
I often wonder what it would be like to have you in my life. How different would it be, how different would I be, if Heaven hadn't called you home just yet. Because as much as your presence shaped me, your absence also shaped me. What would you think of my husband, of my children, of me? Everyone says you would be proud of me. I hope that is true.
I so long to call you up, to ask your advice, to ask forgiveness for being a toot as a child now that I have two toots of my own, to chat about life, together as adults, as peers. We never got to have any of those conversations. I wish I had asked you about so many things when you were here, but I didn't know to ask. I didn't know I wouldn't have my mother to guide me into adulthood, into womanhood, into motherhood.
Oh, I wish you could see your grandchildren! Each one of them carries a bit of you. Gideon, his eyes light up when he smiles, the way yours did. And Penelope, aside from carrying your middle name, most definitely has your spirit. She is my mini-me, which makes her your mini-mini-me. Gideon saw a picture of you today and I told him it was his Grandma Bitsy, and he told me "I miss Bitsy." I can only imagine that you held him in your arms before he came earth side, probably singing "I Love To Tell The Story" to him. Now I get to sing him and his sister to sleep.
Some days it feels like I just saw you, and other days it's hard to remember your face, your laugh, your voice. There is the hope I have that I will see you again one day, but the waiting, the in-between is difficult. Some days are easier than others, but no day is easy. Every day I want my mom.
I love you, Momma. Happy Bitsy Day.