Today marks the one month anniversary from when I last saw Travis. People say it will take time to grieve and heal. I don’t think I will ever heal. Grieving has so many emotions and faces. At one moment I feel a little stronger and then I am hit with a tsunami of sadness and emotions. It doesn’t matter how many people call or stop by, none of them can give me our my children what we want. The sadness continues, the suffocation occurs daily. I cry myself to sleep every night. I just want to hold him, touch him, hug him, kiss him one more time.
This weekend was the weekend the girls and I were to go to Minneapolis for a “girls weekend”and Christmas shopping. Travis and Jacob were to have a “boys weekend” and go to Jake’s hockey games in fargo. Instead- the girls were with friends and I took Jacob. We’re so lucky to have our family. His grandparents and aunt- cousins were present. Jacob got a break away and scored his First goal! I was immediately excited and then burst into tears. Travis wasn’t physically with us and cheer and yell. He loved watching our children- he was one of their biggest supporters. Jacob also was in the penalty box and scored another goal. How I miss Travis presence.
During the drive home from Fargo, I was grateful that Jacob fell asleep. I talked to Travis. I cried and looked for a sign that he was with me. I looked for a sign that he would watch over us.
Travis was allergic to real Christmas trees. We always had artificial trees in our home (three to be exact). One tree with all the children’s homemade ornaments, one with all our store bought (hallmark) ornaments and another for our extra ornaments (travis San Diego Chargers). This Christmas- we will have our first real tree. Today- I drove the children to where I went as a child. We picked out our radiant thin Douglas fir. Actually, we all liked the same one! Jacob even cut the tree down by himself! I was proud of finding our first real tree.
We took Travis pickup to cavalier and I heard sniffles in the back seat. Sydney told me Jacob was crying. I kept looking back at him and I could sense he was trying to hold the tears in. We were in his dad’s pickup. Travis should be driving – not me. Travis should be driving with his one hand on the wheel and choosing the music on his Sirius radio.
The children and I decided to make a quick stop to see Travis parents on the way home. My heart and mind were flooded with memories from when Travis and I dated- where we went gopher hunting as teens, where we took the kids to make sand castles, when we were stormed in at a friend house when we were dating. Tears filled my eyes, every muscle in my body aches, my gut feels empty, my heart is literally breaking.
The pain is raw, it stabs me a thousand times a day, it takes my breath away, it takes me out to sea with no view of the shore. I continue to have images of him laying in the muddy water- asking me to find him, begging me to find him. I’m too late, we were too late. The pain is excruciating- knowing he took his last breath alone. Not knowing how long he fought- did he have pain- did he struggle- did he hurt? The unknown continues to constantly grab my heart.
I look for happiness. I try be strong for my children. I try make Travis proud. I know he wouldn’t want me to be sad. I see him in our children. Sydney has his determination, she strives for excellence and is upset when she fails. Samantha has his carefree attitude, she is a free spirit. Jacob has his tender heart- thanking others for their kindness and saying “I love you too”.
How I miss him- every morning while brushing my teeth I look at his toothbrush, his deodorant, his brush, his shampoo. I won’t use his bar soap in fear that I will no longer have it. I can’t wash around the sink for fear that his shaved whiskers will no longer be there for me to see every day. I froze the last gravy he made. I froze the last meal he made. I just froze the last salsa he was eating. I can’t bring myself to lose any more of him. He was taken away from me. He was taken away from us.
I would do anything – for just one more moment with him. Just one more kiss, one more touch. Just one more time.
LYTHAB Travis Wade