It was two years ago today, at 6:13 pm. This was the last time Ryan and I communicated.
We were excited about all getting together for Thanksgiving. It use to be my favorite holiday because it was all about family (and food). Before our feast, we always gave thanks for our health and close family. To me, it was just another run-of-the-mill text message. Now, I look at it every so often.
He missed me too!
Since that time, each day makes me miss him more. Yes, I miss him badly.
So, instead of the Saturday Evening Post version of Thanksgiving, we did the best we could. Sue’s employer delivered Thanksgiving dinner and we ate it at Shepard Center (Atlanta) between Ryan’s “brain storming” episodes. I specifically remember I refused to give thanks. It just didn’t feel right. No, more than it… it felt completely wrong.
Last year was closer to our traditional meal. Sue spent the morning making a feast, and it was delicious. I remember sitting at the table, with the family in their same places, faking my way through it. I was sad. Pure and simple. I refused to let my emotions ruin an otherwise wonderful family event.
The meal ended and we cleaned up. Figuring I was in the clear from my emotions, I walked into the foyer. Ryan’s graduation picture, hanging by the door, grabbed my attention and I looked at it for a minute or two. I recalled this would always be the time Ryan would grab a football and take me outside to play catch, eventually having the whole family in the front lawn joining in. Then, like a volcano the tears literally erupted from my eyes. It caught me completely off guard. This was my version of Pompeii.
I quickly ran for cover to hide my grief from Sue and Kari.
I didn’t just cry. No, I did it up right. It was more like wailing, with my body heaving and my lungs struggling to pull in oxygen between gasps. It didn’t help having my face buried in a pillow to drown out the sobs while screaming “No! Please, no!” directly into it.
The pillow offered no comfort.