I have been praying it away, but it hasn't been working.
It wasn't until moments ago that I realized why he's been on my mind so much again.
It's all the firsts. Norah's first time using a drinking fountain all by herself. Collin's first underwear. Spencer starting kindergarten this fall. Those are just a few things...
There have been so many things changing and so many first things happening.
And he misses every one of them, as he has for many months now.
I think about the consistency in my kids lives and the firsts he did see. Mostly, it boils down to their first breaths. He saw a few first milestones, like smiles or rolling over, but really, he's missed out on a lot.
And then he would disappear, slowly at first, and then completely.
He missed so many of Norah's firsts- her first words, her first steps, he would find out of some of them later, but now... He knows nothing unless he reads it here.
He hasn't heard her say "I love you," or ask for a hug. He hasn't heard her say "daddy," or her brothers names. He hasn't seen her jump or use silverware. He hasn't seen her color or play babies.
Where I am, I see mostly the lasts. I see the last time he told them he would love them and see them soon, wearing his stupid mustard Schwan's shirt with cut off sleeves. Promising he would call Spencer the next day. I see their last hugs. I see their last birthdays and Christmases and meals together. So many lasts we never knew would be the last.
I don't know what the future holds for my babies. I pray it includes him somehow. But I have to prepare myself for the plaguing heartache of three lives full of more missed firsts. First missing teeth, days of school, homework, dates, broken hearts, and so forth.
It's overwhelming to think that way. But I'm struggling with it, praying for grace, and the strength to fight back tears for decades.