It's very hard to wrap my head around the idea that it's almost Thanksgiving. I remember last year so clearly; listening to Welcome to Nightvale with Cassie on the way to Christina's house for dinner, Cassie thinking there was too much nutmeg in the pumpkin pie, then going to Walgreens to shop for toys for the toy drive the kids did for St. Vincent DePaul. I didn't realize then what a perfect day it was. I didn't know how few we would have left. That less than two months later she'd be gone. I wish I could remember every word she said, every look on her face. What she wore that day. I wish I could hold that day in my hand and stroke it like a kitten and thank it for existing, for the last time that Cassie and I left the house together just to do something fun. Our little shopping trip to Walgreens, where we bought Monster High dolls and makeup sets to give to little girls at the homeless shelter.
I wish I could hold my baby girl one more time. I miss her so badly. I wish I had had the presence of mind to sing to her as she took her last breaths. It haunts me that I didn't. But all I could do was stutter out a few words through my tears. I hope she didn't sense how sad and afraid I was. I hope all she felt was how much she was loved.
We're not really doing Thanksgiving this year. Or Christmas. Tyra and I are collecting toys that we're going to donate to the St. Jude affiliate clinic where Cassie was a patient, but that's it. I don't have it in me to pretend I would find any pleasure in the holidays this year. I don't know that I could survive it, much less enjoy it.
I stay pretty busy with work now, and that keeps me up and moving and functional. It gets me out of bed each day. But I can't say that I'm in a place where I feel pleasure or happiness in my life yet, that I feel any sense of purpose. I get up each day because this muscle in my chest keeps pushing blood through my veins, and the sun wakes me up each day, and so I'll continue to get up and function for as long as that happens. I just can't say when, or if, I'll be glad about it again.