Little shoulders adorned with brand new backpacks.
Feet skipping down sidewalks
excitedly to school.
One morning this week the girls and I got up and out of the house fairly early for a play date down the road. Ruby cooed and played with the toys in her car seat, while Hannah chatted excitedly next to her about anything and everything that came to her mind. I sipped my coffee and felt content with the little life we have here in our new town. And then...
And then I spot one. And another. And then more and more little kids on their way to school. Some walking, some skipping, some riding bikes with their moms trailing behind. Their backs covered by too big backpacks bouncing up and down.
I smiled at first, thinking of how soon Hannah Mae will be on her way to school. And then... and then all of sudden I was crying. Big hot tears rolling down my cheeks as my breath caught in my chest. "I'm so sad" escaped from my lips before I had a chance to stop the words from forming. I didn't know I was going to say it, but I needed to let the words and the tears come.
In the midst of packing, and Ruby's adoption finalization, and then our big move with the subsequent unpacking and cleaning and organizing that comes with it... all the craziness lately has kept my mind from thinking too much about the fact that I have a little boy who would have been a kindergartener this year. But my body knew and remembered. When I saw those little boys excitedly running down the sidewalk to school, there was no denying the grief that is with us everyday.
Owen has been gone almost six years, and the sorrow of his absence is still as profound as it was the day (the only day) I held him in my arms. Grief looks different each day, but the sadness and the missing are always the same.
We miss him.