This weekend is our family reunion. Four days of family, food, shenanigans and laughter. All of my father's living siblings (they are down to 7 out of 10 now...) will be here either themselves or through proxy and most of their cousins too! We will have mass on Sunday in memory of the family members who have died. There are "families" within our family that are missing someone for the first time and we will surround them with love and compassion as they walk their road.
I have four siblings and for the first time since the summer Robert and I were married, we are all at the beach together. Here is the thing, earlier in the week, I felt an ache--we are all here except Robert. It took me time to identify the ache. It wasn't a sobbing mess of missing him--that happens so rarely now, I can't remember the last time.
Last night, Munchkin was in bed watching a movie and my brother shared with him that he was watching one of his daddy's favorite movies, and I realized I am not the only one who remembers.
We are all feeling it. But at the same time, the hole in the fabric of our family that was created, is now a part of the family. It no longer reduces us to tears. I no longer stare into the dark of night wishing the pain away. It is just a part of me and a part of all of us.
The life we live now is NOTHING like the life Robert and I had with Munchkin.
Munchkin and I have figured out our two person family and it is our normal. I have been "only parenting" so long, I don't remember what it was like to have that extra set of hands. I don't remember what is it like to have someone else to do things--we are just normal now. Part of that normal is enjoying our family and family reunion.