But I can't.
On this 2nd anniversary of her death I morn the smallest of things. It is the artwork from the boys that will not be sent. It is getting crazy notes in the mail, likely written while at dialysis detailing the mundane that I will never find among the bills and junk mail. I even miss that rushed, weekly Sunday night obligation call. I now regret I didn't take more time and effort to just hear her.
I was perpetually busy and while no excuse, the regret that speaks most loudly is that I marginalized her.
While at Brian's last weekend I came across a picture I hadn't seen before. I love it. It is undated, but my guess is she is in college or newly married. She is young, healthy, with her whole life ahead of her.
If I had only know that I had limited time left, what would I have done?
With several months, I would have loved to have to have planned a beach trip filled with shrimp, ice cream, and watching her face enjoying the boys playing in the pool or in the sand.
With a handful of days I would taken her back to Furman University, to where my dad proposed and the site of many a family picnics near the Bell tower.
With only hours left I would have sat likely at her kitchen table and really listened without silent judgement. I would have hugged her not in the "I'll be back next month" way I always did as I hurriedly tried to pack up and get home to my own family, but really hugged her knowing it was the end.
But I can't. No amount of flowers I can arrange and leave for her will bring a minute more with her.
I can only hug my own boys for her today. I will because that is what she would have wanted. I know in my head that she is in a better place, one free from the shell of pain and suffering that was her existence at the end.
But still, my heart hurts.
I still love you.