I am living my life moment by moment, event by event and holiday by holiday. It seems everyone of them serve as a reminder that Tucker is not here. His presence is greatly missed in my life but is especially noticed in the moments, events and holidays. Because we fought so hard for a year, every month is touched by a “last time” or “never will” reminder. The last birthday, last time he went trick or treating or last family gathering. The never will graduate high school or get a driver’s license. Well you see my point. The last times stay with me like scars that I am ultimately grateful for. When memories are all you have left, even the hard ones, in fact, hold value. The never wills they are not so welcoming. Like life is flipping you off and constantly reminding you how unfair it is. How cheated you and your child have been. Never wills come in all shapes and sized but are no less a punch in the gut.
I saw a picture of a classmate of Tucker’s in the driver’s seat “permitted” to drive, as her mother put it. For a moment I was stunned. It was 5th grade spring break when Tucker was diagnosed. How could it be that long ago? How did we get here already? Another milestone that Tuck will not see. I remember being reminded of this when Brady got his permit and license. And now Tucker’s peers are reaching this teenage rite of passage. Quickly being stunned moved into joy mingled with a little sadness. But mostly joy.
So how do you find joy when the sadness never ends? When you never get over it and never expect too. How does devastation commingle with jubilation? They do like oil and vinegar.