There’s a space I go to in my mind where I meet up with you.
I’m five years old, and you’re 30.
Sometimes, you push me on the swings.
Sometimes, we eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
And sometimes, if we are in Washington, we roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
I love when I visit you.
My favorite times are when you read me books, and we giggle.
I knew you weren’t going to be here forever, but every day since you’ve left, I have felt this same thing in me.
Call it a hole.
Call it a mother wound.
Call it emptiness.
It hurts there, and no ice cream, cuddling my cat, or episode of “Gilmore Girls” seems to patch it.
When you said you loved me before you left, I think you meant it.
I want to believe you did.
While I try to keep going, I can’t seem to not hurt when I think about what I’ve lost.
Yes, I’m thankful for all that I gained from you, but this pain of feeling abandoned makes me feel ill.
I do odd things to pretend you’re still here, like writing down all that I want to say to you on Tuesday on a piece of paper and then recycling it.
I adopted an older cat recently. Her old name was too similar to yours so I renamed her Ana. I think she somehow knows that I miss you because she spends every night laying on top of the hole I have.
Maybe, as you once said, holding onto you is why I feel the hole.
Maybe you’re right.
Maybe I’ve known this for a long time.
But maybe I want to feel it so at least you’re here with me.