Yesterday marked 19 months without my sweet Erik. As usual, I've been trying to keep myself busy so that I can't dwell on what will never be, but there are some days where that is ALL I can think about. It breaks my heart knowing that I'll never make a new memory with Erik.
On Monday, I went over to my mom's to gather up the remainder of Erik's things to bring to our house. I've got a chest full of stuff that I'll keep forever and don't want anyone messing with. I also have a box full of stuff that the girls can wear if they choose to when they get older. I brought all of his "cool" shirts and hung them in his closet for them to wear when they got bigger. But as I was getting their clothes out yesterday morning, they spotted all of their Bubba's shirts and had a fit wanting to wear them. I didn't give in yesterday because I wasn't ready to see anybody wearing his clothes just yet. They asked again this morning and I just couldn't turn them down when I seen how excited they were about wearing some of his clothes. Sienna picked out a shirt with balls on it and Kaitlyn picked out a shirt with a helicopter on it. Erik loved wearing those shirts and it made me so happy to see them on someone instead of just hanging in the closet.
The girls have been full of questions about Erik lately and I LOVE answering all of their questions about him. It makes me so happy that I'm getting to basically tell his story. Since the girls were just over 18 months old when he died, they don't remember much about him. All their memories come from the thousands and thousands of pictures I've shown them of Erik. They don't remember him being here physically playing with them and that breaks my heart. Yesterday as we were driving to school, Sienna got on the subject of clothes. She said that she wanted to put long pants on when we got home. My mind immediately went back to August of 2009 when Erik would tell me the EXACT same thing while I was taking him to school! He HATED wearing shorts because he knew that meant that he couldn't wear his cowboy boots. That boy and those cowboy boots!!! Anyway, I told Sienna that she sounded just like her brother and she wanted to know why. I proceeded to tell her that Erik did the same thing and always wanted to wear "work" clothes. She thought it was hilarious and they both continued to ask me about other things that Erik loved to do. They couldn't figure out why Erik use to use our dog's dog house as his bull. They thought that was a funny story! Of course, I still laugh when I think about him doing that too! What 5 year old child would think to use a plastic dog house as a bull?!?! Only Erik of course! That's just like the time he used a piece of plastic pipe as a weed eater and would walk around with it saying "weed weed weed". He definitely wins the award for the best imagination!!!
Anyway - I am still finding it hard to believe that Erik is gone. It doesn't seem like it's been 19 months, but at the same time, I feel like he's been gone a whole lot longer. I find myself remembering stuff and having to write it down because I'm so very scared of forgetting even the tiniest detail about him. I'm constantly having to look at his pictures because I feel like I'm forgetting what he looked like.
His birthday is coming up in September and I've started making plans for how we'll celebrate it this year. Last year, we had everyone bring 6 balloons and 6 memories of Erik. This year, my SIL suggested we do 7 of his favorite things. I loved the idea and I'm trying to decide which 7 things would make Erik happiest. I dreaded his birthday last year and this year, I'm actually looking forward to it. I've accepted that he's not coming back, but I'm still determined to give him the best birthday's ever!