I didn't sleep very well last night.
I am visiting my mother this week and at her house I have to share a room with John. Who apparently talks in his sleep!
So I woke up grumpy and tired this morning.
And even though my mom is taking care of the kids and letting me be alone, I can't go back to sleep. My head is too full of thoughts. Mostly sad thoughts that I can't help thinking. I try to be a positive thinker. I don't like dwelling on unpleasant things, but on days like today my melancholy personality takes over and I just have to spend some time in "the depths of despair" as my favorite fictional character likes to say.
My head is remembering a similar morning five years ago. In fact it was this very morning.
April 21, 2006.
I was at my mom's house that day too. And I hadn't slept well either.
Libby was 10 months old but still waking up every two hours to nurse like a newborn. I was exhausted and stressed and fighting that internal battle of not wanting to lose someone I love, but not wanting him to be in pain anymore either.
So the night before this morning, I left Libby in the capable hands of my Aunt Martha, armed with a bottle of dreaded formula and I went next door to sleep at my neighbor's house.
And even without the waking baby, I still didn't sleep. My cell phone was by the bed and I just laid there waiting for it to ring. My sweet neighbor left a flashlight next to the bed for me, just in case I had to walk home in the dark.
My aunt called around 4am to tell me that he was gone. I walked home through the trees with my flashlight and up the stairs to my parents bedroom. My brother was sitting next to the bed just looking at him. I didn't say anything and I didn't get too close. I didn't really want to see a dead body. And I knew my dad wasn't there anymore anyways.
I looked at his face one last time before leaving the room. His eyes were wide open and his mouth was in a slight "oh" shape. His countenance hadn't fully faded yet, and in his eyes there was still visible the awe-struck wonder and relief he must have felt when he saw Jesus, coming to take him Home.
It has been five years. And most days I can remember my dad with a smile. I can laugh at memories and feel peace that he is in the presence of God and that I will see him again.
But some days, like today, the pain is still fresh.
And I am overwhelmed with missing him.