It’s sometimes strange being in new places with people we both knew and loved yet knowing I’m the only one there. I examined the pastel painted walls of my parents’ new home, a reward of long, strenuous years of hard work and determination.
It’s just another one of many places, many things Linzi will never be here to witness or experience.
She lingers. Not in some dominating and overwhelming way. Her presence is just…missed.
My daughter is the absolute greatest thing to emerge from what was our love story, and while I adore her, and am excited to see her progress throughout the course of her entire life, each new accomplishment, each new goal met, each new milestone…all of it comes with tears attached, both happy and sad.
Happy. To see our daughter grow the way that we’d always hoped she would. Sad. That her mother…who arguably loved her more than anyone, myself included, wouldn’t be there to share in that. She wouldn’t get to celebrate those moments with me. She wouldn’t be there to tell her daughter how proud of her she was, or how amazing she did, or how pretty she looked.
She won’t be there to give her advice. To tell her stories of things she did as a little girl. To be there to talk to when there’s a cute boy she’s interested in. To be there when she starts dating and experiences heartbreak…to be there when she finds love. To watch her on her wedding day. To hold a grandchild.
She won’t be there for any of it…but as much as her presence is missed, her presence is also felt. Undeniably. Felt.
I see it in the compassion Lila has for people. I can see it in how gentle she is when approaching and petting someone’s dog. I can see it in her mannerisms. I can see it in her feistiness that seems to be surfacing more and more these days.
In those moments, I have no problem with a smile…even if it’s one filled with tears.