We walk into the house, and there's a giant baby gate.
We go to our room, and his door is open, right across the way.
I open a cupboard full of bright plastic cups, plates and cutlery.
There is no avoiding the tears.
At the same time, there are good memories here too. So we'll cry one minute and laugh the next. There are even genuine smiles.
Grieving isn't easy no matter who you've lost. But I think it's safe to say the more you loved, the more your heart will break when they're gone.
Our hearts aren't the only ones broken, and in coming home we have seen that. It's why #dominicstrong feels like it's become an unofficial foundation of support - while people want to help us, it may be a way of grieving someone you loved, too.
Today is two years since his diagnosis. I remember standing outside Dr. Vaz's clinic in Medicine Hat, convinced he'll have some miracle cure for the bug bite-looking spots on his head and swelling belly. Even when he suggested leukemia, a bacterial infection or meningitis, I optimistically assumed the latter.
But it is what it is, and we are where we are. So we make the most of today, and every day, just like Dom did.
We'll head to a mini golf fundraiser at Hooplas Entertainment Centre in support of Extra Life and the Alberta Children's Hospital. In the past week, donations have spiralled upwards, the total now at US$18,400 - Trish will cut a foot of hair today, then shave the rest Nov. 7. My page (which is really now a gigantic team in itself) is ranked second among all of Extra Life. It is crazy.
Family will join us tomorrow, I still have a speech to write and the memorial service Monday is coming together nicely. If you're coming, know that our theme is orange and gold to represent leukemia and childhood cancer awareness month respectively. That said wear whatever you want. One person asked to wear a superhero outfit. Go for it! Maybe you feel traditional grey is best. Fair enough.
The ceremony starts at 2 p.m. at the Esplanade in Medicine Hat. Maybe show up closer to 1:15 p.m. in case it's a big crowd. We know at least 350 people will be there. Be ready to cry, laugh and smile. If you can't make it, we'll share parts of the service on the blog at some point as well.
There will be triggers along the way, more than we imagine, but they're not all sad. Like the #dominicstrong T-shirts we tried on last night, many just fill us with pride.