The anniversary of Dominic's death is always bound to hit hard.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Kids are going back to school. All these reminders that he's not here for it.
Trish and I handle Sept. 3 differently. She's strong all year and allows herself to fall apart today. Doesn't eat much, barely gets out of bed, turns her phone off. If it's a weekday, it's a mental health day. This year it's on the weekend so there's not much impact.
Me? I have moments here and there. Maybe it's a song, maybe it's the reminder in the calendar, or just looking out at his bench and seeing kids at the playground. I feel like today I need to step up, make sure she does eat (even if it's greasy poutine), keep the kid and dogs are taken care of, and that the house doesn't burn down.
Together, there's one thing we always do: Put some balloons out at his bench. An orange one symbolic of leukemia, a gold one for childhood cancer. Sometimes a family photo; this year, just the bench.
Samantha was away at the grandparents' house and I picked her up. She had a few rocks she wanted to decorate so I suggested she do something for her brother.
On one rock, the word miss. On another, a heart. And on a third, brother. We left them at the bench with the balloons.
Pretty good for a kid who never got to meet him. She probably still weirds people out by talking so openly about her dead sibling, but we're proud of her for it. It's an honest relationship with death.
Tomorrow we'll be back to auction mode, hoping the people we've contacted respond to us. As we always say, this is part of parenting a child who isn't here anymore.
It's how we cope.