I got off my bike and looked out at the vacant picnic area.
A family should be here, enjoying the last days of summer, laughing, playing, making memories.
Once upon a time it was our family that would have been here. Once upon a time. When we were whole. This weekend marked the fifth anniversary of my mother in laws passing.
There could have been 100 families here, it wouldn't have made a difference to how I felt- Empty and hollow, missing her so much.
Because my daughter misses the sound of her slippers scuffing across the floor. Because amid the clutter on my teenage son's dresser is a picture of his Grandma. Because a little boy holds on to the memory of a Grandmother who would give him treats in a Ziploc baggie each time he left her house. Because another little boy doesn't remember her at all. Because Charlie sleeps with the Bunny she gave him for Easter. Because her grandchildren have missed out on one of life's great treasures, but holding on to the few memories they have as tight as Charlie hangs on to Mr. Bunny.
Because Because Ray is now a widower. Trying to fit into a world of couples. Because he goes to the cemetery on Sunday mornings. Because he's alone.
Because her kids had to grow up in an instant. Because living without your mom, your cheerleader, your guide and compass is hard. Because time makes it easier, and then it hits you just how long it's been since she called your name or you heard the sound of her laughter.
Looking at where we once played, I felt so alone, and missed her so much.