No matter how many times I've come to expect it, grief still manages to catch me off guard somehow.

Last week, I watched my 2 year old get the biggest kick out of a whoopie cushion at Mamaw & Papaw's house. He was jumping up and down on it, literally laughing himself silly. When you watch a toddler laugh like that, it's impossible not to join along. And then suddenly, like a flash of lightning, my laughing came to a halt as I choked down tears. 4 days before Jeremy died, he had bought the kids a whoopie cushion and took a small video of each of them on his phone to capture how hilarious they thought it was. And realizing that Carter never got to be a part of that or never will be a part of that overcame me. I almost had to get up and leave the room.

I read about how well the Toronto Maple Leafs were doing this season, and I ache. Not because I care about hockey much, but because Jer waited his whole life to see this day, and now is missing it, and it somehow makes ME emotional. My mother posts a picture on Facebook of my son looking exactly like his daddy and it tears me up inside. I see my daughter finally start to outgrow the shirt that her daddy bought her, and it's too much to know so much time has gone by and she's grown so much without him. I still can't sing his favorite songs at church, because it hurts (not to mention, sung at his funeral and my brother's funeral) and the words cut through me like glass.

No matter how much time goes by, no matter how content I am with my life now, grief always finds a place. I know this, and yet still get mad at myself for not anticipating it better. Darn you sneaky grief, I'll figure you out somehow.

Oh wait, grief doesn't really work that way. Dang it. Guess I'm along for the long haul.

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