My life and my self is unrecognizable.  I tell myself- I'm 34, I have a two-year old- I live in ---.  Those parts were true before you died, but without you- I don't recognize any of it.

The last time I was without you I was 22.  I am 34 now so I certainly can't go back to being that girl.  I wasn't perfect, but I really miss the more recent girl who died on July 6th because she was all I've known for quite some time.  I try to conjure her up sometimes by pretending you're right here in the bedroom sitting at your computer.  I think maybe if I really convince myself you're there and say something to you- I'll feel like my old self- kind of like I did with the razor and the shower.  But it just doesn't work at all anymore- it must be more real to me because I can't pretend.  I can't manufacture that voice or way I would speak to you because I can't trick myself into believing you're here anymore.

I miss even the sarcasm and the bickering which we did quite often.  But those melded together with laughing at ourselves and tickling and hugs.  I forget what it feels like to laugh or smile genuinely- not the way I do now for Audrey's sake or to feel the relief for one moment.

Someone from church who I barely know came over to drop off a meal tonight.  She had compassion in her eyes as they welled up with tears and she told me she hadn't known what to say.  I showed her the table with your photos and told her it was very hard.  She asked me specific things she and her husband could pray for and I gave her a few ideas...something I wouldn't have bothered with in the early days- I remember thinking, "Pray?  Why?  He already died."  And then as we were talking- and Audrey was eating her applesauce at the table- I began to cry and she asked if she could give me a hug.  Audrey slowed down with her applesauce and watched inquisitively as I hugged this woman and we both cried.  When she left, I wanted to make sure Audrey was OK with what she saw.  I sat down and told Audrey that sometimes mommy just needs a hug because she feels sad because she misses appa.  I told her that it's good to get a hug if you feel sad.  She asked me for a hug.  I asked her if she misses you too- and she said yes.