It’s been over three years since he died. It definitely doesn’t feel like that, it feels like yesterday. I don’t know how I got through it but here I am.

I don’t get sad as much anymore but I do get that way. I think it’s because he was such a great person that it’s very unfair that someone like him had to suffer this way and leave us all. He was the best person I ever met. It hurt so much when we found out he was sick, it hurt so much when he died and it hurts even more to know that he will never get to see Baby Bird Girl grow up. He deserved at least that.

The last couple days I’ve been thinking about the promises we made to each other and to Natalie. The plans. I’ve gotten over the plans we made to each other and I concentrate more on the promises I made to him when he was dying.

The first, to take care of Baby Bird Girl and never let her forget how much he loved her. I’ve tried to be open in communication with her about him and answer any questions she has but it makes me so sad sometimes to see her starting to forget. It’s amazing the things she does remember like how he wanted to buy this van for her after he got sick that had a TV in it so she could watch Dora when we were going places. She knew he was doing that just for her even though it wasn’t as nice as the one he wanted.

Second, to make sure I take care of myself and finish school. This is the one I’ve failed at. I’ve never been any good at keeping up with my health and not letting things get to me so much. I had to stop school for awhile and I feel like he wouldn’t be very proud of me.

Third, to move on with my life. He specifically asked me to find someone that is like him or better. To not let someone hurt me and to make sure they loved Baby Bird Girl just as much as he did. This is a hard one for me because I don’t know that I will ever find someone who loved Baby Bird Girl the way he did. She was the most important thing to him in the world. The most important thing to both of us.

When he first died I would go through stages where I did nothing but talk about him and then stages where I would do anything to avoid him. It’s gotten better over the last year or so and I know now that I don’t want to be sad about him anymore. I miss him so much but I’m glad he isn’t in pain and I’m so thankful that I had him for as long as I did. Baby Bird Girl and Don were the things that changed my life the most. Without either of them, my life would have been a lot worse and because of that I will never stop remembering him on his birthday or the day he died. I won’t ever let go of him in my heart and he will be with me forever.

I know my life has to go on but that doesn’t mean I have to forget him or remember him quietly. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about this because this is the life I have and the path I’ve chosen. It doesn’t make me sad to live this way. It makes me grateful for the experiences, good or bad, that I’ve had that has helped shape me into who I am, the mom I know I can be.

So the promises I’m making to myself and adding to the ones I made to Don:

1. I will move on and make the best of the life I’m still blessed to have.
2. I will make sure that anyone who comes into my life is aware of my situations, and comfortable with the fact that I have a complicated life.
3. I won’t settle.
4. I will not change my life for anyone.
5. Baby Bird Girl and Squarepants are my first concerns. I will adapt to make their lives the best I can.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask that anyone, friend or significant other, that comes into my life to be able to understand the promises I’ve made and how important they are to me. If they can’t accept it, then I will do exactly what the number 1 promise to myself says.


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