I feel like I am living my life with one big asterisk beside everything I say. If I were to write out any conversation I have right now, for instance if I said "We had a good Christmas", I would then have to add "*but it was sad and we missed Rip", somewhere below.
This is completely my doing, I know nobody else thinks for a minute that whatever good time I have is not coupled with some sadness. I think it is mainly guilt that makes me feel like I have to add a disclaimer, like somehow I am not being a loving mother if I don't remind everyone how much I miss my child. Like having fun is somehow disrespectful.
What I am slowly coming to realize is that the asterisk is there whether I choose to voice it or not. Missing and loving Rip is a part of me now, just like my smile or my shoe size. I am a different person than I was before he was born. Are some of those differences for the better? Absolutely. Do some of those differences completely suck? Yes again.
The point I am trying to reach, and I think I am doing better about getting there, is that despite the sadness there can still be fun, good times.*
*and it is still okay for me to enjoy them