Without guilt or regrets.
If I could cheat you out of it...even for an hour...I would.
Because it's been too long since I've felt a clumsy "love you" pat on my bottom.
And too long since I've seen you surprised to see me sneak into your kitchen.
I don't miss you every day.
I feel you close to me all the time.
I know your heaven would never find you separate from any one of us.
But because I'm selfish...
I want to bring you out of paradise and plop you down in my filthy living room.
I know you've seen all my babies. I have a feeling you've known some longer than I have.
But I want to hear you laugh when I tell you I'm typing this knowing that Jace is trapped in the kitchen pantry because Effie shut the door behind him when he was looking for Froot Loops and he doesn't know how to turn the knob.
I want to hear you say for the hundredth time how much Geb looks like Justin and I want to hear the names you'd morph all the squibs' given names into.
I want to tell you how Grandpa became Papa Lollie after you left and how LC's world would simply stop turning if that man wasn't in it.
I want to watch you watch Effie eat a bowl of horseradish dip.
I need you here to show me how to love and laugh at the things about Jace that most people are afraid of because that's what you were best at and it would make me brave when I'm afraid I just can't do this right.
I've missed sharing my birthday seventeenth with someone.
I have a feeling you nudged Geb into showing up on the last seventeenth of the year.
But because I'm selfish I want to see his name written in your serial killer handwriting on your refrigerator calendar. Even though you'll remember it. Because he will share your seventeen.
Because I'm selfish, I want to hear you tell me it's okay I didn't call you on the last July 17th you were here.
Because I'm selfish I want to snatch you back from Jesus and angels and all those family members you've been missing for years and have you all to myself.
But I can't.
And I wouldn't.
Because you were too good not to share.
And you taught me better than that.
So, today we'll plant some flowers.
We'll tell stories about GG Grace and summers on the farm and we'll buy maple nut goodies and cherry sours and find some peaches to eat with cream.
I'll make something sweet on that dented pan you left on your last visit.
I'll make sure it's something that covers the squibs in sugar and goo and after they've bathed and gone to bed I'll have a second piece while I wish you happy birthday and I won't leave any in the pan for breakfast tomorrow.
Because I'm selfish.