Four Years On

Dear Mackenzie,

Exactly four years ago this morning, I kissed that glorious giant freckle on your left cheek and watched you pass through the airport security line and disappear through the gates. I was bursting with happiness for you on that pre-dawn Sunday, as I watched you leave for Spain. You were so bright and so brave, even with the tiny twitch of nerves you revealed as you tried to calm my own by telling me you’d be alright. Because you knew “hola” and “cerveza” and probably wouldn’t need to learn too many more words beyond those. Liar. I could never have imaged the extra tight big-Mack hug you gave me at the last minute would be the last. We could never have known you only had one month in front of you. Four years ago that was. Four years. Four long years without you, after twenty too-short years with you.

Today is a really bad day, honey. I know you would not like it, but these milestones practically undo me every time. Sometimes the pain of your absence feels like a freight train coming on fast, the panicky whistle growing ever more shrill, and I am paralyzed on the tracks with no power to get out of its way. I am still, and always will be, profoundly sad without you. And, whoa, some of the days along the way are as painful as the first day without you. It’s just the way it is. We all miss you. Even Pepper, who, by the way, went to the puppy spa yesterday (she got her hair did, as you would’ve said). Did you have something to do with the groomer choosing for her a deep purple bandana? Anyway, she is delightfully fluffy you’d be happy to know, and she knows I need extra cuddles right now. You told her to take care of me when you left, and she does a pretty good job of it.

Tomorrow will be better, I promise. I’ll be in Chicago with Sissy and my dear friend Bridgett. We are going to take a yoga class with pygmy goats. Can you believe yoga with pygmy goats is a thing? You’d even do yoga with me if there pygmy goats, wouldn’t you? We will also visit the new American Writer’s Museum, and you know we will eat some amazing food and enjoy overpriced drinks in the windy city, too. How about I promise to find happiness tomorrow and you check in to make sure? At the end of what I know will be a good day, we will settle in for drinks at a cozy bar, and I will offer four toasts to you: The first to Mack the animal lover. The second to Mack the writer. The third to Mack the bratty baby sister (that one for Savannah’s sake, of course). And the fourth to Mack the bright spirit who continues to shine a light upon my life, four years on.

Pep Dog

4 thoughts on “Four Years On

  1. Such profound and beautiful words and so befitting the lovely spirit of Mack💜💜❤️❤️ I can only imagine the hole in your heart that aches each day since the loss of your daughter. There are no words to offer that can ever make it better. Just know that Mack’s presence in the lives of so many made each one of those people a better person!! She was loved and continues to be loved by EVERYONE who knew her and had the wonderful honor of calling her their friend. And thanks to you and Kevin for creating such a kind, loving, witty, entertaining, life loving, spirited lady!!! Her infectious personality lives on in the hearts of all who knew her, no matter how briefly. Because she was simply that kind of person, one you could meet and fall in love with so quickly and for forever!!! Thinking of you and wishing you as much peace as possible! Hope you enjoy tomorrow in honor of Mack’s legacy😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your very kind words. Life is difficult without my sweet girl, but it does bring me solace to know she lives on in her hearts of the people who loved her. I know Sierra keeps Mack close and always will. The connections Mack made with her friends always extended to their families, so thank you for loving her, too.

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