Today, Lucas and I went to the San Diego Zoo with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, cousin, and aunt. It was a beautiful day. Lucas got to wear shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt for the first time in months. We saw the baby panda, lions, bears, elephants, gorillas, orangutans, hippos, and many other animals. Lucas had a blast. For me, although I enjoyed the beautiful day and the company of my family, it was another tough day. It was just so sad for me when I saw Lucas and his cousins climb up on a bronze hippo for a picture and give a sillyface pose. Seeing that made me so painfully aware of the absence of Nathan. And it was sad when I saw a double stroller with twins inside. I felt overwhelmed today by the absence of Nathan and Midi. They should have been there with us. I think that any time I'm in a context which previously was a time for the four of us to bond as a family, I feel this acute pain. I think that this is especially true for special outings like the zoo or any vacation.
But I feel this pain every day. I feel this pain when I pick up Lucas from preschool because I remember how I would pick Nathan and Lucas up and talk to them about their day while driving home. And I remember waiting with them for Midi to come home from work and celebrating her arrival with hugs and kisses. I feel this pain nightly when I get Lucas ready for bed because I remember how I would bathe the boys and how Nathan would have his puppyhead towel and Lucas would have his lionhead towel and they would go downstairs naked to get Midi to come upstairs. And I remember how they would jump on their beds and how Midi and I would lay down next to them to read books and pray. And I remember how on most nights one or both of us would fall asleep next to our twin angels. I feel this pain every Saturday when Lucas and I go to Baachan's house because I remember how we would all go as a family. And I remember how the boys would play together and watch the same Clifford VHS tape every week. And I remember how Midi would love to sit in the massage chair and how she would love to talk with my extended family. I miss them so much that I actually feel physical pain sometimes...in my throat or chest.
I spend every waking moment thinking about them and missing them in some form or another. I have no idea what healing will look like for me. Will it mean that I will stop thinking about them as much? Will it mean that when I do think about them, it won't hurt as badly? Will it mean that I can enjoy family times without thinking about how Midi and Nathan are missing? Will it mean I can laugh freely again without feeling like I shouldn't? What will it mean?