I can hardly believe I still miss you this much. As we celebrate your 44th birthday, the 12th we have celebrated without you, why are these tears spilling out? I am happy. I truly am. I have a wonderful life. Your babies aren't babies anymore, but rather one is a handsome and intelligent teen who is the spitting image of you in both looks and personality and the other is a beautiful, growing-up-too-fast talented and tender-hearted young lady. To your two babies I have added another two treasures so now I have four just like we always said we wanted, minimum (although we both not-so-secretly wanted six). I am blessed to be able to homeschool like we always wanted to. I have a wonderful church, supportive friends, and even an amazing new love (never saw that coming after 11 years alone). So why? Why does it still hurt? Why do I still miss you? Why do I just want to talk to you? I guess it is a testament to our friendship and the life we built together. You know, I am convinced that I have been able to love again because of our good relationship and the friendship we had. Thank you for that. I really thank you for that. I wish I could tell you all about my life now. I know you'd love hearing about the kids, and I would give absolutely anything to discuss so many other things with you. I miss you. I miss talking to you. I miss that we could talk all day and all night and never run out of things to say. I am grateful for my life now and so grateful for the lessons that grief has taught me. I am a better person for having relied on God's grace through the suffering and pain to make it to the joy on the other side. But that joy doesn't change the fact that you are gone and I miss you. It makes me smile to think of you in heaven. I know you are happy now, and I know you are happy for me. I'm sure that by the time the kids and I are bowling for your birthday celebration and I am telling stories of their dad's exploits I will have smiles rather than tears, but right now I just miss you.