I miss you. I hope you're up on that mountain having the time of your life, but let me tell ya: I miss you. And it's not just me.
Tonight as we sat down for dinner (fried chicken from the grocery store deli, mac-n-cheese, and peas - you didn't miss much), Aidan asked, "Is Dani gonna eat with us this time?" He doesn't understand that you're not gonna walk through the door any second. He hates that you're gone! But then he noticed that we were having peas, and, grabbing his fork, he said in his little Aidan voice, "wuhHOO!" He'll remember at some random moment tomorrow that you're gone, and I'll have to explain to him, once again, that you won't be back until Saturday. Then he'll ask me how many days that is, and I'll tell him. And then he'll get all sad and slowly blink his eyelashes until I scoop him up in a hug and smother him with kisses. He'll beg and scream and giggle and call to you for rescue. Then he'll remember again that you're gone, and the cycle will start all over. Maybe I oughta keep a bowl of peas at the ready, just in case.
Sunday at church, while we were singin' "Get Right Church", Dad and I joined Katherine on the "woo woo" parts so she wouldn't have to sing 'em solo. I leaned forward and said, "It's not the same without Dani, is it?"... to which she replied, not with words, but with sad puppy dog eyes, "Nope."
Dad's been scooping Ashlie's litter every day. I know this, because every time he does it, he comes and tells me. I'm very grateful, but I think I must not be expressing that clearly enough. He even tells me if it's a bigger load than the last one. I miss having YOU here to scoop the litter, 'cause you don't bother giving me a play-by-play.
I cleaned the kitchen tonight. By myself. Have mercy, it's been a long time since I've cleaned it alone. I'm so used to having you there beside me - usually hmpfing, but there nonetheless. I thought about how many nights I've left you to do the clean-up by yourself while I plopped down at my desk or hunkered down in front of the computer. What a rotten Mom. I should get some kind of award for that behavior. I'll try to rehabilitate myself while you're gone, and hopefully you'll come home to a better life than you knew before.
I missed you today as I climbed the stairs for about the 18th time. I wanted to call up to you like I usually do: "Dani! Throw down a roll of toilet paper! I'm out down here!" "DANiEEEEEEEEEEEE! Gather up a load of towels!" "Daniella, go in my room and look on the tall bookcase, on the middle shelf, no wait... 2nd shelf from the top, toward the left, or maybe further to the right....it might be under that magazine, or maybe it's a book... and bring me my tweezers!" Random. Instead of running my errands up and down the stairs, you're climbing a 14-er in Colorado. I bet it's a lot more exhausting. I also bet it's a heckuva lot more fun!
Ashlie misses you, too. She forces me to scratch her ears by walking up under my hand and pressing up with her head. If I try to move my hand away, she raises one eyebrow and then bites me. That's what I get for refusing the service she requires. What a prima donna.
I even miss the things about you that usually bug the livin' crap out of me. (Which reminds me... you were supposed to leave your room in pristine condition. It was supposed to be COMPANY CLEAN when you left. It is not. The floor is littered with bras, shoes, assorted clothes, and who knows what else. I just closed the door. Makes it seem like you're here that way. LOL!) But anyway... as much as I cannot STAND it when you say "Meh" when I ask you a question (and it pains me to say this out loud), I'm ready to hear it again.
"Dani, how was Trek?"
"Ah! Great! Tell me all about it!"
I love you, daughter of mine. :)