Sometimes I think Austin's been gone on a long trip and that he'll be walking through the door any moment. Rather, it is wishful thinking because in my mind I know that isn't true; my heart just doesn't always listen.
I've never been away from Austin this long - 4 1/2 months. Before he passed, we were never apart more than a few days at a time. Actually our vacation to Jamaica was the longest and farthest away and we were only gone 6 days. That trip was difficult because we didn't call every day, which was unusual for Tim and me. Normally, there was never a day that passed that we didn't at least talk on the phone, if we were apart. When I was traveling for work, I would call before they left for school, text in the middle of the day and call before they went to sleep at night. I just didn't like going through a day without talking to Tim and my boys.
For as long as Austin had a cell phone, we really didn't go but a few hours at a time without talking. He texted me even from school. Sometimes so often that I questioned what in the world he was doing in class! It was my source of communication with him though and with a teenager it was sometimes the only way to know how his day went. He texted me when something funny happened in school, or when something upset him. He texted me jokes or the latest news he'd heard. I miss having that link so much and long to hear my phone ding, telling me a new message has arrived from him.
I also stayed in the loop on Austin's life through networking sites, like Myspace. In fact, he is the reason I joined last year. He wanted to have a site and being a protective Mom, I wanted to know what he was up to. I created a page and became his friend so I could quickly check in on him and his friends. It didn't take long to realize his intentions were completely innocent and my need for checking in became less about protecting him and more about connecting with him. I smile remembering his comments about things I should or shouldn't do on the site, as if he were the protector of me. Of course, I also know his motive was to keep me from embarrassing him, as we shared friends.
Not surprising that my profile views and friends list grew by multitudes after he passed. Many of his friends became my "friend" - some to support me, some just looking for a connection with Austin. I have been so touched though by the overwhelming support of those friends, some of who were strangers to me before this tragedy.
Sometimes it seems so unreal that all these weeks have passed without him in my life. For so many years, he has been a constant in our lives. And, as I became pregnant only three months after our wedding, even our marriage has been primarily connected to him. Basically, we have many more memories with him than without. Having someone be a part of your life for so long makes it nearly unbearable when they are gone. Every memory, daily ritual, way of life is entwined with him and so there are now holes where he is no longer there.
It is difficult not having him here and being able to talk to him. All I have left now are those memories. How I miss that sweet smile, his sarcastic humor, funny text messages, and tender hugs to say hello, good-bye, or I Love You.