I stayed busy and really did good looking happy. Nobody knew that when I wasn't talking I was mostly thinking of you. I took notes and thought of all the things I need to do. I started new projects and my feet kept on walking. I finished my meals and chatted with new friends. I know you would want me to. I know you want my laughter to echo off the walls and in the house, but today it felt hollow. I felt hollow.
Now it's time for sleeping but I can't sleep.
Today I know I would hear your voice. It's your birthday. I would call and call and your line would be busy. I believe you were one of the few people in the United States without call waiting. So, when I would finally hear the ring, ring, ring I knew it was my turn; I would have your undivided attention. Nobody texting you or beeping in, no television on in the background, just you and me, our time. Today I don't get that. I won't get that with anyone ever again. I won't hear your voice and that plagues me.
You and me we were special. You and everyone, they were special. You talked to us and really listened to every word. Everyone who knew you also can relate to the fact that when it was over, it was over, and the phone was to be disconnected. Maybe because you gave the person on the other end so much undivided attention... our greed couldn't last forever.
Last year at this time was the last time I saw you, it was my last chance to hug you and feel your warmth. I'm so glad I got to see you for your birthday. Thankful I got to see you before we left the States. I knew that might be the case, that I might not see you again, but I still hate it. I know it was time. I know you were ready, but it doesn't mean I had to be ready for you to go. My heart aches and I know you don't want that. The ache is smaller than when you left us but when I give in to myself it hurts just as bad as that day. I try not to let that happen as much. I tell myself you see and hear me when I talk to you now. I think you do. Now there's no busy line though. I'm not going to lie... I would actually love to hear that sound again and know that if I kept trying that it would eventually ring. It would eventually be my turn.
Mimi so much has changed and I know you would continue to be so proud of me. I'm pretty sure that you would be proud no matter what though, I know you were biased towards all of us in your family tree. We were the Radney's after all and we're a special stock. That's what makes all grandparents grand, right? That unconditional love without having to put up with our tantrums or ridiculous boyfriends or ground us for breaking the rules. I mean, our parents love us unconditionally but grandparents have paid their dues and now it's time to just focus on the love part. Besides, you don't have to deal with us in the day-to-day grind.
We're in Hanoi now. Vietnam.....can you believe it? It seemed so far away when I was back home, now it might be my new home. I want to tell you my stories about India and here and all the other places I've been since you left. I wish I could hear you gasp, hear you laugh. We would have laughed together and it would have echoed off the walls. It wouldn't have felt hollow. If I told you my name meant "penis" in India it would have made you howl. I know it. Okay, I laughed just now... I can almost hear you..
I'll sleep soon and try to push it all down again. I'll do it. I'll do it for me, for you, for Brent. I promise I'll laugh tomorrow. I promise I'll smile and mean it. Today I had to let my sadness escape and that's okay.
Mimi I want you to know I haven't forgotten you.
Happy Birthday you cheeky southern belle.