There is a war that rages inside of me.
There are two parts to my life. That is how I think. My life is now divided in two. Part of me lives in the memories of Evan. I want to stay there most of the time. But I can’t. I have Addi. I can’t do that to her. I can’t do that to our daughter.
The only way that my current self can function sometimes is to not think about those memories. They hurt. They linger. They remind me of what is no longer. They are hard because they are just…memories. I hate that I have to make new memories that don’t include him. I know I have him with me through Addi, but I don’t have him in the way I once did. I cherish the memories and moments I have of him, but sometimes, after Addi is asleep, it is enough to tear me apart and swallow the current me.
Something as simple as eating Addi’s Easter candy, Starburst, is enough to flood me with memories and emotions. I remember last year, Evan dying eggs with Addi and then hiding them the next day in our tiny backyard. She was one. Most were scattered about in the yard and a few hiding around her Little Tikes slide. She had a ladybug basket and opened the plastic eggs I filled with trail mix in the middle of the hunt. Evan loved Starburst. He knew I loved the pink ones and always saved some for me, although they were his favorites too. Then, we discovered Starburst minis and it was all she wrote on our road trip necessities. I preferred the yellow ones of those. Evan always got two bags of them when we drove back to Brunswick County to see my family. I dyed the eggs with Addi this year. After we watched videos of her and Evan doing it from last year.
There are now two mes. Before. And After. And there is no going back. No matter how hard I wish I could.