July 17th, 1999- (incidentally our wedding date 5 years later though we didn’t realize that when we picked it)- we drove down to Maryland to play at a church youth rally. We had met three times before this and I liked you, but it was on this trip that we both fell in love. You called me every night after we got home.
There are many special memories from our conversations during that car ride. Mostly we talked of very simple things, and you told corny jokes. What I remember more than anything was that I had a smile on my face for most of the ride because you were just fun to be with.
I told you at one point that I had gone to UVa and did fairly well there, (academia was pretty much my whole identity at the time), but you surprised me by saying this:
“Wow- I’m so proud of you.”
It was odd to hear that particular sentiment from someone I barely knew. But I really liked it. You were proud of me.
And now I am just trying to function and make it through another day of this. I am trying to still be the kind of mother I want to be for Audrey and not cheat her of me as well as you. And as I make her laugh, or wipe up the floor under her high chair, or teach her a new word, I feel as though you might- just might- be watching us. And I want to make you proud.