Yesterday was Canada Day and since my family loves any excuse to get together (we're fun like that), we had our usual clan gathering. Out in the backyard, turkey roasted over a fire pit, food, drinks, sunshine and all the aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, and grandparents a person could ask for.
This is a family tradition, much like our other gatherings at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and, well, Just Because days. Laughter, conversation, so much fun. I love them.
Easter was the first big get together without Craig. And it hurt. It was painfully obvious that he was missing to just about everyone there. You could feel the little lulls in conversation where one of Craig's jokes would have dropped into place. You could almost see the gap across the table where he should have been sitting, trying to out me for cheating on card games.
But this time, it seemed I was the only one missing him there.
I was dreading this gathering for days and days. Had to psych myself up. Almost didn't go. Bought everything for the fruit salad I was going to bring that morning but opted instead to lie in bed weeping. Left all the fruit salads innards on my counter instead, traipsing over at the last possible minute.
There were hugs, stares, and the usual round of 'how are you?' that I still have not figured out an appropriate answer for.
And no Craig following in behind me, sitting beside me until he had worked up a good conversation with dad, getting at least 2 heaping plates of food, letting me nibble off his dessert tray, sipping on coffee or tea that he would get up to make for everyone. No Craig to warn me about sitting in the sun too long or ask me if I was wilting yet and wanted to go home.
Of course these are the only things I can think about while I am there. My inability to be even somewhat social is beyond frustrating. I can't follow a conversation, I have run out of clever and witty comebacks, and my ability to entertain with a good story has withered and died.
So not only do I miss my Craig, but I miss the fun we would have and the fun person I used to be. I am hoping that with enough family functions, eventually, one day, I will love them like I used to.
That I will once again be Fun Emily instead of Sad Widow.
Because even I am sick of her.