Its 37 degrees outside and for some reason all I want to do is put away Christmas and clean up the backyard. Crazy!  I have a sore throat and really shouldn’t be outside, but the brisk cool air feels good on my body.

There are leaves and logs everywhere, but you know that — the way the dogs pull the logs from the stack you and I built.  At times we would think it was funny and other times it would drive us crazy.  They still chew on them and turn it into mulch.

I grabbed a beer, started a fire and began to clean up all the leaves off the driveway and porch.  All your Christmas Santas are safely tucked away in the bins and stored in the garage.  You know me, “I charge like bull in a china shop” to get everything done.  I still climb ladders I’m not supposed to and I am still trying to keep the garage organized, but the boys have a way of messing it up.

The fire burns out quickly as everything is damp.  Even the logs you stored away in the garage for such a night have picked up the moisture from the air.  But I am doing my best to keep the fire burning.  I am doing my best to keep your memories alive inside of me.

My work is done for now, but I continue to sit here smelling the smoke that flows from the fire.  Remembering how you would sit in our garage for hours reading.  The smell of the smoke reminds me of you.  Cleaning up the leaves reminds me of you.  Sitting in the cold air reminds me of you.

It’s peaceful out here.  It’s almost to quiet.  I can hear the cars going by on the street behind our house — the clinking of the dog collars as they chase each other around the yard.

All things I know you see — all things I wish you were here with me to do.  I know you see a lot now.  Seeing my life move forward without you and the boys handling what life throws at them.  Seeing the survivor in me.

I often think about what you would say to me if you could.  If you could lean down and whisper in my ear right now, what would you say?  I wonder if you think I am doing ok.  I think about you loving me and me loving you.  I miss your reassurance that everything will be ok.  That I am strong.  That I will be what God intended me to be.  I wonder if you approve of my life moving forward.  Are you ok with where I am?  I know you see me.  Oh, how I wish I could see you.

Darkness has fallen, and the fire is gone.  The temperature has dropped, and the dogs are ready to go in.  I want to sit in this place of feeling and smelling you just a bit little longer but the chill has taken over, and I must go inside.

I miss you, and I think if you could whisper in my ear right now, you would tell me you love me.

Luv, Luv,

Julie