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  • Writer's pictureKatie Beucus

Dear Aaron,

Dear Aaron,


It’s been almost 8 months since I took my first breath after you took your last. 7 months and 19 days to be exact.


I remember certain events from those final days, but much is blurry. I don’t remember the last clear words you ever said to me. I remember you telling me it was happening, that you were in the clouds, that our sweet Ellie was there waiting for you, that it was wild. But were those the last?


Or was it when you started to show signs of restlessness, your arms above your head, making incoherent sounds and I asked, “do you have pain” to which you clearly replied “yes.” I’ve never dosed you with medications faster, and then as quickly as it came on, you settled back in. I hope the pain wasn’t too much. You NEVER complained of pain, even though I know well how much of it you experienced.


Or was it me talking you through straight cathing one last time, only to drain blood. You asked “is there a lot?” referencing urine to which I replied with a lie of “yes” because I didn’t want you to be scared. I’m so sorry I lied but I think you would have done the same for me.


I think those might be them. Your last words to me. “Is it a lot?”


And while the events of the day get fuzzy, I remember clearly how it felt. An unexpected levity in our home. Friends coming and going, saying goodbyes, sharing stories and shedding tears. Bringing food and clean laundry. Laughter from our kids who distractedly played with their cousins. A warmth in our room from bodies so hot we had to open the windows on a Winter night.


Above all else, I remember the feeling of love. Love for you that spilled out of our room and down the hall and into the kitchen as people gathered. Love for you that manifested laughter and smiles through the largest of tears. Love for you that created a comfortable quiet as we watched you sleep, wondering which breath would be your last. And then it comes to me, I think. The last thing you tried to say as my brother rushed down the hall to get your parents.


Love.


You had been laying on your back, face to the ceiling. And for the first time in so many hours we were alone. And in that final breath you turned your head to me and mouthed “love” as your breath escaped. It was the moment I saw your spirit leave your body. Peace had washed over you after the hardest fight. You needed me to know you loved me.


Aaron, please know that I knew how much you loved me. Please know I’m working toward the hopes and dreams you had for me, and no I do not have 50 cats but I haven't written that off completely so no end zone dances yet, ok? Know that I am taking care of myself like I promised.


The kids and I have lived so much this year. We picked up your Bronco and I learned to drive a stick which is how she got the name of Ms. Crawly, I know you’ll get it. And I’m sorry about the personalized plates but I got the national parks version so at least the DMV fee is going to a good cause that you would appreciate. We took her out to Mike’s memorial and the kids had so much fun.


We made it to your Dad’s birthday at the River house. Chris and Danny finally came too, can you believe it?! We all got eaten alive by mosquitoes, something I think the kids will remind us of into adulthood.


I got two new tattoos, so hard core of me hu? I promise they are much better than that shitty one I got at 18. And then we made the trek to Lake Powell. The kids loved the adventure and were incredible little travelers. I know you would be so proud. They became Jr. Rangers at the Grand Canyon and road the coaster in Williams. Houseboat life suited them well, catching fish and lizards and learning to paddle board and jet ski and jump off the house boat.


Haddie and I saw Taylor Swift with Jess in LA. Show of a lifetime. You should have seen our girl. Dancing with me all night, the cutest little arm bop as I held her. All the sequins and glitter, she was in heaven!-


We’re heading to Disneyland soon. Can you believe your cancer started two months after we were there last? We had no idea of course. Our last “normal” family adventure. You walked the park with Haddie on your shoulders, not a care in the world.


We’ll fly to see my sister then your sitter and parents around Thanksgiving before settling in at home in December for Christmas. I think I'm supposed to dread this holiday season, but I'm almost as giddy as you would be for Christmas this year. I'm taking the kids to see The Grinch at the Old Globe, I hope they love it. Your last Christmas was such a beautiful one, I can't imagine carrying sorrow with me into the holiday this year. You would absolutely hate that, I know it.


Can you believe quiet, shy, introverted me is stewarding our life this way? I’m very much who I’ve always been, and yet completely different too. I miss you, I know I always will, but I want you to know that I am ok. That maybe I am more than ok most days. I am happy, like I promised you I would be and I am allowing myself to experience true joy.


We see you in the sky everyday, sometimes with Ellie too. Thank you for watching over us, for guiding our hearts, and for pushing us forward. I promise we won’t let you down.


XO

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