It’s been a struggle this last few days to understand what the last six years have been like. Six years ago, in a sudden hit to our family, my wife – the kids’ mom – Andrea Andrews Manoucheri passed away. None of us expected it. None of us wanted it. She hadn’t been suffering in pain from some ailment. It was pneumonia. Just that simple.
So six years after that terrible day when I had to come home and tell the kids that their mother was gone it’s really a very different kind of thing.
Perhaps the best way to digest what the 6th anniversary of her passing meant might be to look at it by how I see all the kids’ reactions to this day.
We put a video together, like several years past, to commemorate the day but also to celebrate just how far we’ve come. We used the Doobie Brothers song “Listen to the Music” and my middle daughter Hannah really stepped up and did an amazing job singing.
But the day . . . My oldest may have taken the hardest hit in the whole thing. She spent the most time with her mom. She remembers it all, the good, the bad, the really ugly. I had a big hand in a lot of that ugly part and it’s hard for me to face sometimes. So when the day comes it’s different for her. She is also about to graduate college and move into the wide world…that’s a lot of change to face without your mom. I can’t fix that. I just have to know it’s true, which as a guy, isn’t easy. My middle . . . she lets it all out. She doesn’t always talk about it but when it hits her, it hits her. She cries, she gets sad, it’s out there on her sleeve. It’s different than her sister, and with all that she’s had more time at home with a single dad than her sister did. That’s not right or wrong, it just changes the shape of how they deal with things. She faces going to college soon.
My boys, though. They miss their mom but it’s the hardest for me to see. When I started dating I asked the boys if it bothered them seeing me with someone else, someone who is not their mom. The response was telling: they didn’t really have a lot of memory of me and their mom together. It’s just a sort of ethereal happening, something that was. Affection, hugs, kisses, those are reserved for what their mom did with them. But even that . . . they were 7 when their mom left. They have officially lived almost as long without her as they did with her. That’s an odd thing to face.
So . . . having said I may not post here again, or not very often . . . I post. We did a video that I think encapsulates all the last six years and more. We face the loss but we kept moving forward and doing it knowing that it’s okay to move forward. It’s okay to be enjoying things even though she’s not here to enjoy them with us.
And like I’ve said many times, we’re stronger together than when we’re apart. We miss you, Andrea, and we love you.