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missing Becky this week


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Katie has been in Missouri this week with my parents for Spring Break, which has given me a nice chance to study and get a lot of projects going that I will need to have finished in the next eight weeks before the semester ends. But of course I miss her terribly.

I have been missing Becky much more acutely this last week than I had been the last couple of months. At first, I thought it was the breakup I had with the woman I had been dating for six weeks or so, which would have been disappointing because I really am handling that well. It is the only time I have been in a relationship that ended where I thought, I really did everything I could do; this one is entirely on her. And so there are no regrets.

And then I thought it might be because the anniversary of Becky's death is coming so quickly. It is hard to believe it is under two weeks away. Sometimes it feels like seventeen years ago, but to think I haven't held her in almost a year is just unbelievable. It was just yesterday she was in my arms, wasn't it? The day after Easter will be a year, and yet I don't think that is why I am missing Becky so much.

I have had to give up a lot of connections to Becky in the last year. I sold our home to move to San Antonio. I turned 32 when she never got that chance. The calendar turned for me to 2005 where she will always be in 2004. I had no choice in those. But I have also given up being in love with Becky. I will love her for the rest of my days, but I cannot be in love with her anymore. I can't love her the way I need to love anymore. I give up connections to Becky willingly because ultimately that is the only way I can go forward.

And because I will always have the ultimate connection to her in that blue-eyed, blonde-haired ball of fire that is our daughter. She is and will always be a monument to Becky. She is so independent, able to entertain herself for hours the way Becky could at this age. She is so smart. Last week she multiplied six times 12. My dad had bought cascarones (confetti eggs) to play with when my cousins come down to visit, and there were six dozen. She counted that there will 12 in a carton, and I asked her how many there were total, and she came back a couple of minutes later and told me. Whether she could multiply or whether she had to count them by hand, that is ridiculous for a four year old. Do you think her math professor mommy was proud? She is, to reference an earlier post, 99% angel.

I am missing Becky this week because Katie isn't here. And that is good for me to realize. It is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice to be a single dad. It is so hard to manage her grief while dealing with my own. I cannot be as good a parent by myself as Becky and I could be together, and there have been so many times I have had to forgive myself for not being a better father.

And yet, for all the work, Katie is why I get out of bed in the morning. She is why I know I have Becky watching over me because she could never be separated from her girl. Being a dad is the hardest thing I do, but it is also the most meaningful.

So perhaps this trip came at a great time. I get to sleep as much as I need to, and I can study my eyes out. But it also gives me a chance to reflect on where I am and what makes my life meaningful. And so for this week, I miss my girls. Sunday can't get here quickly enough.


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Hi Curtis.

I so admire the way you are handling your grief and progressing with life. My Mom died when I was 16 and unlike you my dad could not or would not go forward with his life. Our home became a house that 3 people (I have a sister) lived in and my dad was never the same. He died 7 years later, still mourning her, all my mom's clothes were still there, her underwear was still in the drawer! As much as I missed my mom I missed my dad more, he was there but so very far removed from the man he had been.

Your Katie is such a lucky little girl that you are there for her, making the most of what has been the most difficult time you will ever experience in your life, just the fact that she is happy speaks volumes to your parenting. Yes, it would be better for her if Becky were still there, but - and it's a big but - she has you and you are moving forward however hard it is at times.

Keep doing what you are doing Curtis, you are an inspiration to us all.

With greatest respect


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You sound like an amazing, caring, strong person. Such a wonderful daddy.

I can't imagine what you are going through or how you feel. But it sounds like you will be okay. Just remember to take time for yourself and your emotions. You don't have to be "the strong one" ALL the time.

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