You left me with a freakin’ teddy bear.

Yes, you exited and now I am laying in this bed with a teddy bear in my hand. I know you wanted to stay and raise these 2 amazing boys with me. I totally get it and yet you had to go.

And I am still here. With bills to pay, laundry to wash, house to clean, budget to figure out, tuition to pay, educational needs to sort out, leaking roof to fix, contractors to call, car tires to replace, house to sell, new car to buy, meals to plan, groceries to buy, dental appointments to make. I am here to answer questions about life for an 11 year- old boy, tantrums to settle for an 8-year old. I worry alone when an unexplained belly-ache keeps them awake or there is vomit to clean up in the middle of night. I am doing it all. You left, and I stayed. I worry: what happens if I cannot stay? What if cancer takes me too? Then who will worry about all these things.

You left me 50% of you and 50% of me; two healthy in-the-flesh human beings, two beautiful miracles we have created, with 100% responsibility.

I held onto you with iron fists. Cancer was smarter, more advanced, more resilient. But I was more loving and devoted.

And now Daddy Teddy is comforting me on hard days when I doubt my parenting. My solo, nonsense, one-sided, motherly love with so many flaws to discuss with 4 walls in a lonely room.

Yes, I freaking miss you through this teddy bear you handed to our kids on your death bed. Hugging a soft stuffed furry friend will do for now. It soaks up all the tears before I get up from this bed and get back to washing laundry, cooking dinner, listening to stories of our boys’ daily activities, and go to work to let life flow. And when they hug me, I know I am hugging you. I know I am more fortunate than you were, because I am here, living through every moment of this crazy busy, comforting life with our sons.