Jennifer died 15 years ago in April.
15 years. How has that much time gone by?
Most of these last 15 Aprils I have seen the date looming - April 17 - and have mostly tried to ignore it up until the last minute. One year I was so busy I forgot it entirely and then felt bad. These last couple years I have felt all the feels in the days leading up to the actual day so that I was not being beaten to a pulp on the day itself. Usually that means I write about it ahead of time in my journal or text Grace or Mom about it.
This year I texted Grace a few days ahead, thinking that would let some pressure off, which it did. The day itself came and went with sweet notes and texts within the family. Another year gone that Jen's not here to see her kids mature, to meet Harper, to see what she might have done with an empty nest. Sigh.
I thought I was good to go for another year. But then. Driving Harper home from soccer a few days after the 17th, Ace of Bass came on the radio ("I Saw The Sign") which I started singing along to. Jen loved Ace of Bass back in the day so I thought of her immediately and while singing, burst into tears. Harper noticed of course and I said, "Jen loved this song and it just hit me extra hard today."
Grief is a trickster, even after 15 years it can surprise you when you least expect it.