It was a bit harder for each of us, this time around. When she had to give me a hug goodbye, her body went limp, her voice went quiet. She didn't want to go, not even with grandma. Taking her things out of my trunk and putting them into my mom's wasn't so bad. It was taking the car seat out and putting it into my mom's that made it seem a little more real. As I buckled her into the seat, I told her I loved her. I told her to remember, every time she saw the moon, to know I loved her allll the way there and allll the way back. She gave me half a smile as she told me she loved me, too.
I cried behind my sunglasses as we headed back down I-85. I called my mom a few times to check on them, A wanted to come back, even with her great grandma, grandma, and mother all in the car with her. She wanted us. As we arrived back home, I couldn't even bring myself to unpack the car. I came upstairs, checked the computer, took a shower, and climbed into bed. As I put my leg into bed, I looked over at her empty bed and started to cry. I slept with her pillow for 13 hours.
It's noticeably quiet around these parts. No one waking us up at 2 am asking us for milk or 8 am asking for the television. No noise coming from the backseat of the car. No car seat, either. No one in the back seat of the car asking why we aren't going on a red light or asking us if we can turn up the radio. No screams from the bathroom telling us the are done. No one behind me in my chair. No one on the couch bothering him while he works. She's not here. We feel it. We miss her.