Joy | Grief | Action | Change

Last night, I had two of Aria’s best friends and my cousin sleep over. We have been talking about it for awhile. With one of the girls starting school this Friday, last night was the only night that seemed to work for everyone. I made “Walking taco’s” last night. They aren’t Aria’s fav taco’s but they are easier to make when there are a lot of people. Aria would have preferred “GT’S”, which stands for ” Giant Taco’s.” Even though they aren’t giant, its what we call them. Aaron introduced them to us, however, over the passed 3 years I have specialized in them. Perhaps, maybe even perfected. They were by far Aria’s favorite meal that I made.

Last Thursday night, I closed at Bunny’s. Nick popped by and I told him I wanted to make tacos for dinner on Friday. I hadn’t made them in awhile and I was craving them, so was he. But, I was sick and had absolutely NO desire to go shopping to pick up the ingredients to make them. I got in from LA late Tuesday night, did therapy and DBT class ALL day Wednesday, and then closed Bunny’s Thursday. I was beat. He offered to run to the store and grab all the stuff so I didn’t have to leave the house Friday. I wrote down all the ingredients on a piece of paper and he left before the grocery store closed. I thank him, but, never once said anything on the text about taco’s. As I was getting in my car to head home a little after midnight, I sent him a text stating “OMW” Then I put my phone in my purse. I didn’t even turn on the radio. I drove straight home, its like a 4 minute drive home. When I got home, Nick and I were sitting on the couch and I saw a random text on my phone. I said,

“Why’d you send that?”

“What does that mean, was that meant for me?”

He said, ” I didn’t send that, you did”

Taqueria

Just like that, nothing more or nothing less. I started thinking, that’s a word in Spanish. How the hell did it get there? I wanted to know what it meant.

“OMG Babe, it means a restaurant that specializes in taco’s. Aria would definitely say that they were my specialty. How else would that randomly pop up?

I don’t care what anyone say’s, that was definitely Buggy.

Anyways, so I made taco’s for the girls last night as well. We ate popcorn, Dill Pickle chips, made cookies, Flaming Hot Cheetos, smashed 12 cans of Coke. Ya know typical teenager stuff. We watched Final Destination. Buggy was terrified but, loved that movie. She loved all scary movies. I went to bed as the girls were starting Despicable me. Just like old times, I was awaken by the noise of laughing girls at 3:00am. Just for a moment it was like nothing had changed. Except when I walked in to check on them, there was no Bug. I wear long T-shirts to bed and if Aria was in the living room when I checked on them she definitely would have yelled at me,

” Mom put some pants on.”

I can hear her. As much as I loved having the girls there, it was another reminder that Bugs not here. I’m so happy I was able to spend time with them before the beginning of the school year. 3 girls, all going to different high schools, yet, share one common bond, their love for Aria Joy.

For the whole 8 years that Aria went to Lake Harriet, they started the week before Labor day. This is the first year that they start after. Aria would be starting her Freshman year at Southwest, Class of 2023. We live a block and a half away from the school. She would have walked. Yet, she insisted I get her a car for her 16th birthday so she could drive the half a block to school everyday. I didn’t realize how much this time of year would affect me. Until, I walked into Target last week and saw the big signs that said “School This Way” pointing to where school supplies are. The whole store is full of kids and parents trying to prepare. I stood in the aisle watching all of them pass me. Everyone is so busy. This week, Aria and I would have been on a school shopping spree and doing the same thing. If the roles were reversed I probably wouldn’t haven’t noticed the random woman walking through the school section without a child. Wishing so desperately I was as busy and stressed out as they seem trying to get their kids organized.

I have a feeling that these next few weeks are going to be extremely tough. Seeing the buses run up and down my street again. Watching the neighbor kids walk to the school that I had imagined Aria going to since she was in Kindergarten.

I drove her to school on the first day of school every single year except for 8th grade. I have so much guilt in that. I cry every time I think of it. If you are friends with me on Instagram, you can see Aria’s first day of 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade documented on my page. For 8th grade, I had to work and it pisses me off that I didn’t take it off. I wasn’t in a position where I acquired enough PTO yet. I wish I said “Fuck it” and took her anyways. I wish so many things went differently…………..

“Strangers rushing past just trying to get home. You were the only safe haven that I’ve known. Its me at full speed, feel like I can’t breathe and nobody knows. This pain inside me, my world is crumbling. I should have never, let you go home.”

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