We walked hand in hand to the mailbox a few blocks from our house. The sunny day tricks my memory into believing it was summer, but I know it had to have been January or February. There must have been a temporary reprieve from the grey, rainy weather that normally plagues us at that time of year.
When we arrived at the shiny, red Canada Post box, we paused for a minute and looked at each other. We both smiled nervously then stared at the mailbox for another moment. I opened the mail drawer and dropped the thick stack of envelopes in, pausing only briefly before letting the drawer slam closed. We looked at each other again and laughed. Neither of us looked panicked, but we both took a deep breath before we walked away.
At that point we'd been engaged for a year and a half. The dress and the suit were bought. The venues were booked. All but the minor details were worked out. The wedding was planned and all of our friends and family knew about it. But nothing made it more real than dropping those invitations into the mailbox. It was official. We were getting married.
Today, nine years later, it didn't even faze me when I grabbed the envelopes off of the counter. I shoved them in my purse and didn't give them a second thought until I saw a mailbox half way down the block from where I was walking. I made my detour, reached into my purse to get them, and as I opened the mailbox drawer I was hit with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I dropped the letters in the box and closed the drawer as quickly as possible, not giving myself any time to think. As I tried not to cry, I wished Jordan would have been there with me, holding my hand this time too.
This time, those letters were not something beautiful and magical like wedding invitations, they were Nolan's application for disability status with the Canadian government, and Asher's application for a disabled parking pass. I hadn't given much thought to mailing them because filling out the forms was really no big deal. Unlike Asher's disability form that sat on the counter for months before I could face it, Nolan's seemed straight forward and far less emotionally charged by comparison. And as for the parking pass - Jordan and I had taken two years to come to terms with the fact we needed one, so when we made the joint decision that it was time, filling out the application was just a formality.
What I didn't realize was that putting pen to paper and completing the forms wasn't the scary part - it was mailing them. Even when the forms were addressed, sitting on our counter, they were still meaningless. But as soon as they were dropped in the mailbox there was no way to get them back. Just like with the wedding invitations, it was official. There was no denying that Nolan is disabled, and Asher is disabled enough to warrant a rockstar parking spot everywhere he goes.
Just when I think I have a handle on things, something comes out of the blue and shocks me with the grief that accompanies it. Of course I know that had I not mailed those forms it wouldn't take away the boys' CP. But somehow sending that mail off makes it just makes it seem a little bit worse.