Even as I start writing this I notice the time and realize you are still very much here. 4:28, your birthday. Also the time our first daughter was born. You are so so very much a part of her and everyone can see you in her daily. As if her birth time destined her to be linked even more to you than simply being her father.
I’ve been noticing a lot this afternoon. As I left the doctor’s office something was drawing me to the cemetery where your niche is. I parked the car, got out and noticed the beauty of the valley you always and will eternally call home. I walked towards the niches and could smell the incense burning. Just then I heard an ambulance go by and flash-backed to the night one took you away and you never came home. Something triggered in me and the tears started to fall.
I wiped each one away and made it to your niche. I could feel the cool, crisp air and saw the flowers moving but couldn’t feel the breeze. All I saw was your picture and urn in the glass front niche. I thought what a beautiful and peaceful setting this was. Then the real tears started.
Nope, not the gentle trickle type but the “I can’t breathe ugly cry” type. Then I realized the date, it’s the 22nd. Another 22nd. Not the month of your heavenversary but the date God called you back. I couldn’t stop the tears. I thought of all the things that have gone on since your passing. The birthdays, soccer games, holidays, the list goes on and on.
I also thought of us. My partner, best friend, and love was gone forever. I have since dated and found someone. I go through the guilt of being happy and being in love again. I know no one could ever replace you in my heart, rather the heart just grows to find room for more. The tears subsided. I held my hands close to my chest in prayer and thanked God for you. I prayed you were resting in peace, love, and happiness. I thanked God for sending a man who honors and respects you into our lives. I will struggle with guilt. I call it widow’s guilt, somewhat like survivor’s guilt.
Yet, somehow I know all goodness taking place in the lives of the children and I are partially your doing. For it is true, love knows no boundaries. You are here in spirit, in love, and in much of what we do. For this I give my 20 seconds of gratitude on the 22nd. The greatest honor and legacy we can give you is to continue to live, love, and smile that smile that touched the heart of many and always will.