I don’t normally remember until at least midday. I can be sitting in front of my computer all day, writing checks, invoicing customers and generating receivables and payables. All of these things include seeing the date many, many times. Because we got married at Christmas time, we celebrated our anniversary on Valentine’s Day weekend. Both of us were guilty of not remembering, and neither of us cared. There were even times when we realized our anniversary had passed, and instantly called the other as soon as we recognized our faux pas. Oops.
Today was different. I recognized the upcoming date a few days into December. I’ve been waiting for it to come; and for it to pass. I held my tears, kept busy and felt like I had eaten a giant stone all day. You know that feeling, when you’re not hungry or thirsty but know you should eat? Drink water? Fill your already full gut?
Today would have been 19 years. Once upon a time, it felt like such an accomplishment and a massive blessing. Now, it feels like we didn’t even have a chance. What’s 18 years, 4 months and 3 days in the scope of forever? How is it possible I don’t have forever with the man who gave of himself daily? Forever didn’t last very long.
I wish I could take everything I once knew about life and lock it in a closet. These things:
- Jeremy and I were each other’s everything and would always be, forever.
- Our children who we adored knew our marriage and lived inside of that marriage; learning about love and truth and honesty and hard work.
- We would never be apart, through thick and through thin, better or worse, sickness and health.
- LOCK IT AWAY! Before life happens and it’s too late.
It’s too late. It’s now on me to move forward, this insolent life notwithstanding. It, and everyone, expects me to move forward. To get on with my life, stop pitying myself, stop spending so much time by myself.
How do I do that? How do I make the choice to live again without him? How can I possibly move in any direction? I would be moving without him – what the hell? Why would I want to? I miss my husband who is gone forever. I miss every single thing about him. His smile, his snicker. The way he walked, how he prayed over our dinner table and in our bed at night. How he gave me a hard time about nothing and everything. I miss his eyes, his strong arms and giant hands. I miss his shoulders to lay on and cry on and rest on. I miss his words and his voice, but especially his laughter. I miss being held by him, feeling safe with him, walking side by side, hand in hand, always. I so desperately want to hold him again, to be held by him. My heart continues to break, every day. Every night in my dreams, it breaks. As long as I’m home, my heart is breaking. Our house isn’t our home without him. It’s empty, it’s callous, it’s dark.
What will Christmas be like without him? The love of my life, my husband of 18 years was always the one working while I took care of Christmas. The familys’ gifts, food, planning, decorating, cards, business gifts and cards, employees’ gifts and parties, etc. The best part of all of it was Jeremy was there to enjoy the entire day. He could just show up and be grateful and proud of me for taking care of it all. His resting and relaxing and being with us was the best part of all of it. Now?