My view of the world through words & photos
In a few minutes, it will be April 24. April 24 has been our wedding anniversary for 20 years as of this year. Now it will also be the seven-month anniversary of Bill’s death. It is another one of those “firsts” that I have to go through, so bear with me as I share the whirlwind of thoughts flying through my mind.
The closer I’ve gotten to this day, the more my mind has returned to one of the happiest days of my life. While I remember so many of the preparations, our wedding day has so many special moments because we made a point of incorporating both of our families and our wide group of friends into every aspect of the day. One of the most important things we were told was that our wedding was a day…our marriage was for life.
I spent more than 20 years of my life with an incredible man. He loved me for the unique person I am. [That’s a nice way of saying that I’m not the easiest person to live with day in and day out.] Even though we were married at a point in our lives that we were certainly seen by others as adults, we grew so much as individuals and as a couple during those years.
Every year on our anniversary, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I’m going to miss that. Bill took such pride in never being one of those stereotypic husbands who forget their wives birthdays or the couple’s anniversary. He might not remember to turn on the dishwasher, or to let me know we had run out of something, but he always remembered our special days.
The only time he didn’t send me flowers was last year. Last year, we celebrated our 19th anniversary in the hospital. While it may not have been terribly romantic to many, I was grateful that Bill was in a regular cardiac care room and not in the ICU. We had dinner together, reminisced about our wedding day, the kids, some of the special trips we had taken, and trips we would like to take when Bill got stronger.
I have always been honest here, so I will honestly tell you that every day with a spouse with chronic conditions is not full of soft music and constant “I love yous.” There were many days when we grew frustrated with the situation and snapped at each other. What was important was that we always apologized to each other in the end…after we had spent a little time apart.
This time of grief hasn’t always been full of acceptance and positive thoughts. I was cheated and the kids were cheated. We deserved decades more with Bill. He should be here to celebrate our 20th anniversary and our 30th. He should be here to see Beka graduate from 8th grade, high school and college. He should be here to see Ben graduate from college and begin his independent life. He should be here to see both kids marry the loves of their lives, like we were. He should be here to take his grandkids to see his Cardinals win another World Series. In my faith, I know he is with us, but I want to hold his hand and feel his enveloping hugs for many more years.
I love you.
Forever and always.