Today, I choose to not celebrate nor do I choose to see it as an anniversary because I feel that would lesson every day that I have spent without Eddie. The simple fact is, I do not have my husband, my boys do not have their Dad, Belle does not have her son, Stephanie and my siblings do not have their brother and so many do not have their friend. I will not acknowledge today as anything more than yesterday or anything less than tomorrow. Everyday is one more day of loss but also one more day filled with God's grace.
Today does not define who we were or who we are. It does not get the privilege of having it's own day nor does it get to mean more than the 49 years before or all the years that will come after.
So I choose not to morn today but to celebrate the life we had and the life we have made since Eddie's death. We are so much more than the foundation that "the year of first" represents. As I reflect back on the past year and the year before that, I realize how far we have come and how far we have to go.
I have thought a lot about how after someone dies, we tend to only remember the good and happy times. We talk of what a good man he was and all the great things he did. We rarely mention how he would drive us all crazy with his "attention" to details, how most of the time he was too stubborn to ask for help or how he never threw away ANYTHING because he might need it. We see all the beauty and ignore the scars that marked his hands and body, when we should rejoice in the stories that each beautiful scar tells. You could see the story of his life in each of his fingerprints and see the scars from years of work and think about how much his fingerprints had changed over the years since we met. We seldom mention the real and hard times that made us, US.
Eddie was a great man, an honest man, a man of many talents, a man who fiercely loved God and his family. He was a man who gave a lot and who loved serving others. He was also a stubborn man, a picky man, a "take no short cuts just do it right the first time" man and a man who had flaws just like we all do. He was not going to die so he refused to talk about it, refused to leave phone numbers or instructions because like most of us he could not wrap his mind around dying. If I had regrets, that would be mine, how I wish I would of been braver and stronger about talking about "things" But when you are living and letting go, we all do the best we can. So we did what we always did and we just provided the best way we could and loved each other. We fought hard everyday for our marriage and our family but neither one of us were or are perfect but we found we were perfect for each other.
I still find myself looking for Eddie but he is so present in my life and through our boys that I have found that some days I forget that he is gone. I am so proud of where the boys and I are today. We are healing and finding our path but most importantly every day we courageously choose to "GET UP and LIVE. Some days it might be ugly but some days it might be pretty great and each day it is filled with God's love, grace and forgiveness.
So today I will remember the peace and relief that we felt on this day last year. I will remember Eddie, NOT where we were a year ago today but where we were everyday before that. He deserves more than the day he died, he deserves each and every one of the 17,930 days that he lived.
So, for me, today is just like the previous 365 days that came before and just like the 365 days that will come after and I will choose to GET UP and LIVE!
I read that Loss does not Lessen Love and I stand firm in my love for Eddie and all that he gave me because I was the luckiest girl to get to love and be loved by this man.
So today I will love a little harder, be a little more courageous and give myself the grace I deserve AND I WILL CHOOSE TO GET UP AND LIVE!