It is the third anniversary of Richard's death. Tomorrow! Three years. 1095 days! A very long time that isn't really that long at all. With every passing day I hope for less pain. I don't know if that has happened but I'm able to bear the pain a bit now.
I still replay the memories of our life together. We had many, many good memories. And they sustain me each day in a way I did not think possible. I've mostly forgotten the bad times. We had them, believe me. But they just don't seem that important anymore. I can close my eyes and see his smile as he looks at me. I can see the scar on his hand.
How he says my name. Then I open my eyes and I understand. He is gone.
In these past three years I have stumbled upon things that bring me joy. A hand-written card for my birthday. A list he wrote for a vacation we were taking. A handkerchief in my coat pocket that belonged to him. (Do any men still carry a cloth hanky?)His recipe for Taco Salad written in his very precise printing! All precious memories to me.
I think the continued pain comes from 'letting go'. I hold on tight but I can't feel him anymore. I can't touch him. I can't smell him. That special smell that says to all of us who loved him dearly....this is Papa. I've had to let go of the idea that he will be with me all the way through my old age. We always knew that would never happen. But I don't think we ever formed a real thought to what it would be like for one of us to be gone.
Losing Richard has made me vulnerable. It has helped me be more honest. Honest in my love for those close to me. Tomorrow is NOT promised. Losing him has made me stronger. Not in ways that I want to be stronger but in ways that have been necessary for me to survive. Losing him has made me over-look things that just aren't that important. Losing him has made me see life through hidden tears.
What I've learned from losing him is that I couldn't save him. No matter how hard I hung on. No matter how perfect my care for him was. I couldn't save him.
But I can save myself.
Here is a piece I have written to mark the 3rd anniversary! I love you Richard. I always will.
|Disney World 2011|
What do I miss now that you are gone?
I miss the way you looked at me.
The way you folded your arms across your chest.
The way you pushed your glasses up your nose.
Those tiny wisps of hair in your ears.
I miss your snoring at night. Yes, really!
I miss that sweet way you called me 'honey'.
I miss rubbing my fingers across that callus on your right thumb.
What else do I miss?
I miss hearing you sing God Bless The USA
I miss the tear that slips down your cheek as the flag passes by.
I miss hearing you yearn for Colorado.
And I also miss...
I miss your smile, your sound, your touch, your smell.
I miss your friendship, your companionship, your love.