Wednesday, August 10, 2011

15 years...

She is Gone - by David Harkins
You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
Or you can be full of the love that you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

"Out of all the gifts You’ve given
Besides the very gift of life
There is none as precious to me
As the treasure of my wife."
How Do I Love Her?
by Steven Curtis Chapman

Dear Sara,

Fifteen years ago today we stood in front of our family, friends, and God…pledging our lives, and love, to each other “until death do us part.” The “until we are old and gray, having lived long and fruitful lives” was implied. Most days it’s still hard to believe that those vows have been fulfilled…or…maybe it’s more that I don’t want to believe that they have been fulfilled. In daily conversation, you are still “my wife, Sara.”

This day has been on my mind for weeks. I’ve been completely unsure of how to approach it. Should I celebrate the fourteen and a half happy years we shared? Could I celebrate, even if I wanted to? Should I go somewhere? Should I be with people or be alone? My answer came to me late in the afternoon yesterday…maybe you sent it to me.

Last October we went up north on a color tour. It was something we had always wanted to do, but working for the public schools made taking time off work during the fall a little difficult. In retrospect, I’m obviously glad we made the time to go. We both enjoyed ourselves. It was a happy trip. We knew it was probably our last vacation with just the two of us.

One of my favorite memories from the trip was sitting out in Grand Traverse Bay, at Mission Point State Park, watching the sun set behind the Leelanau Peninsula. You were cold; I was comfortable. You snuggled in next to me as the sun went down. We had seen Miranda in an ultrasound just a week earlier; it was our first, last, and only sunset as a family. It was a perfect end to a perfect day. We were both so happy, and excited about where our lives were heading.

That brings me back to today. It finally occurred to me to go back to that happy place…a place where the future was unknown, yet filled with joy…a place where we both felt safe, happy, and content. So, that’s where I will celebrate our 15th anniversary, sitting in Grand Traverse Bay, watching the sun set over the Leelanau Peninsula. As the last rays of the sun disappear behind the horizon, I’ll sprinkle some of your and Miranda’s ashes in that place. The joy of that memory will forever exist there, as it exists in my heart.
I love you. I miss you, today more than any other. Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Half a year...

Dear Sara,

Six months.Twenty-six weeks.One hundred and eighty-two days.

That's how long it's been since the world was robbed of your smile, your laugh, your beauty, your being. Our families will never be the same, scarred by this amputation for the rest of our lives. Even with great hope, we live with great sorrow.

The paradox of time rears its ugly head. So many of those days have passed so slowly; it's impossible to fathom that it's been that long. So much of our grief feels so fresh. In other ways it feels as though what we had was a lifetime ago. It's a memory seen through the lens of history or a movie we've seen a hundred times; one where we know the lines by heart, because we spoke them, yet it feels as though someone else must have said and done those things.

We love you. I love you. We miss you. I miss you. Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.