"Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without." ~ James C. Dobson
Just another day to most but it is a date that will always have meaning to me.
22 years ago, I walked down the aisle to begin a life with Brian. A life of better or worse, til death do us part. Brian was the man I couldn't live without.....the love of my life.
The past 7 anniversaries have been difficult but with each passing year, they become more of a day of reflection instead of a day of intense sadness. As a matter of fact, it kind of crept up on me this year.
The first anniversary after Brian's passing, I was filled with sadness and a heavy heart once the calendar changed to June. I dreaded the actual day however life didn't change on June 10th....the world didn't end...the sky didn't fall. Instead, I had a nice long cry and was filled with an awful lot of regret.
That first anniversary would have been our 16th anniversary....which made our last anniversary together our 15th. A pretty big milestone - 15 years of being happily married. Wondering how we celebrated?
Hmmmm.....I wish I could remember how we celebrated. I suspect it was a day spent at work, then rushing to pick up three kids, swim practice or maybe a swim meet, and perhaps dinner at the baseball field concession stand.
I remember us talking about taking some time for us to take a weekend together but Rachel was just 10 months old and we really weren't in a position to take time to spend anytime just the two of us.
I have wonderful memories of Brian....we had a wonderful life together. That I do not regret.
However, I beg all of you to please make time for your spouse. Make time for each other....we are all busy but as I can attest - as can many of my friends - life can be SHORT. When we take those vows, the priest never actually tells you when "death due us part" will occur.
Tomorrow will be here in just a few hours, and I will spend time reflecting on the loving, caring husband and father Brian was. I'll remember how he never got my sense of humor....I always had to let him know I was joking....then he'd catch on to the joke. I'll remember the way he looked at me as I walked down that aisle, how he hugged me when he saw the look on my face walking into our house each time I learned my sister and father died, and how he calmed me when I was nervous during my pregnancies. I'll remember how we first met, how he made me feel confident in my abilities, how he was my biggest supporter. I'll remember how he gave up his career as an attorney in Philadelphia to follow my career opportunities in Bloomington - as he shared with my brother-in-law, "because Barb sacrificed a career to support me through law school. It's her turn now."
I plan on being on this earth a long time but I cannot wait to meet up with Brian face to face again someday. I know he is with me and the kids each and everyday. There are little signs here and there, so I'm certain of it. But until then, I'll continue to reflect about the wonderful times and try not to think about "what could have been."
Happy 22nd Anniversary Brian. I love you.
An addendum to my original post - I rarely leave the office or my desk that matter for lunch. Today I had to run out for a few errands. When I turned on the car, my wedding song (Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel) was playing on the radio. Made me pause and smile. I'll take that as a sign of Brian letting me know he was with me today.
Also, I made a $22 donation to LIVESTRONG today to honor Brian's memory and the 22 years since we had married. If you would like to do the same, please click on the link below:
LIVESTRONG Fundraising Page