It finally happened.
It only took 9 years.
And it took my 9 year old to make me realize it.
Today I went on a bike ride with my daughter, as we so often do.
A short 5 mile ride to grab lunch and hit the library.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
Along the way, we chatted....as we so often do.
I am always amused by the thoughts running through my 9 year old's head......especially while she is riding a bike (although I wish she would concentrate a bit more on keeping her line!).
About halfway through our ride, she advised me that it is only 10 days until her birthday. She is incredibly excited to be DOUBLE DIGITS!
Wait a second.....
My mind began doing the math.....
If it was 10 days until her birthday, it was only 9 days until the anniversary of her dad's passing.
And that meant that the anniversary of his being diagnosed with cancer, had come and gone.....without a thought by me.
And the days from that terrible afternoon until this day, which were filled with just as terrible news and emotions, had also come and gone.....without a thought by me.
This was a first.
Each year since that terrible Friday afternoon on August 6, 2004 (The Day My World Began Moving in Slow Motion) and all the days leading up to the day Brian passed away on Friday, August 20, 2004, the first two weeks of August have been an awful walk down memory lane. And not a lane I'd want anyone else to ever have to visit.
Suddenly, for whatever reason, on the 9th anniversary of my husband's passing, I didn't remember the day he was suddenly admitted to the hospital. I didn't relive the moments the surgeon changed our lives from one filled with hope for a lifetime of memories to a panic of just days of survival. The sudden realization that I would have to make phone calls to share the news with his mother, his father, his brother, my family.....and worst of all, our children.
(see my past blogs that describe how I was feeling in previous years)
I am not sure what is different about this year than the past 8 years, but this year feels different.
And although I doubt I'll ever forget ever minute of those two weeks, at least this year, I get to remember them on my own terms.
I never believed this day would come.
I thought if it this day did ever come. I would feel guilty.....as though I had turned my back on Brian.
But honestly, it is an incredible relief.
I am sure the actual anniversary of his passing will come with a heavy heart - especially since this year we will not be spending it at the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Philadelphia surrounded by fantastic friends as we have the past three years.
Instead, it will be a regular day...driving kids around town, attending meetings at work, helping my oldest pack for college, getting out for a run or ride, and I am certain, finding time to fittingly honor Brian.
I live every day honoring this amazing man....the love of my life and the incredible father of our three equally amazing and unique children.
Thankfully I am able to finally do it without laboring over all the terrible minutes of those two weeks of pain.
Live really does go on....