For the past 3.5 months, I’ve been sending myself text messages. They’ve mostly been rapid thoughts that had neither a beginning or end. This past week I went through these thoughts and pieced them together. The following piece is broken up and fragmented at times. However, it gave me a glimpse into my mind these past few months.
I spent this past weekend in Nashville, TN attending a wedding with my children. This trip was our first road trip without Laura, and the ride down was challenging at times, even lonely. Challenging because we took a vow almost 12 years ago to “share all that is to come; to speak and to listen.” Two things I can no longer do with her.
I never gave our wedding vows much thought until I listened this past weekend intently and let each word sink in. The prose, albeit simple, is beautiful and encapsulates the joys and pains of marriage. One passage that stood out to me was, “To Inspire and To Respond.”
So basic, yet so profound.
This past weekend, the kids participated in a 1.2-mile run. This was the 4th year for my son and the 1st for my daughter. Before the race, I told the kids to run at a nice even pace; otherwise, they might regret the outcome. My son knew what I was referring to because last year he went out too fast and came pretty close to hurling after he finished.
Since I volunteered to help, I had the luxury of being right at the finish line to watch both kids finish. As I waited, I kept glancing at my watch so I could anticipate when the kids might come across the finish line. At roughly, 6.5 minutes I see my son coming in at full speed with his eyes closed and head tilted up to the sky. My first reaction was, “Welp, he did it again, he’s going to hurl as soon as he crosses the finish line.” However, he finished strong, gave me a high five and then wandered off to cheer on his friends.
It wasn’t until much later in the day that he told me why he had his eyes closed towards the end. He said he was listening to Mommy cheer him on.
Five days earlier, the situation was entirely different.
January 14th, 2000 was the day that I met Laura.
That same day, 16 years later, I lost her.
I have no explanation for this even after double-checking dates, digging through bins and spending hours on the web to make sure I wasn’t just making this up. The greatest day of my life and the worst day of my life are one in the same.