January 14th is bittersweet; it’s the day that served as the beginning and the end of our relationship. The grief one goes through when losing a loved one too early is incomprehensible; there’s no way to describe it or relate to it unless you experience a loss of that magnitude.
Today marks the last first time for us without Laura. During this year there were a lot of first times – birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. All unique experiences that were significant to us as a family. Each one was difficult in its own way, and some were tougher than others, but we got through them.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
My son and I have deep conversations before bedtime; it’s made me realize how introspective my little 8yr old is. This week, he asked a question that left me at a loss for words. He said, “Daddy, is it true that if you love someone more than anything in the world, they’ll only be in your life for a short time? And, if you’re miserable with someone, they’ll be in your life forever?”
Did he just ask if it was worth falling in love?
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.
A dear friend of mine wrote a beautiful tribute to Laura that she shared during the service. It talked about Laura being lightning and grace. Powerful, full of energy, yet elegant and welcoming to everyone. It’s difficult to put into words the aura that Laura possessed. She glowed, even when she was at her worst. She was a firecracker one minute, then a shoulder to lean on the next.
I miss that immensely. Yet, I see it every single day. I see it in my children, they are my lightning and grace.
Instead of writing one big post about our trip, I’ve decided to write several observations and reflections that happened while we spent our week in Captiva. It was an amazing trip, filled with mostly great moments.
Focusing on the future, never forgetting the past.
As the sun slowly set upon the gulf our first night, I stared at my two children while the waves hit their feet. Each time a wave came in, they’d squeal in delight. Watching my children experience the ocean for the first time was something that I will not soon forget. It was beautiful and bittersweet, joy and grief intricately woven into the fabric of my life.
They are her legacy, her spirit. A symbol of her unconditional love.
A love without limitations. A love without prejudice.
They are my light when there is darkness. A beacon for what the future holds.
They are my children. My heart and soul.
I feel like I need to write the hardest, but easiest post first.
December 5th, 2015 will forever be known to me as a great day. It wasn’t just any great day, it was ONE great day in particular. My wife had been battling cancer for over two years now and her health was steadily declining to the point that she was having considerable pain every time she would walk.