Who can say for certain?
Maybe you’re still here . . .
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear . . . .
May 28 commemorates an important date in my life; it is the day my husband Edward died. He was a veteran, one who proudly served his country in the armed forces. He passed away on May 28, 2000; to think that 12 whole years have passed is simply incredible to me.
Ours was a “May/December” romance and he was considerably older than me. His “December” to my “May” gave him quite an edge over me in both wisdom and experience. He was a very pragmatic man and from time to time talked very candidly with me about the fact that he was sure he would proceed me in death. I never wanted to hear that, of course, yet as with many things we discussed, he was right.
I especially recall on one occasion him telling me that he was sure I’d be remarried in a year or two; he honestly believed someone would snap me up. Ha! That’s one instance where his assessment was incorrect. I guess I can’t say he was totally wrong, though: I didn’t remarry in that time frame because I couldn’t; I just didn’t.
Even so, as I take time to reflect on what these 12 years have dished out, in my head I imagine giving him an update on my life, and what I’d like him to know:
I’d like Edward to know that not every year has been good to me. I’d want him to know that I have suffered crushing betrayals, and experienced pain that was so deep it was palpable. I endured days when it was hard to get out of bed, much less put one foot in front of the other. I’d want him to know that I faced two major surgeries and two biopsies, and thankfully both tests returned negative. I would want him to know that through those times I longed for and missed the days when his strong, stalwart presence was there for me to lean and rely on.
I’d want him to know that through it all, in the face of heartache and heartbreak and broken promises, God gifted me with a sense of resilience, and enabled me to cling to a mindset that utterly refused to give in to defeat. I’d want him to know that through it all, I’ve managed to hold my head high and face every challenge life threw my way. I’d want him to know that even though there were times that my knees buckled, by the grace of God I never bowed.
I’d also like him to know that in spite of it all, God remained faithful to me and saw me through every test and trial. I’d want him to know that every day wasn’t cloudy and stormy; much of these 12 years has been sunny and bright. I’d like him to know that I embarked on one career and I’m about to start another. I’ve earned a Master’s degree and now I am “All But Dissertation” on my PhD. I’d want him to know that the gift of teaching that HE was the first to see in me is opening new and exciting doors for me, and I’m using it in even greater measure to make a difference in people’s lives.
I’d also want Edward to know that I’ve opened my mind and my life to dating interracially. I’ve embraced that fact that love can come in more than one “color.” I’d like to think that hearing me talk this way would make him chuckle; my boldness, open-mindedness, and willingness to try new things were all characteristics he loved about me and did his best to cultivate.
I’d like to tell Edward that I’m pursuing my writing career with a vengeance, and that I haven’t laid aside the goals and dreams I once shared with him. I’d want him to know that a good part of who I now am is attributable to him; the lessons he taught me; the example he lived before me. I’d want him to know that I appreciate him for being the man that he was, and for being such an important part of my life.
Sweetheart, I honor you today. Thanks for being you!