Our Story Begins:
Living In The Moment
I wrote a piece last week detailing about what makes March 26th such a hard day for me.
It’s not simply that March 26th is the day that my wife passed away. It was as much the fact that I share that day with everyone else. March 26th, you see, was my wedding anniversary and I would have been married to a spectacular woman for 22 years this past Thursday.
In years past, we made videos that regaled you with what we did the last year while honoring the woman we missed so much. I would take the day off and the kids and I would go off on some huge adventure to Disneyland or to visit my parents in another state.
Related: Our Story Begins: The Hardest Day
This year, though, we did the bravest thing I can think of having ever accomplished.
We stayed home.
Sure, I took the day off and that was more for them than for me. I re-lived my wedding day throughout the week. I fantasized about my wife in her beautiful white dress and crying tears of joy. I even had nightmares leading up to it, something I haven’t had in a long time, where she was alive and then died in strange, innumerable ways. They caused horrific panic as I awoke wondering where she was and remembering it was just a bad dream.
Yet the day arrived and it was . . . mundane.
I made breakfast.
I took the kids to school.
Only two things were focused on Andrea, my wife: I took a dozen red roses to her grave. She used to simultaneously chastise me when I bought flowers saying that “flowers die, that’s a waste of money” and then telling me she’d be angry if I hadn’t bought them.
The other was the morning I spent with my oldest daughter. Apart from brunch together, just the two of us, we watched an old video of her Mom, something she’d never seen before, of her anchoring the news.
There were no tears, no glassy eyes. Simply wonder, and an epiphany of how my daughter’s voice bears an uncanny resemblance to her mother’s.
The evening was just simple fun.
Our town had a carnival that started on this day. We slid down giant, super slides. Rode carousels. My son did the same, massive rides until his stomach was queasy. His twin, who is scared of any ride that bumps, moves or jostles rode giant teacups and got in rides that spun him in circles. It was brave and bold and beautiful.
The amazing thing was this:
Every ride had that laugh . . . those laughs. As much as we worried about this day, as much as you plan, hope, and prepare, nothing prepared me for this.
Sheer, unadulterated joy.
When we got on rides, all of us, I heard those four children screech and giggle and laugh out loud. The timbre of their voices, joined together, unified in brilliant and unsurpassed enthusiasm…and you can hear the laugh of the woman anchoring the news up there. The best parts of the day centered around the best parts of all of us.
Yes…we always think that this will be the hardest day.
Imaging how wonderful it was that we barreled bravely in and realized . . . it was actually the best.