I recently had to get his computer repaired. You see, he was a web developer and had SO much stuff on this iMac. The important things were photos and videos. I guess because i never had any issues with the computer, I did not think to back them up. Then one day a few months ago, the hard drive crashed as I was trying to update the computer operating system. I was so scared! I had so many memories on this computer. His voice was on this computer and years of his work! I brought it to a local computer repair place that I trusted. These guys are good, and they are honest and affordable. Although money was not going to matter as long as the hard drive could be saved. 


After a few months of lots of delays, and what I was told was tedious work to save the contents of the hard drive, I received the computer back yesterday. I was smiling ear to ear as I pulled up to my house thinking of him and how I was going to go inside, set it up and go through pictures again. As I pulled up there was a Red Cardinal sitting in my driveway…..I smiled even more


As I went through setting the computer back up, I found a folder called iChats. You see Jerry worked from home when he was not traveling for work, and any texts would go to his computer iMessage. In this folder there were other dated folders, that contained daily chats with the people he worked with…and ME. 


I started reading and could not stop. I got through about 10 months of daily chats that we had while I was at work. They were mostly about what we would have for dinner, and did he need anything on the way home. We talked about Tyler, our older son. These messages were from 2011 and 2012 when he was in middle school so a lot of them were me checking to see if he did his homework after school, etc. There were a few that we discussed discipline with and how Jerry felt about his attitude, and how much he loved him and wanted him to know that. 


I was taken back in time. It felt like he was here with me reading these chats. I was reminded of that time in our life when we had a middle schooler and a toddler and life was hectic and expensive. I read about how I did not balance our bank account that great sometimes and he would not get mad at me. I read how I complained about my head hurting, or work, or traffic. There were a few I love you’s and a few times where I told him how proud I was of him and how hard he worked. We struggled a bit financially in 2011 and he was on the cusp of really being successful in business. He wanted to be proud of himself, he wanted to build something that HE made and not for someone else. He had dreams and goals. 


It gave me a glimpse of how I was as a wife. How I loved him, and just wanted him to be happy. But I complained a lot, and leaned on him to hear all the bullshit of my day. I am sure I interrupted him so many times. But he was so calm, and always listened. He would have good ideas for weekend plans to spend time with the boys and get away from work. We just existed as husband and wife, and parents. Not knowing what was to come. 


I felt this heaviness in my chest as I continued to read. It was a time where life was SO different. It was about 6 years before I would lose him. We were just trying to work and raise a family. Never thinking that we would not have the time that we would lay in bed and talk about. We would not have the years together that we planned. It reminds me of what I lost and how different my life is now. How unbelievably different everything is. My world has changed so much. Although I am happy, it is like a slap in the face sometimes when I think of the vast difference, like I lived a completely different life that feels so long ago. 


I was emotional about it last night. Thinking of what I read. Thinking of what I had. I have come a long way to be happy again, and it made me think about not wanting to lose what I have now. These reminders of a time when I did not know how precious life is, and took for granted the time I had with someone, it makes me more in tune to what I have now. I want to be a better person, to enjoy the little things more and let other shit go. I am reminded to make sure I tell my boys how proud I am of them and how much they mean to me.


Danielle Thompson was born in New York, and moved to North Carolina in 2009 with her husband and two boys. After an incredible job offer for her husband Jerry, they packed up their boys and relocated to California in the summer of 2015. In 2016 around Thanksgiving, her husband Jerry became sick where they found out very quickly that he had a late stage rare liver cancer. Jerry’s battle was short and he passed away in February of 2017. Danielle quickly moved back to North Carolina with her boys who are now 18 and 9 to grieve and heal. Part of her grieving is to share her journey to all that will hear, in hope that it will help someone going through the same thing. Danielle started her own blog early on and shared on social media to friends and family who encouraged her to keep writing. Danielle has met many other widows along her journey so far through her blog, social media groups, and local support groups. Danielle found hearing similar stories, encouraging and leaning on each other is vital on this path.

Along with blogging, Danielle has a background in accounting and is currently a licensed Real Estate agent.