It’s not always the holidays, or birthdays, or anniversaries, but all the other little days that can knock me for a loop. I can prepare for and make plans to avoid stress on the special days. But what about when I click on facebook and there are the pictures of the last trip we took together. The one we planned and saved for and had a blast on.
Or in church, the man in front of me gently puts his hand on his wife’s shoulder while singing – gives her a little rub – and I fight the tears because I miss so much the way he did the same thing.
Or I notice a barbecue restaurant and think of how many we went to over the years. How he loved mustard based sauce but wouldn’t touch Alabama white sauce with a ten foot pole.
Or I’m listening to a favorite playlist and the song I had played at his funeral comes up – No Hard Feelings by the Avett Brothers or the one everyone sang, Beulah Land.
Or I watch a baseball movie I’ve never seen and the team pulls out the big win at the end. I can hear in my head the little catch in his throat that he would get when his emotions got away from him. Baseball movies did it every time.
There is a memory around every corner. Sometimes it’s a feather, sometimes it’s a gut punch. But I have to think it’s an indication of a life well lived and well loved. I smile, even through the tears, at the joy of all the times we had together. As time passes, sometimes I can stop and reflect, then move on. And though there are still episodes of pure sobbing, they happen less frequently.
I’m moving forward a little bit everyday, but my memories are coming with me. Our love sustains me.
I took the picture above on one of my hikes in Alabama. it has deeper meaning for me now than it had then.