I love you and I miss you. Every day ... every heart beat. I love you and I miss you.
I have 33 days of this first year left. I feel the anxiety rising within me. My emotions are on a hellish roller coaster ride. I feel the stress on my body.
And I force myself to breathe. "Just f***ing breathe" is what I keep telling me - and in the last week, I say that a lot, but probably not near as much as I will be saying it the next 33 days.
Sometimes I think I am doing good in being your widow. And other times? Well, not so much. Others tell me that I am "normal" - but you know better. How can I be "normal" now, when I have never lived a "normal" day in my life? --giggle--
There are those who say I need to "move on" with my life. Well, honey, I am trying. I just never thought it would be this hard. I am so scared. I don't know where to go. I don't know what to do. You were my strength, my rock. You were the wise one - guiding and directing me. If you didn't have the answers - you at least had the words of hope and encouragement, that we would make it thru all this. And I knew that no matter what - you had my back, you were big enough, strong enough, and you believed in me enough, that no matter what ... you would defend me, you would stand beside me.
I have some friends who have lost their heart and way, too. We talk a lot. We walk thru this grief together. We cry, and we laugh.
I really like my friends ... no. I really LOVE my friends. I have come to lean on them, to look for them. I have learned so much with them.
Never taking their friendship lightly - because I know at what a great price they have paid to be here with me in all of this.
Our kids are doing great. I know they miss you, they think about you, they remember the things you said and the things you taught them. They are strong and good - they have their feet on the ground. You did a good job, you know that? You left them a legacy of love, of honor, of honesty and respect. You laid a foundation of faith and trust. They are living it. You should be proud of them. And proud of YOU, too.
Some say that I need to just let this "One Year" day come and go - that it is no different than any other day. (Sounds like something you would say.)
Others say that I need to make "plans".
Plans of what?
I can't celebrate that day a year ago. I can be thankful that you are no longer hurting and suffering the horrors that you endured. I can be thankful that your body is at peace. But celebrate? I can't. I am sorry.
Doing my Texas stomp - this is MY grief, MY journey, MY life - I have decided to use these final days of this first year to look back at our life and our love ... and to simply say, "Thank you, Rick".
And today, Thank you, Rick - for the rose you gave me on February 16, 1979 ... the most beautiful salmon colored rose - never have I seen another one that color. I remember coming home from school, seeing the vase sitting on the table, the rose a splash of color in the kitchen. When I read the card, I cried ... and I cried ... and I cried. Tears of joy. I had loved you for so long, with no response from you at all. You barely recognized me at school, or church, or even in your home when I would be there with Tina. And now, this Rose.
Thank you for that rose, for the tears, for the smiles.
No one understood my love for you then ...
and few understand it now.
But -- I loved you then ...
and I love you still.