This is the time of year when I feel sad and left out. Where your absence is overwhelmingly painful. But this morning I took a step back, breathed in the misty morning air and felt the joy! My love, you have given me more joy then most get in a lifetime. You smashed so much love, laughter and happiness into 11 short years. You made everyday that I was LUCKY enough to spend in your presence wonderful. Life was an adventure from small trips and walks to unending spectacular views… all because somehow the world thought I was special enough to get to share the joy you had to give. Maybe it is about how we structure our mind, our views on life. I think I need to reach for that joy that you bestowed on me. And so in this lake of pain I swim towards the joy, the little sun that peaks through to shine on my soul. I guess that is you reminding me to embrace the beauty that is life.
The joy never came from big things. No, you had a way of making the smallest event a spectacular life-changing journey. I remember the joy I had when we finally had a Saturday date day together. Money was more then tight but that day you said we were richer then anyone in the land. We boarded the CTA train and road it from library to library around Chicago. It was magical. “Every book is yours for the taking, every adventure written on these pages are just for you” you said with a grand sweep of arm as if opening a world to me. I loved the joy you instilled in me that day as we checked out book after book at different libraries. It was better then a world cruise to me. My mind floats back to the day we were handed keys our condo~ our very first home we owned. Every penny was counted for, the paint we would roll ourselves was carefully budgeted and the painter’s tape had to be used cautiously as we had a set amount of rolls we could pay for. But you wanted to give me a fancy first night in our home dinner. I entered the greatest restaurant ever, you got the best table ~ one with a view… a simple blanket on the floor of our new home and Chinese food in take out boxes with chopsticks. The joy of eating, laughing, and painting that night is a memory that can sustain me for a lifetime. My mind adrift to our very first trip together, a camping trip to Yosemite. As we rode in your jeep, top down, music blaring you pulled over next to the largest tree I ever saw. We looked down at a valley that had been burnt, trees dead, black ground, tears rolling down my face. You with your joy showed me that this valley was really a nursery for baby trees and plants to grow. That the wisdom of the old trees leave their marks for the babies to have their chance to be part of this world, to shade a hiker, to make oxygen, to be a home to an animal. It was that trip; no it was that moment that I knew you were the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! You have given me so many moments of pure joy! How dare I disgrace that by feeling self-pity because now I am left with pain and a life to face alone? I must reach for the memory and joy you worked so hard to make part of our daily lives.
And so yes I might cry. I might have moments that hurt and I feel sad. But, I will power through them in order to reach for the joy that sits within my heart. I will look for the little moments in life where you are reminding me of how lucky I am to have this life I live. I will be aware of the rain that makes the flowers grow, the sun that warms the grass that Norm likes to lay on, the wind that cools my skin in the evening as I go for a walk. Thank you for the joy that you bequeathed on my soul. For today I reach, I feel, I remember, I live the joy! Thank you for being the joy of my life.
Around the world and back again~