If you’ve noticed that I’ve been MIA for a few days, it’s because I’ve had an emotionally exhausting weekend going through old pictures, cards and letters. It was almost all I could do to just get through the day. It simultaneously warms and breaks my heart to see our lives in photographs and words of love.
This week is what would have been our 26th wedding anniversary, and it’s really hitting me hard that we will forever be “stuck” on Silver. So I pushed myself to go through old memories of not only our wedding and honeymoon, but the years leading up to them and the many incredible years afterwards. I dragged a box in from the garage and rifled through it, picking out some photos that made me smile and cry, and love letters that spanned 32 years.
I have gone through old emails and texts in the past few weeks, too, finding random little expressions of love amid everyday communication. In the middle of an email exchange asking my husband to bring me something I needed on a work trip he accompanied me, he told me that the “water is beautiful today, just like my wife”. While texting about household chores, or what to pick up at the grocery store, he would pepper it with “I love yous” and “can’t wait for you to get homes” and “miss you, Beautifuls”. Each one was an unexpected bit of love, made all the more special for its randomness and element of surprise. I never knew when or where they would show up, but they kept coming. It all came so naturally to him. And the more I appreciated hearing it, the more effort he took to say it.
There’s a lesson there for everyone: Make the effort to let those you love know you love them. Compliment them with sincerity (because false flattery isn’t what anyone needs) and follow it up with actions (otherwise, it’s just flowery words). The flip side of that is to accept the kind words and internalize them. Let it sink in just how much you’re loved. And let those telling you know that you appreciate hearing it. It’s a glorious circle of gratitude.
But my whole trip down Memory Lane was so draining that I went to bed last night emotionally spent and with a splitting headache. While I am truly grateful to have found a love that most people only dream of – and sadly, others believe doesn’t exist – knowing that my husband has said all he will ever say to me, that we will never again hold hands on a walk, that I cannot lean over at night or in the early morning to snuggle his back and simply smell his comforting scent (yes, I really did that every day, and every day he would jump and twitch because he was extremely sensitive to my touch), just plain hurts.
I won’t hear him call me “beautiful” or “gorgeous” or “Vi” (which he said was short for Viagra, something he said he would never need as long as I was around). My kids won’t need to say “gross” or “get a room” or “can’t you do that somewhere else?” He will not be there checking my tires and polishing my windows in the morning, pretending he’s my employee and calling me “Mrs. G”.
For all the wonderful, silly, joyous memories I have, there are so many more I won’t get to make. And I’ll be lost and floundering for who knows how long.
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