Monumental Days

“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” -Agatha Christie

Yesterday would have been 14 years. A wedding anniversary. A celebration that never would be celebrated. I have now been widowed from Shawn longer than I was married to him. A surreal concept for me to understand. I am happily remarried. I am blessed with my family. Still I wonder what happens to all those monumental days that once held a sacred spot on the calendar and are now slipped back into ordinary time.

We watched videos of Shawn last night with my mother-in-law. It was Christmas time the year before we were married and Shawn was teasing that all he wanted for Christmas was wrapping paper and boxes. “Boxes, boxes, boxes,” he said. His sister wanted a horse. His brother wanted power tools. His dad wanted health and his mom wanted some days off. My Maddi watched her dad, who she has no memories of on this side of heaven. She was charmed with his Christmas wish and kept chuckling as if she understood an inside joke, mimicking him she said, “Boxes, boxes, boxes…all he wants is boxes.”

What I found most interesting is how my children gravitated to their Uncle Mark in the video. He is the one who has been here. He is the one they connect to. He is the one they know best. Jordan played on grandma’s floor while watching the video, yet stopped when Uncle Mark was talking. It was hard for me to process. They don’t really know their dad. He isn’t familiar.

May 12th. Just like any other day. Fourteen years ago it was my day of all days. How do I celebrate? By remembering. By smiling. By appreciating. By living.

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