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Archive for September, 2013

til death us do part

This past Sunday saw the two year anniversary of my husband’s death.   To honor his memory and our time as a family, we spent the weekend on the nearby island of Galveston, a place we all loved and had visited on several occasions while he was still alive.

Saturday found us at Schlitterbahn with some friends – it was our first time in the water park and turned out to be a great way to make some new memories.   Rafting, lazy river tubing, whizzing down a mini loopy luge together, the perfect way to relax and enjoy some mother-daughter time.   Later, we headed to Casey’s, the un-Gaido’s restaurant owned by Gaido’s next door – we had eaten there a few times as a family and loved the casual atmosphere.   We sat on the patio and enjoyed dinner in the warm ocean breeze, watching flashes of sheet lightning from a distant storm to the south of us.   Serendipitously, a new item on the menu was Shrimp Robert – and yes, I ordered it, and yes, it was yummy.  Too tired for dessert, we headed back to our hotel and crashed.

On Sunday morning, before dawn, still groggy from not enough sleep, we struggled out of bed and headed to the beach.  Climbing down the steps below the sea wall, we stood for a while together, quietly, watching the water splash gently against the rocks.   Away went my husband’s ashes, into the waves, off on his final journey, following the ocean tides.

…..To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance……  

I was filled with emotion as we said the Lord’s Prayer together.  The waves turned pink, then gold, as the dawn broke.  And then the sun appeared, and it was glorious.  A pelican with a torn wing suddenly wheeled above us and flew away south, looking for breakfast.  We wondered where R’s ashes might travel – to New Orleans, perhaps, or Florida, or even farther away from us, to Mexico,  or to Vieques once more,  from Gulf to Atlantic, and then to Europe or maybe even South America?  Wherever was going, he would always be around us, like the ocean, and that was a comforting thought.

“Stand over there,” said my daughter, suddenly, grabbing the iphone from my hand.  “Put your arms up like you’re the queen of the sea, I want to take your picture.”  I felt silly in my pajamas, standing there like King Canute, but she insisted.   “Okay, I’m done.  Can we go have breakfast now?”

Our dawn goodbyes were over, and, just like that, it was all about fruit loops and hot toasted bagels back at the hotel.

Two years on from R’s death, we are still grieving, but it’s true that time does heal, and the hurt doesn’t hurt quite so much as it did in those early days of loss.   All of the life changes we have endured since that day in September, 2011, have only made us both stronger.   We may have said goodbye to a husband and father here on Earth, but the memories of our time together will always sustain us.

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”  A.A. Milne

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It seems like only five minutes ago we were counting down the end of our first year at the local elementary school.  The last days of lazy are already upon us as we enjoy the first of our two September long weekends since school began officially last Monday.

After making the most of a wonderful vacation in Florida, the rest of our summer was spent with family and friends around the country and at home;  we enjoyed a myriad late bedtimes, no-alarm-mornings, and please-yourself days.

Here are just a few of my favourite moments from July, August, and yesterday.    Have a great Monday everyone!

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