More than a few people look to us this week and wonder what we’re going to do, whether we have something planned, whether we have some major thought or celebration, possibly sitting to commiserate with each other.
I can’t do that, though. Yes, we lost an amazing, wonderful, spectacular woman, we really did. I wish I could say that it was fine, that we’re doing perfectly, that the world is letting us do what we do best and that our lives were happy and perfect. They would be actually, but we don’t have her here. If Andrea was still alive things would be perfection. The one thing I’ve been telling the kids, particularly when they have a moment where they start to break down or get depressed, or out and out cry, is that they couldn’t be perfect if she was here now. That’s the paradox of our lives now.
Let me explain it to you this way: before Andrea passed away things were rough. Her knees and problems with the ducts in her liver created a situation where she wasn’t able to go back to work yet. We had to stumble along without her salary for awhile. Knowing that we had things very tight. On top of that we were paying on her school loans for when she had gone back to Pharmacy school, which were substantial. All that went away when Andrea passed. The paradox of course is that those financial difficulties return if she were still here.
But emotions are a strange thing. I loved her dearly, more than any other person or woman I’ve ever met. To have her leave on our anniversary was a sad state of affairs that I couldn’t fathom at the time. It’s not easy for me. This was a day that I should celebrate, the day I made true my love for the woman I both loved and enjoyed spending my time with. Instead it is forever known as the day I lost her now. The opportunity to spend the day remembering our wedding, loving her, and having it to myself is not there, it’s a day to have to remember that she went away, something that all of us now share. As special as it is to have everyone’s thoughts and love for that day I also have a selfish part of my personality that wants to hold my anniversary as my day. I want to have it as the day I miss and love her and wallow in self-pity.
But it is not. I will spend the day to celebrate both her life and ours. The one-year mark isn’t one that I want to spend hearing calls and emails or tears, though. So I went home. My home. The same parents who lived with us and took care of us to make sure that we were able to stand on our own two feet the days after we lost Andrea picked us up at the airport and let us stay with them for the week, able to deal with our day of loss our own way. It’s amazing how much I both rely on and appreciate what they have given me, my entire life.
We landed last night and immediately went to the restaurant that our family has been frequenting since before I was born. It is our favorite, the owners and workers all know us. It is simply the most amazing food to us and we forgot why we had even come for the moment.
So this is our week to be home. I see photos from years past. I see myself and my children as little kids. It is not just comfortable, it is home, and that’s truly where my heart is. If you have a hole in your heart, the best place to care for it is at the place it was shaped and fostered. Even as my kids were born and raised for the formative years of their upbringing we spent many a weekend at my parents’ house. They spend their summers here. It really is home, not just Grandma and Grandpa’s house, but home. No matter how far away from here we travel or move, we are always able to come here and be home.
And we are always welcome.
March 26th the video we created for the anniversary of Andrea’s passing will post here. Please, if you have the 6 minutes, take the time to click here and watch the video, listen to the song, and help us celebrate not just the life of the amazing woman I love, but of the life we’ve been able to lead since losing her.