Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hopeful Anticipation in the Midst of Grief

Warning: This is a post filled with sadness because of all the happy.

Four years ago today I fell asleep next to my Joe full of hopeful anticipation. The next day would be our wedding day and for a love story like ours it was a long time in the making. People still talk about our wedding and the canoeing and the Blob and the candy table and the foosball, but my most vivid memory was the song - I Will Be Here For You - and how, except for the part about growing old together, we lived it out. Our difficult times started a year and a half in, but we were there for each other through it all. Through a devastating diagnosis. Through the birth of our first child. Through many family adventures in one short year. Through illness and peaceful death.

Last year on our anniversary we left our Domani with a babysitter and enjoyed a night out. We had a tasty dinner at The Cranbury Inn and like most new parents spent at least half the time talking about our little guy. Tonight a million what ifs fill my mind but what I do know is that our last anniversary together was a wonderful one. It was quintessential Joe & Anne and for that I am thankful.

I am also thankful for the two cards I received in the mail today. My beloved Grandmom and a childhood friend each sent moving notes to let me know they were thinking about me this week. While each card brought tears to my eyes, they were tears of thanks and tears of hope. I am blessed to be surrounded by such caring people and I am comforted by the endless memories of how Joe showed his love to me while he was here on earth.

And I am thankful for my sister and her sweet hug while we were singing praise songs at church and the strangers and friends alike who found their way to offer encouragement to me today in my #5ktraining. The tweets I received assured me that I am on a good path and that I am working through my grief in a healthy way.

I miss Joe. We were after all joined together as one no matter how hokey that sounds. He was my inspiration. And in some cosmic and spiritual way that I will never be able to understand he continues to send encouragement and inspiration my way.

Tomorrow will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days yet, but I am determined to face it with the same hopeful anticipation of what lies ahead as I had on my wedding night. My life story is still being written and I know that's exactly how Joe would have wanted it.

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