Thursday, December 6, 2012

The One Year Anniversary in Eight Acts

I. Facebook Photos - Sometime just before I fell asleep last night I started looking through my photos on Facebook, commenting on some, liking others. I did it again when I had a free moment earlier tonight. It was cathartic to look back over the events, places, and people who had been a part of my life with Joe. It was also healing to watch throughout the day as others interacted with the photos. Here are a few of the photos that struck me and why:

NLDS - October 4, 2006
Mets v. Dodgers/Mets win 6-5
WP: Guillermo Mota (LOL), LP: Brad Penny
This is my favorite Mets game photo of us ever.
I love this moment from our wedding day because it was natural and took place in our backyard. 

How could I NOT love the photo of us in the Mets dugout?
And this is particularly special because I was pregnant with Domani.
Joe with Domani at the beach for the first time. I'm just glad that Joe and his
Mom and her husband Ross were able to share this 1st together.
Domani's first baseball game was a Patriots game with Joe and Joe's Dad.
Baseball was a favorite pastime of Joe's and I'm glad they shared that 1st together.
Excuse the quality of this one - it's a photo of a framed photo that hangs in my house.
I took it while Joe was in the hospital in January 2010 and
posted it to his Facebook page. It's special.
My all time favorite "party" picture of Joe. He's got his go-to beverage and,
of course, a water gun.

II. The Bank - This morning I took care of some of that day-to-day business stuff that I never seem to have the time or emotional resolve to finish. With some help from family, I was able to tackle the final tasks that remained at the bank. I do have a few things on what seems to be a never ending list that need to be done but at least I feel like I am continually making progress. 

III. Go On - I didn't get to watch this week's episode of Go On last night when it aired so I was happy to have a few moments before my massage appointment to watch it. It went perfectly with a cup of tea and my chocolate chip muffin from Mendoker's. Once again, there was something in this episode that hit me like a ton of bricks. At the beginning of the show, the conversation in their support group turns to the end of the world (of COURSE it does with the Mayans and everything) so Matthew Perry's character Ryan King ends up telling the story of legendary college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano and his speech from the 1993 Espys. He talks about the 3 things named by Jimmy V that make for the perfect day - laugh, think, cry - and then sets out to pursue them.

Here's a powerful excerpt from that 1993 speech:

"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special."

To "laugh, think, cry" I'll also add "push" because my feeling is that we should all push ourselves beyond what we think we can do in one area of our lives every day. Think of the amazing things that can come from a life of those four things.

You can watch Jimmy Valvano's speech and read the transcript here.

IV. The Massage - One of the smartest plans I made for today was booking a massage with Nancy, my regular massage therapist. She is awesome. And today's massage was really something special. During the final half hour, I found myself in the strange place of having a conversation with Joe. I know how that may sound if you have never experienced anything like it so I won't even try to explain it. I can only say that for me it was very real and it still is real a full twelve hours after it happened. The conversation went like this:

Joe: I didn't want to leave you, babe, but my body was ready.
Me: I know. It's ok.
Joe: I knew you'd be ok.
Me: We miss you, but we are.

It doesn't sound like much even now as I am typing it out, but that was it and for me it was profound. It brought lots of tears, a runny nose, and an overwhelming sense of love and peace. It was what I needed and I'm glad I opened myself up to it.

V. The Cemetery - This was probably the hardest part of the day for me. Joe's Dad happened to be there at the same time I went and I felt the tears welling up as soon as I turned the corner towards where Joe's crypt is located within the mausoleum. It was comforting to have someone else there to share in my sadness and I have to think that Joe would have wanted to see his family comforting each other through this grief we are all feeling. Even though it was hard, I'm glad I went to the cemetery today. For me, it has been a place to sit with my grief and, while sometimes painful, that has played a role in helping me move forward.

VI. A Five Mile Run - As a part of my half marathon training program, I put in a 5 mile run at a 10'04" pace on one of my most hilly routes. It was my fastest run of that length so far and physically I felt great. After the difficult trip to the cemetery, I also found it to be emotionally healing. There is just something about moving along the solace of the road that feels powerful and peaceful all at once. Going for a run always helps me feel centered in my day and in my life and that couldn't have been more true today.

VII. My World Is Empty Without You & The Afghan Whigs - What would today be without something Afghan Whigs-related? For the past several weeks The Afghan Whigs have been uploading to Facebook various YouTube videos of songs along with brief background blurbs on the songs, usually from lead singer Greg Dulli. The video that went up today was, of course, My World Is Empty Without You (yes, a cover of the song by The Supremes). It happens to be in my top 3 AW covers of all time and the one that I have listened to again and again since Joe died. I feel every piece of that song and somehow there it was right in my Facebook

My World Is Empty Without You - Live by The Afghan Whigs

My world is empty without you, babe
My world is empty without you, babe

And as I go my way alone
I find it hard for me to carry on
I need your strength
I need your tender touch
I need the love, my dear
I miss so much

My world is empty without you, babe
My world is empty without you, babe

From this old world
I try to hide my face
But from this loneliness
There's no hiding place
Inside this cold and empty house I dwell
In darkness with memories
I know so well...

I only hope that somehow the band heard my Facebook plea to incorporate this song into their New Years Eve playlist. Hey, a girl can dream.

VIII. Many, Many Wonderful People - There are literally too many to mention, but today I received countless texts, emails, cards, FB posts and messages, tweets, hugs (both virtual and IRL), and phone calls. I am thankful for each one of them and the piece of my heart that each warmed. Once again, the support network that Domani and I enjoy is unbelievable and you all keep us going when it all feels impossible. 

I miss Joe. I miss Joe the husband and I miss Joe the father. There are many others who miss Joe too and I continue to find comfort in our shared grief and "Joe stories". We are bound by this wonderful man for as long as we live and that is a special thing. I am humbled by that bond and I am thankful for those who have been moved to offer their support without ever even knowing Joe. He truly was something special in that way.

1 comment:

  1. Anne,
    Thank you for sharing your day. There are many emotions tied up in that simple thank you. I'm afraid there wasn't much laughter, but perhaps a little smile as I looked at each one of your photos. I thought because as always, your posts bring with them much to think about, and of course I cried. Oh yes, and one more, love.