June 16, 2010 was a really busy day. In fact, the night before I was laughing about the fact that every minute of the next day was so scheduled that I felt like the day had flown by before it even began. These last few weeks have been packed with events, meetings, Camp Widow arrangements, packing to take the kids on a trip, the last day of school, baby showers, birthdays, friend traumas, and a seemingly never ending list of things to do. So maybe that is why I didn't remember the significance of June 16th.
I was chatting with a friend on June 17th when lightning struck and I realized that I totally forgot the anniversary of the day I married Phil. Gone. Not one moment of sadness, regret, or even just grateful reminiscence. I felt horrible. Was this a function of moving forward? Would I start missing anniversaries regularly? What does this mean? How do you forget the anniversary of marrying the man you loved so much and who is now DEAD?!
But after calling my Widow Match to say "You won't believe what I just realized!" things got worse. The anniversary I failed to acknowledge would have been our tenth wedding anniversary. Which means two things. One we would have been married a nice long time, and the less wishful thinking reality that I have been widowed as long as I was married. Five years for each title, wife and widow.
I still don't know how I feel about the fact that I forgot this day. Michelle and I discussed the many reasons that I might have not realized the date on the calendar, and I recognize that my life is crazier by far than it ever was when Phil was alive. But really...ten years...totally forgotten?! My grief guilt button has been pushed and I found myself all day wishing I could turn back the clock. Funny thing is I wasn't wishing to turn it back to five years ago, but to the day before so that I wouldn't miss our anniversary!! No one ever said that grief, even five year old grief, makes any sense.
I am confessing to all of you because I know you will understand and I am going to ask you to bear with me as I leave a belated anniversary message here for Phil.
Happy Anniversary. Even though I forgot (you would have loved that actually) for the moment, I will spend my lifetime remembering. It was an honor to be your wife. I loved the way you took care of me, like when you brought me home four pairs of shoes because they were on sale and you weren't sure what color I would want. I appreciated the lightness you brought to our family, no one could keep a straight face when you were talking to them with your eyes closed! I can still see you standing at the end of our long dirt aisle shaking as I walked down the grass turf to clasp your hand. Your "I do" meant more than I can ever express. I wish that we really did have ten years together, but am so grateful for the five we did have. I love you today, tomorrow, and forever.
The day may have slipped by, but the man is a part of my soul.