.... like this picture of Jim .... no longer make me cry.
Well, the majority of the time.
There are always "one of those days/weeks", but they are few and far between now.
This realization occurred to me this past weekend. I was looking for a tote bag to use for my swim suit and towel and various other Fourth of July sundries. I happened to choose the first one I saw.
It was a bag that Jim purchased on our last vacation.
The vacation we took with the boys to Alaska.
Not knowing, of course, that it would be .... our last.
So, I grabbed the tote, threw my stuff into it ... and then felt something in the inside pocket. I wondered what could be in there and when I had last used it as I unzipped the pocket and looked inside.
And I discovered that I had not been the last one to use that tote.
I pulled out the items that Jim had left in the pocket and stared at them for a moment. A highlighter, a couple of paper clips, a pen and some small stick-it notes that are used to note something on a page.
Just a few things .... things that would mean nothing to most people.
But I knew that Jim used to take reading materials with him almost everywhere we went. He could usually be found sitting somewhere (even on a beach) with a stack of papers in one hand, a highlighter in the other, and a pen clenched in his teeth as he marked sections on a page.
And the picture of him doing just that entered my mind as I stared at those objects.
And I smiled.
It was shortly after that when I realized ..... the things that used to have the power to make me cry, to bring forth gut-wrenching pain and huge sobs of grief .....
.... now have the power to make me smile.