Lately I've been taking some risks with my emotions. I don't know if I'm feeling stronger, or that I am learning that memories can begin to heal me. For the longest time I didn't look back to any of my prior writings. I put pictures and albums away, and have yet to unpack them from my move last year. Yet, in the last week I have begun opening some journals, and looking back at early entries in my blogs, both pre and post Michael's death.
Yesterday I had my extended family visiting. They don't live that far away, yet most of them had not taken the time to drive south to see my new home, or to really check in with me. When the weekend arrived one of my brothers called to ask what it was I really needed right now. Do I need quiet, or do I need company. He said he was aware that it was that time of year again. The time of year that is counting down to Michael's final days two years ago. He said he realized it must be quite difficult for me. I said yes, it was that time of year, and yes it is difficult most days. Yet I told him that more than anything, I need to have family around me. I need to know that they are there for me, and I need to be able to sit and share my thoughts and memories with them.
On Saturday we were all gathered, and my mother asked if I had any video, or recordings, of Michael's voice. I said that yes, I had a DVD of our wedding day, and Michael is saying his vows, and later giving a toast. I also told her that I haven't watched that DVD for about 18 months, as it always knocks me to my knees with grief. Everyone stopped what they were doing, and turned to focus their eyes on me. I could see that they were feeling the intensity of my emotions. My sister in law said of course it would be too difficult to watch right now. I took a deep breath, and moved the conversation in a different direction. I began reminding them of how much Michael loved all of them, and how much he loved our family gatherings. It was a very nice day.
Since then I have been replaying some of the last conversations I had with Michael. Today I was remembering the last birthday celebration I had with him. We had gone to Sedona for a week, and had a beautifully peaceful time. He gave me a beautiful pocket watch for my birthday, and a card with a picture of a cliff diver on it. He wanted to remind me, before it was too late, of how fearless I was, and how much he loved me. I cherish this card with all my heart.
Today, I have chosen to share it with you. I will edit out the beginning, as it is far more personal than I am prepared to share, but I do feel like I want Michael's voice to be heard today. After all, he is why I am here. And no, it is not my birthday, just a random memory that serves to remind me of who I was in his eyes. By remembering this, I can continue to reclaim the me that I thought was lost forever.
My Dearest Husband,
I suppose cliff diving would not phase you too much by now. You've taken so many great leaps of faith (like marrying me!) already.
Thank you for all your love, support and faith. I love you more and more each day. Like a fine wine you really are getting better each year, and I somehow got so lucky to share in your life.
Happy birthday, and every day after. Hope you like the watch. When you hear it ticking, think of my heart beating with yours.
I love you so much.