Today is the eighth anniversary of my Phil's death. Taryn has graciously shared her blog day with me, so that I can post the annual letter I write to Phil on this day. Thank you, my friend.
Eight years have come and gone since you last laughed out loud at a joke that only you thought was funny. Eight years have passed since I last held your hand, or kissed that beautiful brown face of yours. Eight years have slipped by since you jumped out from behind a bush to scare the daylights out of me. Eight years have been lived since the day you went out for a bike ride, and never came home.
Each year as this day approaches, my awareness of how near you are to me is heightened. I hear your voice in my ear; I notice things you'd love (like phone apps for cyclists...you'd be ecstatic about the kind of data that can be collected now!); moments I have forgotten come back to me with surprising clarity; and somehow, during the month of August, I feel you just around every corner. Your presence feels certain to me as the anniversary of your death draws near, which probably makes no sense, but I have given up trying to intellectualize the things I *know* about you in this 'after' I am living.
This year I find myself contemplating the many gifts that have come to me since you left my side. I've been blessed with the opportunity to do work that feeds my soul. In my own small way, I have the chance to change the world. You always believed that Icould change the world, ironically, while you were alive I didn't have a clue how.
Buried beneath the horror of losing you, were the seeds to the future I would never have imagined. The digging out of those seeds hurt so much. The fear of experiencing more excruciating pain caused me to hold those seeds in my hand for a long time before I found the courage to plant them. Once the seeds of my future were tucked into the chaotic dirt left in the wake of your death, I wasn't sure what would grow. But I could hear your voice telling me not to give up. I could feel your belief in me so strongly, even as I actively doubted my ability to grow anything of worth in the wake of losing you.
But you knew. You knew what I could do if only I would believe. At first I couldn't believe in myself, but I held on to your belief in me until those first green sprouts found their way out of that putrid earth pile that your loss created. I stood in wonder when I realized that beauty could truly grow out of tragedy. Looking at my life now, I envision the good around me as incredibly resilient flowers grown from the tragedy that occurred on August 31, 2005. In many ways, I see my current life as a gift from you.
You see, you believed in me so fiercely that you created a foundation of certainty on which I could build a new and amazing life. The love you were able to shower on me during our five short years together, has watered the seeds of my future. Thank you, my love, for giving me so much more than I could comprehend at the time, and for knowing that I would not just survive your loss, but that I would build something worthwhile on the foundation you created for me. I love you not only for who you have been in my past, but also for what you have provided for my future.
Now and forever grateful for you,