Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Rising from her bed, she stared out the window and tried desperately to shake the feelings of loneliness and despair. Once again, a day without her beloved, a day without the love of her life by her side. For eleven months she lived as if she were a shell of a woman, carrying on for her son and her two beautiful granddaughters. Some days were more difficult than others. Some days she could barely get dressed to go to work. Some days she just COULD NOT. His birthday was very difficult five months ago. But she threw a birthday "party" for him anyways, inviting their families, their friends to come and remember the man he was. Then soon after, it was their thirty-sixth-year anniversary. It was torment for her. Yet, she painfully made her way to his resting place and placed roses by his headstone; in silence she told him that she missed him, needed him and asked him why he had to go so soon.
She was dreading the approaching holidays. They were always the most wonderful times...he was a force to be reckoned with during this time of the year. He believed that the holidays were a time of giving, of oneself, to those he loved around him and also to the less fortunate. It was nothing for him to take extra shifts at work to be able to buy a chosen needy family a tree, gifts to put under it and a holiday meal. Donning his "Santa" clothes, he would make his rounds in the neighborhood on Christmas Eve and his boisterous "ho-ho-hos" filled the air. This year no one would hear them.
This year, a family would miss out on his bigger-than-life heart and soul.
But she knew she must start preparing for the ones who were still here. She had already bought gifts for her two grandgirls and decided, since she had the day off, to gather up the wrapping supplies from the garage. With one forced foot in front of the other, she made her way to the shelves where the wrapping paper and the bows were always stored. Sitting the bag down on the table while she turned to replace the other items she had moved, she heard a small clunk. Wondering what could make that sound in a bag of paper, she dug inside and found a small box. Wrapped intricately in white paper and ribbon, she sat it aside as she noticed a card in an envelope with her name on it.
You have always been the love of my life. I want to remind you that you are still the beautiful girl I fell in love with so many years ago. You are still the woman who makes me smile, who makes my heart race when I see your wondrous face.
Merry Christmas, darling... I will love you for eternity.
Clutching the card to her chest, she picked up the small box and felt its ridges, its curves underneath the carefully wrapped paper. Slowly opening it, placing the wrapping aside untorn, she opened the box and inside was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. Intricately set stones glistened in the light coming from the window. She suddenly realized that her husband had not abandoned her at all and his heart was STILL giving to this very day. With a smile, she slipped the ring on her finger and could almost feel his loving embrace as she allowed the tears of joy to stream from her face. She was not alone. She never was. And she never will be...even in death her husband had made sure that she knew how much he loved her. That's just the kind of man he was.
These are events that transpired this morning, November16th, 2010.
Her husband is my brother.
Make sure you treat each day as a gift with the man/woman you love. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. All you have is NOW.