Happy 30th Anniversary?
In front of me as I write is a photograph, snapped July 25, 2001 on a Kodak Advantix by our eight year old. It was taken on the cedar deck we had just built in the backyard of where we lived in Freeport, NY. In this photo, Dave and I are retiring on our newly purchased picnic set on a sweltering mid-summer evening following a vigorous day of domestic beautification. Dylan, our four year old, naps in a chair beside us. There is a slightly scuffed carrot cake on the table that despite its appearance, promises the divinity reminiscent of the day we lit the unity candle fourteen years ago. I don’t recall what bauble was contained in the little box as much as the scent of his bare chest, glistening with July humidity, and the smile reserved only for me that said, “thank you dear for giving me this moment.” We were backyard casual, keeping it low key because having the boys celebrate the sacrament and joy of our union, that began six and ten years before their conception, was where we wanted to be. We were the future we wanted them to see. There were still many five-star anniversaries ahead once the boys tired of us in their teens. And fifteen felt more significant for a grander affair. We were grateful. We were proud. We were home.
Next to that photo I have queued another one snapped from the same deck, one year later, the morning of July 25th . A vaporous “X” marked the cloudless cerulean sky and a single red rose bloomed at the edge of the cedar where we once ate cake. We can sense that outside the frame, beyond where the jets fly off the page, there is a void. An infinite vastness that recedes to the heavens, undefined.
When we mourn the loss of someone we love, there is a human tendency to see beyond the mortal margins for less tangible, yet personal signs of spiritual affirmations. In order to validate our existence to prove to ourselves that we are more than just a shaky leaf in the fugacious tree of life, we innervate a path of synapses in our emotional cortex where only the bereft go. Seeing beyond where others see to appease the pain and say “yes, I am here, you are aware of me and we are connected in this moment. It is a hyper-awareness, or a sixth sense to what is otherwise dismissible in the ordinary. A phone that rings without offering a voice or dial tone, always at the time you are preparing supper. A doorbell that chimes precisely at 6:45 PM, and no one is hiding in the bushes. An orb beside you in a photograph in the absence of his presence. Or a kiss in the sky on the day you were wed. I say, he is here, in this moment to re-affirm our connection, beyond flesh and earth, there are souls and love that remain in a spiritual phase. The intangible becomes tangible. The heart and our spirit are re-innervated with a new sense of hope that we are more than just atomic matter. A hope that whispers we are significant, we are not alone and we can embrace another dawn.
Like I’ve stated before, none of us need anniversaries to remind us of what we cannot forget. Especially when similar “celebrations” are happening simultaneously all around us. This year, my father who married two weeks after Dave and I, are celebrating, as are our our good friends who married two weeks before us. Another friend just returned from Tahiti for their thirtieth. He’ll give her roses and she’ll carefully trim the stems and place them in water. They’ll embrace the night together and add a new pearl to their thread of life.
So today I will embrace myself, cherish my rose and find my pearl. I am so grateful to have shared a life with you dear, to be the mother of your sons and I would do it over again. I loved you in life, never dismissing a moment. No foreign act of hate can erase what remains in my heart. Our love lives on in the positive engagements I have with other selfless humans and in the pages that your sons will turn.
Happy 30th Anniversary! I love you forever Dear…
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