I Interrupt This Program….

Although I am working away at my new Harvey Girls series and am anxious to share more of their history with you, today is a day for reflection. Six years ago today my husband died of Pulmonary Hypertension. He fought a valiant battle for many years and really never allowed his illness to make him an invalid in the way we often think of such things. He was such an inspiration–not only to me, but to all his many friends and to people who came to know him (through my stories) after he died. He faced death realistically–as a normal part of life. His favorite comment–delivered with a shrug and no bitterness–was, “It is what it is.”
In some ways we were blessed because we were given the time to say goodbye, to look back at the incredible life we’d shared, and to plan for my future without him. One quick story:
In those final months, he became obsessed with showing me how to handle financial matters such as paying the quarterly taxes. These ‘lessons’ began to wear on me as did his written notes on the manila folders he kept files in–the man never once even turned on a computer! So one day I brought him a journal–small with only maybe thirty pages. I set it on his desk and told him even if he only wrote one word per page, that was okay, but I needed something in writing from him other than instructions on how to pay the government!
He filled the journal and I treasure it–reading it every year on this anniversary. It makes me smile (he’s still instructing me on what I should and should not do once he’s gone), but he’s also reminding me of wonderful times we shared and challenges we faced together. And then he took things one step farther–he got a voice-activated recorder and while I was at work, he would take out the photo album from one of our trips and talk about that trip as he turned the pages of the album. I have those recordings and every once in awhile I take out one of the albums and relive the adventure we shared.
I suspect many (if not all) of you, dear readers, have suffered the loss of a loved one. I would not presume to offer advice on how to mourn that loss, but I know for me, stopping on these days that changed my life (our anniversary, his birthday, and that horrible last day) to remember the love and the laughter (and yes, the tears) has carried me through these last six years–and I expect will sustain me in all the years to come.
Thanks for giving me this place to remember. Peace.

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