October 23, 2014
Today, Gary and I would have been married forty-four years. If my life had gone as planned today we would have been together in Door County, Wisconsin hiking the chilly shores of Lake Michigan. We have gone there almost every anniversary from number ten on. Our traditional celebration would have included a chocolate/caramel/pecan Granny Smith apple, a steak dinner at the Glidden Lodge, a hike through Peninsula State Park, a walk along the shore looking for a heart shaped rock (which we always found), and an anniversary purchase at one of the antique stores in the area; Lots of holding hands and lots of talk about our future and our dreams for the coming year.
It was very different today, but not unpleasant. If you’ve tuned in to my blog the last few days you would know that I am in Florida with my friend, Judy. The main reason we’re here at this particular time is so I wouldn’t have to spend this day alone with just my memories. We are here so I can reclaim this day from the clutches of sorrow and loss and restore it to its proper place. This is the day that I want to always remember as one of my very best days.
Forty-four years ago today, Gary and I were in Florida standing before a preacher (who happened to be my brother) in a little pink church building. We made promises and then sealed our vows with a ring and a kiss. I’m here to tell you that we kept those vows. And, that’s something I want to always celebrate and remember without hesitation.
Thanks to my friend, Judy, this day came and went with only a tiny bit of sadness. While Gary was never far from my mind, this day was not lost to weeping and longing. It was a day spent relaxing on the beach and jumping waves in the Atlantic. It was a day of collecting shells and even rescuing a jellyfish that had gotten stuck on the shore. It was a day of quiet talk, laughter and a great meal.
As for our Thelma & Louise Vacation experience, I have pulled ahead in the bad driving contest, but no speeding tickets today. Judy has now actually gotten into the ocean twice, albeit not without some whining. We have one more full day to pretend that we have no cares in the world and that we are independently wealthy and hiding out from the paparazzi. What’s on the agenda for tomorrow you ask? Salt water, sand and beach chairs.