One Year

Tom, how is it even possible that our last moments together were one year ago? I remember talking to you after Big Benton died and telling you that you could not die before me because living without you would be the death of me. You told me you couldn’t promise me that, and I knew you would never because promises meant something to you. The words, “I miss you,” just don’t seem adequate, not powerful enough, the same as the words, “I love you.”

After you were diagnosed and several times after, you told me you didn’t want me to spend the rest of my life grieving you. You wanted me to live. To find happiness, to find adventure and even love. I told you, no promises.” I couldn’t promise those things when the idea of losing and living without you seemed like it would kill me.

A year ago, I promised you that Trey and I would be okay. We would make you proud. We would live life and have adventures. I did that, but not 100% sure I could. As the minutes, hours, and days have turned into months and now one year, I have worked hard to keep those promises. It has been hard. I still have days I can not get out of bed or a panic attack will drop me to my knees, but eventually I get up, and I move on and work on keeping those promises I made to you.

We have had adventures this past year, and Trey and I are making it, probably more surviving than anything, but hopefully, this coming year, we will find our rhythm and begin to thrive.

Sweetheart, I love you and miss you terribly. Today, as we remember you, we also honor the promise of adventures. Trey and I are on one now, not wanting to be home for this weekend. I know you are loving this one as it feeds Trey’s love of military history and piggybacks off one you and Trey once did.

You gave me so many things during our 33 years together, like what it feels like to be fully and wholly loved. You gave me a life of joy and laughter. In the last years of your life, you showed me what it looks like to do hard things. Without realizing it, you gave me the strength to go on living. I now repeat the words, I can do hard things, when the grief becomes too much. 

I love you and miss you. I am keeping those promises because I can do hard things.

Love you, Me.

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