Monday, July 6, 2015

Anniversaries and Butterflies

Today would have been our 2nd wedding anniversary.  This is my 2nd wedding anniversary without Mark; last year, we were having a memorial service/celebration of life service for him on what would have been our first wedding anniversary.  That was a hard day.  They say the first year is the hardest.  I would have to agree, yet I have no other years to compare it to.  I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for being there for my family over this past year, for being there for me. Your kind words, your cards, your Facebook posts, your memories shared with me make me feel like I'm not alone.  Thank you.

Here is the letter that I wrote to Mark last year.  It was read at the memorial service by Pastor Tim. I still miss him.  I'm still so thankful.  And I still cherish the love that we had for each other.  And, most importantly, I still believe that God is good.  

Dear Mark,

I miss you.
I miss getting up late and making you crepes for breakfast.
I miss our short walk around the block.
I miss seeing you in your Ecuadorian hat.
I miss listening to you sing “eensy, weensy spider” to Moses.
I miss seeing your smile when Noah walks into the room.
I miss your wisdom and insight.
I miss hearing you say “I love you SOOOOO much”
I miss you, my best friend.

Thank you for holding on to life, even when it hurt.
Thank you for giving me one more birthday.
One more thanksgiving.
One more Christmas.
One more year to enjoy this new life together and make the best memories.
Thank you for being so strong.

I love you.
I love your smile.
I love your witty and dry sense of humor.
I love how you love your boys, and Becca and Moses.
I love how you love me.

I’m grateful that God gave us the gift of redemption.
I’m grateful that today we would be celebrating our first anniversary.

I’m hopeful that others will see God’s goodness.
I’m hopeful that God will continue to use our story.
I’m hopeful that I will see you again and it will be just as sweet and genuine as it was the day we were married.

I miss you.
I love you.
I can’t wait to see you again.

Love, Kelley

A letter to Mark, on our 2nd anniversary:

Dear Mark,

I got the day off work today.  I slept in late, just like old times.  I made crepes for breakfast and remembered how much we loved eating breakfast together.  Crepes with berries and lemon curd, our new favorite.  I will get together with the kids today.  Becca made a cake and we are going to celebrate together; you always loved Becca's desserts--who doesn't?  Noah will join us.  He is working today, at his new job.  You'd be so proud of him.  As you know, he's been right by my side this year, always checking in on me, making sure I'm okay.  We think of you often.  I think the thing the kids miss most is your wisdom and insight; Keenan mentioned a few weeks ago how he misses your ability to look at a situation and parcel out the important things with your thoughtfulness. We all miss your smile, your hugs, the way you loved us with a whole heart.  

I miss sharing life with you.  I'm so grateful that we got that last year to fill with memories.  I'm reminded of you each time I see a yellow butterfly. Erin, our grief counselor, pointed out a yellow butterfly in our backyard on the day that you passed away.  She said maybe that was God's way of letting me know that you're still near.  I took that to heart.  I now have a tattoo of a butterfly with roses on my forearm to remind me of you everyday.  The whole family notices yellow butterflies now, even Moses.  I think he knows the sign for butterfly.  Wow, he's the best. . . you would have the best time hanging out with him.  And guess what? He loves basketball!  I bought him a little hoop just yesterday.  That's all he wants to do when he visits.  He is truly our grandson, through and through!  

Life continues to move forward.  Noah & I will be moving out of the family house this summer.  I know you'd love our new place.  We're going to Sunriver in a week or so and will ride the trail that you loved so much.  Taylor is going to ride it with us this year, too; Tyler has helped get her all the gear she needs.  We're all looking forward to being together; we will think of you and do what we can to include you in our trip--mountain biking of course will be the priority, just like you'd want.  

I miss you.  I love you.  I can't wait to see you again.

Love, Kelley

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