Today is our 10 year anniversary. 2006-2016. He may have passed just shy of the full 10 years, but he is with me. Ashes and memories. He knew before proposing to me that we were it. I was not going to allow the d-word into my vocabulary. There were rough patches, but we did not quit. We fixed any problems so that our relationship worked.
That is an incredible endeavor in today’s society. So many couples hit the stage of their relationship after the lovey dovey phase and cannot figure out how to make it all work. We had issues and disagreements, but figured it out to have harmony.
We met in 2004. That was also the year we started dating. I was with the man for 12 years. That is fully 1/3 of my life. I met him at the beginning of my identity years. This means, all I know is how to be an us, how to be part of a couple, how to be a wife. Without him, the process is very slow for discovering who I am.
All things take time. I do not expect to figure anything out in the blink of an eye, but the struggle is valid. Going from us to me has been the most difficult part of life to date.
He will live within me for eternity. Memories are precious. I think of him daily, with so much around me to recall who and how he was. What we were. Anyone who comes in to my life going forward will always have him to contend with though they may not know it. This is simple fact. He was a prominent piece of my life.
When you have photos, keepsakes, belongings, it is easy to hold on to what was. The trick, is figuring out how to not let what was eclipse what may be. This is what will take time.
For our 10 years, we had planned on doing a vow renewal.
“I take you to be my to be my constant friend, my faithful partner, my love, and my husband/wife from this day forward. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow. I will cherish our union. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through all time regardless of the obstacles we may face. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love throughout the seasons of life.”
We never said “till death do us part.” Death is part of the seasons of life. I will always love him. Memories will bring me joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. I was with him through every obstacle and honored my vows. He really thought I might abandon him when he was diagnosed with cancer. I had to remind him that would never happen. We were together until his end, and he lives with me still.
Happy Anniversary, Joe.
I miss you.