Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One Year Ago, Today

...the world changed.  A brilliant mind was silenced.  A spark went out.  Friends lost a voice of comfort and an ever-ready helping hand.  A dog lost her loving master.  Our children lost their Father.  I lost my best friend, lover, and husband of almost 18 years...

Much has happened in this space between then and now.  I have learned a great deal about myself and others.  There has been a year of heart-breaking firsts, concluding with today -- the last 1st:  the 1st anniversary of this terrible loss. 

I am still standing.  Some days, I am a bit wobbly...  Some days, in spite of all the good that remains, I am inexplicably sad.  Some days, I can feel that immeasurable void that lurks just below the surface rise up and threaten to pull me in again.  Yet, against the backdrop of  loss, change, and other upheaval(s), I remain.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of the love, friendship, comfort, and support that my family and I have received in the past year.

It seems only right and proper to acknowledge all that I am thankful to Kevin for giving me.  A lifetime of gratitude for gifts that were always given so freely (more often than not, accompanied by a bright smile and the twinkling of those baby blue eyes).  His departure was just shy of his 64th birthday and our 18th anniversary.  While I still miss him every day, I am ever-so-thankful for the life that we shared, and all that came with it. 

Here then, in no particular order, are 63 Gratitudes for My Love:
  1. The Love -- always the Love
  2. Sharing & encouraging an inquisitive nature
  3. Ready laugh
    *and the aforementioned smile & twinkle*
  4. Patience
  5. An affinity for acronyms
    *EGBAR, FIDO, MFSP, BFAD and many, many more*
  6. Your brilliant mind 
  7. The gifts of [y]our children
  8. The ease and comfort of true friendship
  9. An appreciation for good Bourbon
  10. Generosity
  11. Acceptance of my family
    *no small feat*
  12. Taking an interest in my interests
  13. Unwavering support
  14. Endless encouragement
  15. The Polish Electric Blanket 
  16. Our odd shorthand
    *comprised of song lyrics, movie lines, and snippets of books we loved*
  17. Our seamless tag-team cooking
  18. Wisdom
  19. Our home
  20. NOT calling Animal Control the day Wito adopted us
  21. Stolen moments
  22. Understanding
  23. Nearly always being the driver
  24. Loving me
    *in spite of the mushroom years*
  25. Tolerance
  26. Living with grace
  27. All the laughter
  28. The gift of "Little Friday"
  29. Good tools
  30. Loving and spoiling Wito
    *and the rest of our menagerie over the years*
  31. Forgiveness
  32. Positivity
    *like nothing I have seen before or since*
  33. Kindness
  34. Living in partnership
  35. Dreaming BIG
  36. Being my haven from Life's storms
  37. Adaptability
    *granted, one of the hardest lessons this Type A had to learn*
  38. Talking with and listening to me
  39. Manning the grill
    *which hasn't been lit since the day before you died*
  40. Teaching me to fly
  41. The gift of creative vision
  42. Security
  43. Time -- 20+ years (!)
  44. Passion
  45. Telling me you loved me (often)
  46. Being a Gentleman
  47. Embracing the bees
  48. Our shared love of reading
  49. Two decades of working together
  50. Accommodating my interests
  51. Speaking well/kindly of me to others (always)
  52. My perpetual "Bride-hood"
  53. A riding mower
    *and years of yard-work*
  54. The Look
  55. Being brave with food
    *in spite of the mushroom years (!)*
  56. Respect 
  57. Helping me find my voice
  58. Making me a better person
  59. The most awesome "Soundtrack of a Life" (ever)
  60.  Dancing with me
    *in public as easily (if not as often) as in the kitchen*
  61. It was quick
  62. You were home
  63. The Love -- ALL the Love

 Later days,


  1. Penny! I can't believe it has been a year. Please know that during those months when your Facebook account was still and quiet that so many people were wondering about you and sending love and missing you. I'm sending you lots of love today.

    1. Thank you, dear one! I find it hard to believe myself -- some days it seems like it was only yesterday.
      Throughout this past year, I have been daily sustained by the love and kindness of that so many.
      Love you back! <2

  2. An amazing and beautiful tribute to your sweet love. I send warm hugs and smiles to you for continuing your brave new life.

    1. Thank you, sweetie!
      One day at a time, eh?
      Onward & Upward...

  3. What a precious list, Penny, so chock-full of the evidence of love. You were lucky to have each other for the time you had together. xo

    1. Thank you, Lorie!
      ...lucky, indeed -- we shared a mutual admiration ;)

  4. What a beautiful list. Thank you for sharing it and bits of him and your life together with us. xo

    1. People who never met him felt like they had, and vice versa. I have been blessed with an amazing love -- I still speak in terms of "we" and "our" -- 1 year, 10, or 100: I have a feeling 03/22 will be harder than other days...


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