Calendars can be cruel in so many ways, as they hang milestones like this one ahead of you, immovable objects that loom ever larger the closer you get to them. At the same time, you struggle to hold onto moments from before all of this happened, and wish you could somehow bend time altogether, to go back, even for just a moment, and have one more...anything.
Reality isn't quite so neat or controllable. And a year on, it feels as unbelievable today as it did then, a strange warp in time that we all know is inevitable for all of us, but still hurts like hell when it actually occurs.
In the past year, my wife has continued to teach me - and everyone around her - the value of family in navigating the darkness. Being surrounded by, and connected to, a tight group of family and friends-who-may-as-well-be-family has been a godsend. Despite living with the surreal reality of loss, she's figured out how to treasure all that we still have.
So as I listen to her speak with her dad - every day - and share memories of Bubby Zelda with our kids, I can't help but think that my mother-in-law would smile at where we are today. Whatever lessons my in-laws taught my wife when she was our kids' age, they're being well applied as we figure out what to do next, and where to go.
As difficult as it is to lose a parent, I'd hate to think what life would be like if we hadn't had them in the first place, or weren't blessed enough to have grown up in a caring household that prepared us for everything life would ultimately throw our way. Against that backdrop, it's a stark reminder that we're lucky to have had what we had. And continue to have now.
- From Facebook: My wife's speech from the unveiling
- Blog entry: Even the skies know
- Photo set on Flickr