Would you be surprised to hear that I am reluctant to leave 2014 behind? I definitely have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it was the year that I experienced the most devastating moments of my life. I doubt more than a day or two goes by that I am not transported back to that hospital room. I weep when I think about him in that bed, holding his hand, listening to him breathe. The injustice of it all makes me nauseous. I wasn’t alone in that room, and I wonder if his parents and brother and sister struggle with these memories too. I don’t know. We have never talked about it. I hope that their coping mechanisms are better than mine. Maybe 2015 will help ease that burden.
BUT before the devastation we had almost six months of 2014 with Dave. We had swim meets and kid activities. We had our daily walks and talks. We celebrated family birthdays. We had an incredible trip to LA. We watched and dissected Man Men and The Wire. Dave had a blast in Chicago with his dad, uncle and brother. We lived. and laughed. and loved. Together.
It is hard to imagine starting a new year without him. Life and time march forward whether we are ready or not though. So, in lieu of resolutions, I once again remind myself of the truths which make me a more understanding, more patient, and more forgiving person.
1. People are who they are. And they are doing the best that they can.
2. It is better to be kind than to be right.
For 2015, I would add that it is important for me to carry on some fundamental beliefs that Dave held dear. He firmly believed in the power of being positive. He believed in getting out there and doing. I think that we managed both of these things over the Christmas holiday with our trip to Florida. For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, I was flooding the stream with pictures. We did have a relaxing and wonderful trip, but I was also trying to let everyone know that we were doing okay. We talked about him a lot. And most of the time it was through smiles and laughter. We ate at least one type of key lime pie every day in his honor and grinned imagining how much he would have loved that challenge. He is so firmly embedded in our hearts that his spirit lives on through all of us.
The other message that Dave gave us before he died was “look out for each other”. I cannot say that I have always been the ideal daughter-in-law or sister-in-law, but I know how important Dave’s family was to him. I believe that now that our connection is missing, it is even more important to honor his family and have them be a big part in our lives. It is what he would have wanted but it is so important to me too. Dave lives on through ALL of us.
So ready or not, 2015 starts tomorrow. We will feel his absence but will continue to honor him through our words and actions. And our love.