I’m proud of myself and my family for facing all the firsts this past year without my husband (and their father) whom we lost last December 3. Yesterday we went to lay wreaths on his grave and those of my parents and my sister-in-laws’ parents at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Of course I broke down again, but the grief is not so fresh and all encompassing most of the time. It’s hard to explain what triggers tears now. More often than not it’s something random; a song we liked, a tv show we watched, a restaurant we enjoyed together.
His unexpected death from an aneurysm a robbed us of a chance to say our goodbyes, and that had been so difficult for us all. I’m comforted knowing we said I love you to each other at least once every day of our 37 years together. And though the suddenness of his death was hard on all of us left behind, I don’t think my husband suffered and for that I’m so grateful.
If I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that life really is too short and precious. I don’t want to waste even a moment on anything or anyone that doesn’t bring me joy…
because I’m an April baby, and that’s my birthstone angel that my mother and I made 16 years ago after my dad passed away. Mom had come back from Arizona to inter my father’s ashes at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery about 50 miles southwest of Chicago.
It’s a very impressive sight, a little like Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, with rows of granite headstones and plaques rather than white crosses. The cemetery was opened in recent years because of the growing need for burial space as WWII veterans reached their 80s and 90s.
When things had quieted down after the initial memorial service and gathering of family, I wasn’t sure how to keep my mother occupied as she grieved and tried to decide what she wanted to do next with her life.
So while she stayed with us, she and I assembled quite a few of these little angels made from different colored birthstone beads and golden pins to sell at craft shows. I’m not sure, but I think being surrounded by all those angels made getting through the next few weeks a little easier for us both.
(My theme for the A to Z Challenge is birthdays)