Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary

I've said it before and I'll say it again...grief is a weird journey! Unlike other kinds of suffering, and I've had my plate full of them in life, it's a state of suffering that fades in and out at different times. For instance, I am approaching what would be my 26th wedding anniversary with Vinnie and sadness is already hitting me again.

My youngest daughter got married on our 25th. Vinnie and I renewed our vows and incorporated that into the beginning of their wedding ceremony. It was a precious event. But even though Vinnie and I vowed "to keep our promises to each other for as long as God would have us be together", we both knew deep down in our hearts that the amount of time we'd still have together on earth would be shorter than we'd hoped. It was! We would only have 7 weeks left. The anniversary date will be harder to face and more emotion to deal with than I was expecting. It is still but a week away but it's already getting tough.

This past weekend I went to the beach with my sister. Vinnie and I loved the beach and always planned a trip around the time of our anniversary. There were few moments this weekend that I didn't miss him. Our time away was always opportunity to have conversations that included more than, "What's for dinner?" and "What movie are we watching tonight?". And though I totally loved being with my sister, he was missed this weekend. I am still surprised that when I seem so "OK" with life as it now is, it will take an event like the beach or our anniversary date to turn the sad stone back over again.

I have no clue how long these sudden bursts of sadness will hit me. The recent bouts of sadness that have hit me have been when Shelly graduated from college a few weeks ago, when Amy got a job in her first level of nursing assistance at Duke, the hospital of her dream, the trip to the beach and now our anniversary approaches. It will probably hit me again when Shelly and Chris buy their first house, a deal which will close in a few weeks. My hope is that the year of "firsts" (first Christmas without him, first birthday without him, etc.) will be the hardest and that after that those dates will get a little easier to bear and less sad as each year comes and goes and new traditions are created. Of course I can only guess since I've never been down this road before. I imagine, however, that it will be hard when other firsts come too, like when Shelly and Chris have their first baby and other graduations happen, etc.

Grief is weird. When I've had trouble with a relationship, it always came to a conclusion and the problem was over. If I'd had trouble with a job, or finances, there'd come a time when it would come to a conclusion and some kind of answer would rear it's head in resolve. But grief, it strikes when your going along feeling fine and enjoying something that's in the flow of the day or week or year and suddenly - boom! Grief hits again like ton of bricks. It seems to get easier but not less sad.

When I got home after spending the whole weekend with my sister, I realized that I'd loved having someone to talk to all day, for two whole days! I miss that so much! I never get anyone to myself anymore and I spend many, many hours alone at home. I am not sure I'll ever get over that! It simply compounded the sadness I've already been feeling but sadness is just an emotion. Sadness over Vinnie's absence is simply a sign of the fact that I loved him very much. I have to keep all this in perspective. It's the only way I'm going to survive. So...I'm off now to go hang a new picture I bought to put up over my kitchen window. I wish it was Vinnie putting it up but it never will be him doing it again and that's going to become more and more OK with me in time, I am sure.


StaceyC4 said...

Hey, Gail! I do like reading your words. You are a very positive influence on those of us who want to whine about the little things. You are an excellent example how God's love can get us through anything.

I don't know if you are into this kind of thing, but I nominated you for a "Lovely Blog" award. You can stop by my site later today and check it out. '

Hope all is well and you enjoy your trip this weekend!

Gailie said...

Wow...thanks, Stacey! I'm honored. I am actually in the process of writing a book entitled, "Meet My new Husband - His Name is Jesus" and have written a speech which I'm waiting to see if I can present it at a widow's conference in FL this fall. As I've been writing it, I realize it is a message (and the book) really applies to all women - old, young, single, or married to a man who is not totally perfect! I'll let you know when the book's done!

Linda said...

Hi Gailie
I want to thank you for sharing. I too lost my husband last October and the grief is overwhelming at times. I so miss him. Would give anything just for a little more time...

Thanks again,for sharing.. It is ironic but your story thoughts and feelings I could have wrote myself. But I am not as eloquent with the words as you - you have a true gift.

Gailie said...

Thank you, Linda, for your note. I was hoping you'd come visit my blog. Of course I don't know you personally, but it's been my silent prayer that widows would somehow find my blog and be encouraged. I'd love to know how you're doing on your journey. Feel free to email me if you'd like. I'd love to hear from you again in a more personal medium. You can send email to

God bless...Gail