Wednesday, April 8, 2015



Oh! Honey—after a week of ‘FIRSTS’ I have to be honest—I was dreading Easter Sunday. We had to get through your first Wedding Anniversary which did not pass without a bucket of tears. Auntie put together the pics and the video shorts of your wedding and we all revisited that very special day. We can hear you at one point saying “this is a fairy tale”.

I thank you so much for the sign you sent Nikki. You are romantic and thoughtful beyond the grave! The beautiful Hibiscus plant named Matty II that was sent to the funeral home for your viewing was entrusted to Auntie, the Master Gardener of the family. As you know, the plant goes dormant in the wintertime. Set against her beautiful glass kitchen doors with the sun shining upon the snow-covered field, Auntie snapped a picture of a gorgeous red bloom—a bloom that will only last for one day. A blossom that speaks volumes. “Here I am Nikki. I know what day this is. I’ll remember it always. You are my everything. I’ll always be here for you. Go into your heart, quiet your mind and speak to me. I’ll make my presence known. I’ll love you forever. Happy Anniversary Claus.”

Nikki’s planned Anniversary Dinner was a success, again an event filled with laughter and tears. That really is a joy for us. That we can remember a story and because of who you were/are we can laugh and cry in the same breath. The kids spent an overnight and Addy was missing you. She asked, “Gammy, just text my Daddy”. I don’t know if my 4G service would have made it to Heaven but her words surely did. We had to play a few extra rounds of “Once Upon a Time . . .  Daddy”. The stories of your growing up years and beyond are such a comfort to her. I have a repertoire and some of the endings have to be left off until she gets a little older, a lot older! She is such a pip. Funny! She has your personality and at 2 already enjoys making people laugh. She has an eye roll down-pat and we are already fastening our seat belts anticipating her antics. Bear Bear fell asleep on Bampy and he was thrilled beyond belief. Our first and only boy. We are so in love with your children.

There is so much love that surrounds us. Love is a buoy for our sadness. We feel our grief so intensely because we loved you so fiercely. This life filled with lessons of duality! To know the good side you must experience the darkness. How else can we learn? I would not trade the unconditional love I have for you for anything so I will learn to shoulder the grief as I truly believe one does not exist without the other. Easter week was a week of reflection. Love, sacrifice, faith and renewal were given much thought. You know the struggles I’ve had with organized religion. The questions that remain unanswered. Nonetheless, I have faith. I believe in a soul. A Higher Consciousness, God. I listened to a 2010 Easter version of the song ‘Hallelujah’ by Kelley Mooney and the words were so powerful. I felt like I heard the song through my soul and not my ears. Love, sacrifice, faith and renewal—an emotion, an act, a strong belief without proof and a journey of transformation. We can’t see them. We can’t touch them, but they can touch us. The constant in all four elements is Love. It always comes back to Love!

Jason & Beth hosted Easter dinner this year. Dad and I had a moment in the car on our way to Jay and Beth’s. Our moments—a time when the tears come unexpectedly, usually for a short duration. They are a part of our lives now, these moments. They are a remembrance that saddens, a pang of reality, a sting of loneliness. The thought of Thanksgiving brought on this moment. I blurted out “I sure am going to miss Matthew’s Thanksgivings”, and Dad had his moment and when I see him, empathy fills my heart and I join him in tears. Thanksgiving—your holiday so perfectly timed and creatively executed. The memories you’ve given us with your family meals! Here we are, jumping to November when we haven’t seen the light of April’s days. That’s how the mind works these days. Jumbled. No specific order. All over the place.

We were all silently apprehensive as this was our first holiday (Holy Day) without you. It also happened to be J. Rose’s birthday. Unfortunately Jason was sick and spent most of the day in bed. Was tough on him as he needed to be with us. Beth, realizing how important this First was, tackled the day with two kids in tow and did a bang up job. As it so often happens, the men were in the living room (Bear included) and the women were in the kitchen. Solidarity of emotion! The conversation naturally drifted to you and how we were all dealing with your absence. We all agreed that the room was a little quieter, that we missed you terribly, that the shock of losing a force so young and strong was wearing off and the reality of the journey we will all undertake to fill that space that is You was now beginning. We talked about how difficult it is to see people for the first time or have to relay the fact that you are no longer with us for those that have not heard. Nikki—widow sounds too old a title for such a young woman. Single Mom is easier to absorb. She feels that when she hears stories of other women losing their husbands, they cannot possibly be feeling the same pain she is in because you were so special, so loving, so funny, such a partner, a lover, a confidante, her best friend. You were a special husband. We agreed.

One of my favorite moments of the day—Jason came downstairs to sing Happy Birthday to Jaelyn. Addy sees him and says “Uncle Jason are you feeling better?” He responds, “I am now that I’m seeing you.” I was rounding the corner from the living room with Bear; Jason was staying away from the crowd and had settled in on the staircase. Bear saw him and his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Jason’s heart melted and he returned that great big Bear smile, a smile that says “I am pure love and joy”—with one of his own. Your Bro has your back Little One. Your children will be surrounded by love. They will never have to seek it. It will be freely showered upon them.  

Surreal this life without you, my Matthew. We needed to gather and talk and reminisce as a family. Love is something you freely gave with no strings attached. You intimately knew the meaning of Love and the power it had when generously exchanged. Your darkness was forgiveness. You struggled, you worked at it, and you were going to find a way to allow Love to overcome. To honor your memory, I am going to work on Love in my life. I am going to reset my mind and let my soul sit in the driver’s seat. I am going to look for the goodness in everyone and replace the daily annoyances I am confronted with, with Love.  If I am annoyed, isn’t it a mirror for a behavior I recognize in myself that needs adjusting? Keep loving me. I will keep loving you. Help me to create my footprint of goodness by constantly reminding me that it all comes back to Love. Give freely and it will come back in spades. We had a good day . . . WE HAD A GOOD DAY!
Love you forever,



1 comment:

  1. Tears of JOY xoxoxo to you and yours.....


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