One year ago today, at this very moment in time, Dan and I were snuggled in our bed. We turned on Sports Center and then laughed throughout the show "Mic'ed Up." I had never seen the show before. They play snip-its from football player's conversations on the field. Our favorite, that morning, was Brett Favre. Apparently there was a ref making terrible calls. In a very calm voice, Brett told the referee, "You know what man? Why don't you go ahead and take two weeks off.....then quit." We laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
While still in the bed, Dan's phone rang. It was Billy. Dan answered with a huge smile on his face, because he loved "HIS BILLY." It actually turned out to be Heidi on the other end, and Dan and Heidi made fun of each other (situation normal), then eventually talked about our evening plans. The four of us were going out to dinner in Baltimore.
We snuggled in bed some more and Dan eventually decided he was going to go to the gym. After countless attempts to get me to come with him, he decided he might as well put some music on his iPod, since I wasn't going to be there to conversate with. We had just purchased these iPods and Dan started messing with his. He made a video of the dogs, and then of me. I hate being recorded, especially as pretty as I am in the morning, but that made Dan want to do it even more. At the end of the video, I put my hand up toward Dan to block the view, and said, "Don't you have somewhere to be?" How could we ever have known, how right I really was.
Dan got up to put gym clothes on, and I got up to start rummaging through my closet. I pulled out two outfits for the evening. As Dan was walking down the hall toward the stairs, I stopped him, and held both outfits up. I didn't even have to ask, he knew what I wanted him to do for me, but instead he said, "You look beautiful in anything, wear what you want." I said, "Dan, just tell me." He replied, "I like them both, you be the tie breaker." At this point he had already headed down the stairs, and had the front door open. It was freezing outside, and Dan had on gym shorts and only a hooded sweatshirt. He looked up at me, and said, "Bye Honeyahhhhh." I rolled my eyes. He flipped up the hood to the maroon Nike sweatshirt and shut the door behind him.
That was the last time I ever saw my husband alive.
Six days later, January 6, 2010, they lowered him into his final resting place.
Today, I am remembering my Dan, and everything he was. His legacy lives on through me and everyone who loved him. Am I scared to face another year without my husband? Yes. Do I fear that I will never love as deeply as I did for him? Yes. Am I reluctant to fully enjoy what life has to offer me? Yes. Am I going to continue to lean on my friends and family for support when I can't walk down this road on my own? Yes.
Am I going to let it stop me from trying? No.
My precious friends and amazing family have been brainstorming and planning and loving me so much. They want to be there for me today, on Dan's "Angel-Date." The truth is, they have been there for me since this very date last year. Sitting on my kitchen floor and crying with me. Sleeping on the couch and crying with me. Feeding me, clothing me, taking care of me when I couldn't. Then, watching as my wings began to heal little by little. Smiling with me again. Running with me. Laughing with me, and then repeat. I am not sure what I can ever do to repay the fierce love I've been blessed with. But again, I am not going to let it stop me from trying.
I don't miss Dan any more or any less today than I have since one year ago. Although, today, I want to make him proud. I'm not going to spend the day in bed with the cover over my head ignoring the world. I started the day with this blog, I am going to walk out the door and go for a run listening to DMX and Tupac...just like Dan would have, I am going to have some coffee with Heidi and Billy, I am going to call my sister and listen to my Lilly-Bug laughing in the background. I will visit the cemetery. I will lean on all my girls, and love them as hard and unconditionally as they love me.
My heart will also be with my friend Jill, as she celebrates the life of her mother this morning at a memorial service. May God's loving arms wrap around both of us today, as we remember two lives, very well lived.
Make the resolution this year, to tell the ones closest to you that you LOVE them. Hug whenever humanly possible, and live with no regrets. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2011.