Jason died 5 years ago today.
It seems like another lifetime now... and at the same time there is so much that I can remember like it was yesterday.
We had a good life together... it wasn't perfect, nothing is, but it's a life I will treasure forever and it's made me into the person I am today.
Sometimes I wish I had taken videos of him & recorded our conversations those last weeks. Sometimes I'm happy to keep them all to myself. He had such a beautiful mind & his ability to deal with reality of the worst kind was powerful. If I face my own mortality with half the strength & love he showed, I'll be proud of myself.
I'm so very lucky to have had him as my partner. He cherished me & our children. Together we learned what real love, the day-in day-out in the trenches kind of love. Love that is hard sometimes. Love that takes work and, in other ways is easy, because your home is in each other & you've developed your own shorthand. Love that binds you as a team, makes you think of the other by reflex & inspires you to be your best. I am incredibly grateful to have had that and feel like a lottery winner to have that again.
Many of our conversations in those last days involved the 'after'. He would sometimes insist I make notes: here's where you find all the information to file the taxes, remember to only pay the minimum on these bills but this amount on the others. Don't sell the truck until you have to, try to sell it as a package with the work trailer & make sure you save these things, give this person that, remember to get your oil changed. I have some of these notes still.
The thing he was most insistent on was drilling into me that I had to find a way to be happy. That someday, he didn't know how long it might take & neither did I, I had to live a life I loved again. That I could not give up, not fade into the shadows or let the circumstances of his death be an anchor of pain, let it drag me down & destroy myself. The kids. You have to be strong for the kids. The panic & pain in his eyes when he talked about how much he didn't want to leave us, but he knew he had to, was what I imagine when I think about something happening to me & them being without us. It freezes me into despair. At the same time... he trusted me. He believed in me. He knew I could get through this, that I would do whatever I had to do to help them make it through & become good people.
I didn't believe him... and for a long, long time I certainly didn't live up to his wishes. But, I'm making it. It took a long time to love my life again. I'm there now & with a much deeper understanding of what that means & how I make that happen. It's a huge gift & one I sometimes wish had never had to happen.
It is what it is. He took life as it came & knew himself. He lives in our hearts & memories now, but we take them with us everyday.
Sleep well my love.