Gratitude, with a remembrance

This past Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of my first husband’s death. An odd kind of “anniversary.” A hard one. In the biting cold and sunlight, I drove up to the cemetery, cleaned off his headstone, placed a poinsettia in front. The picture looked like it was fading from the granite, another sadness.

I visited the other young men who rest just behind him. These three born within a few years of each other who died so young. I looked northeast, toward the water that I couldn’t quite see, grave markers studding the slopes. It’s hard to visit, and it’s hard to leave. I had to make peace with something inside myself–I don’t know what. Then it was time to go.

I’m thankful for that man and that marriage, and our two children.

I’m thankful for all the people who helped me survive that shock and build a next life.

I’m thankful for Tom, who showed up on my doorstep and married me, and for our oldest son.

I’m thankful for spending time with a friend, and for the chance to spend time with my mom this week and have lunch together. I’m grateful she’s so happy in her new home.

I’m thankful for the people who met with me and are encouraging me on my quest for my next work.

Open the door. Open my heart.