Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Innocence Of A Child

On some of the hardest days this sweet little smile brings me joy and happiness. She calls or face times me all on her own almost daily now and always talks about Aunt Adrienne. She is so proud of the framed picture of you and I holding her, that I gave her on her 4th Birthday. The joy provided by innocent children during adversity or hard times in our lives is irreplaceable and has been a tremendous help for me. Knowing that our Goddaughter will always remember and talk about you brings so much joy to my heart. Our little "Peanut"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Finding Joy

Yesterday evening seemed just as any other during a normal busy work week. I make that long hour drive home with many thoughts filling my mind. Thoughts ranging from various tasks that need to be accomplished this week, to thoughts of my beautiful wife. Adrienne was on my mind more than ever today and unlike normally I was able to think of these beautiful memories with a smile and some joy.
As I unloaded the dishwasher I picked up a stack of plates to put them away. I immediately stopped when I saw that they were the plates that Adrienne and I had picked out while registering for Wedding gifts at Bed Bath and Beyond. I just stood there for a few moments looking at them, thinking of that day and all of the fun we had together. Adrienne knew better than to let me have control of a scanning gun! I'm pretty sure her exact response was "get real" as she saw me standing there like a kid holding the scan gun ready to shoot every cool as well as unnecessary item in the store. Had she done so our gifts would have been of a much more... lets just say unique variety. I picked one thing and was completely content with the coffee maker that I hoped to get. Seeing the joy and excitement on her face was enough for me so I went along with all of the choices she made trusting in her decisions and giving my input when asked. She was always very good at helping me make decisions, clarifying my scattered thoughts and making sense of things when I was totally lost.
 She also had the amazing ability to calm me when I was stressed or overwhelmed with the burdens of work or just life in general. So many days when she knew I had a big test at work or a lot going on, Adrienne would sneak into my notes and leave little uplifting messages that would give me that boost of courage to get through the task at hand.

Adrienne not only impacted my life in this positive way but also impacted the lives of many people around her and continues to do so today. I have received numerous emails from complete strangers that have left kind words about her, shared loving memories or just to check in on me. Some of the emails that have really hit me deep are those that said her story led them to screenings and checked for spots on their skin. There have been at least 5 that told me they got checked directly because of this story and that the Dr. told them they were very lucky that they came in when they did and had them checked. One of these was a very close friend of mine from high school that had a mole checked that he had never thought about until finding out about my wife. It tested positive for  melanoma but they caught it in time and the letter of thanks he sent to me brought me to tears. She lives on in not only my heart but the many people who loved her, still love her and will remember her beautiful soul for years to come.

Seeing that some moments I am able to think of these memories with joy and love rather than pain is a tremendous improvement for me. I want to talk about her, to share stories about her, share her pictures and love with all those in my life. The ability to find joy in the memories and not just sadness and pain will make this an easier task on me and until now I did not think that I had been making progress in that aspect of the grieving process. Its been just over a year and just typing that blows my mind because it feels like an eternity at times, yet just like yesterday that I came home to her loving smile. This may not makes sense to some but it is the only way I can explain the way this period of time feels. I pray the day comes where the joy from the memories of Adrienne outweigh the pain that comes with losing her. For all of you who have lost a loved one and have struggled with these same thoughts I pray that day comes for you as well.