How do you celebrate an anniversary when your other half is gone?

I had mulled over what I could do to celebrate and honor our marriage today.  I decided that I would do my best to try to remember the good things and forget the loneliness and sadness.

I stopped at Martin’s and mulled over what flowers to buy.  I was hoping to find some red and white carnations because carnations were the flowers that lasted so long from his funeral arrangements.  But, I couldn’t find any.

So, I picked 3 red roses and 3 yellow roses.  We didn’t officially have “wedding colors,” but my dress had red on it and my flowers were red and white roses.  Supposedly roses colors have meanings and red roses signify romance and love- which is exactly my feelings for John.  So, the red roses were easily selected.

The yellow roses have a meaning in John’s family.  His father would always get his mother yellow roses for their special occasions.  After his father, Dave, passed away, his father’s sister, Di,  made sure that John’s mother, Ann, still got yellow roses for her anniversary.  When Ann passed away, John took a yellow rose from the casket arrangement and gave it to me.  A simple gesture that meant the world to me.  Yellow roses also remind me of the LiveStrong bands.  John and I wore ours all of the time- he is buried in his.  My LiveStrong and Melanoma bands are a permanent fixture on my right arm.   For the LiveStrong Challenge, yellow roses are distributed to survivors.  I’ll never forget how it meant when John effortlessly took the yellow rose as he rode by and then handed it to me after he finished!  To me it symbolized that John had beaten cancer and everything was well… life was good.  Of course, the future held a different picture, but at that moment in time… life was good.  So, yellow roses hold a special significance as well.

I picked the flowers and we headed to the cemetery.  A light rain was falling and the sky was gray.

I also changed out the LiveStrong band on John’s marker today.  It was looking a little abused from the weather.  It seemed like a good day to do that.

After I put down the roses, I drove around the cemetery and the rain had lightened and the sun was trying to shine.  It made me think that perhaps it was John’s way of showing that he appreciated my gesture.

Happy Anniversary- Roses at Johns grave

Happy Anniversary- Roses at John's grave

I then went out to lunch with John’s aunts.  We went to a local restaurant, Steak &- it used to be Steak & Shake, but some big chain in the midwest didn’t like that they were using the same name & threatened suit, so they became Steak &.  John’s Aunts treated me & Nathaniel- who had his first official meal of his own- child’s spaghetti!  THANK YOU!  Nathaniel was his usual charming self and entertained with his wide open mouth, cute smile, and gesturing at birds and cars and whatever else caught his attention.  It was nice to spend some happy times together.

Nathaniel taking Linda for a walk

Nathaniel taking Linda for a walk

Nathaniel, 9-17-09

Nathaniel, 9-17-09

I think John would have been proud.  That’s not to say that I haven’t shed plenty of tears today, but I’ve spent a lot more time remembering the wonderful man who I was blessed to have in my life and will forever love.

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About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
This entry was posted in Events in honor of John, Family, Life after John's Death, LiveStrong Challenge, Nathaniel, Pre-stage IV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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