On the eve of my wedding anniversary, our anniversary, I think about the things I miss about you, us, our marriage. The simple things, the deep things, the routine things. All of them. I think of all that I miss about you.
I miss your smile. The way the light reached your eyes and wrinkles crinkled around them. The way it could be crooked sometimes and thinned out the next. The way it softened your ruddy face and made other around you smile with you, to you. The way it was given with understanding, or joy, or in a tease. The way it lit up in joy from the loves you held for life, your children, nature and me. The way your smile made me feel as though we had happiness in our world, a part which I gave you.
I miss your body, how it was in constant motion doing the things in life you loved. How it moved in a shuffle, with your lanky legs in lengthy, slow strides, pushing aside the earth in front of you. How your body was all long-limbed, even long fingers and toes. How every part of you was thin, yet strong and muscle-packed. The body which would lie next to me and hold me and make me feel secure in its presence.
I miss your mind. The one filled with so many beautiful thoughts. The one which figured out the complex of problems as if they were nursey rhymes. The one which thirst for knowledge from books, videos, explorations, and absorbed everything like a sponge never wanting wringing. The one which shared its contents with your children, with me, with the world. The mind which awed and inspired friends, family, co-workers and me. The mind which kept my own unsettled one, grounded.
I miss your love of life. The feeling of intrigue from something as tiny as an ant, to as large as an elephant, and everything in between. The feeling of freedom you got from gliding a boat over choppy waters, or riding a motorcycle through the gusts of winds. The feeling of joy from a new powdered snow you could cross country ski on, or the the discovery of new trails to hike on. The feeling of accomplishment from digging your hands in dirt to produce a food, or pulling the weeds away from the flowers you cultivated. The love of life you felt every time nature called to you, leaving me to revel in your stories.
I miss your parenting. The need of giving our children your attention from their infancy to adulthood. The need to advice and the knowledge to pull back. The need to unconditionally love them, accepting them for who they were, and eventually meeting at the place they were at. The need to have fun with them, at any age, enjoying the moments as they unfolded. The need of teaching them, expanding their mind, showing them experiences with a patience envied by most. The need to acknowledge their continual need for you into adulthood. Your parenting aided me and taught me and partnered with me to have these most amazing, unique, kind adults now.
Mostly, I miss us, the repetition of us. The routine of waking up with ‘good mornings’. The routine laid out with going to work, coming home, eating dinner, and going to bed. The routine of texts when something exciting happens, or mundane information of what to pick up for dinner. The routine of chores, TV shows, looking for appliances, visiting friends and families, and of being alone, together. The routine of the I love you’s, of why did I marry you moments, the praises, the arguments and the normalcy. The routine of taking for granted moments, the security of one love, the knowledge of growing old together. The routines aren’t always the moments you remember the most, but they are the ones missed the most.
So, on the eve of our anniversary, my heart is full of all that I miss, all I want back, all I know will never be again. The vows we took in front of God, friends and family all those years ago, were never broken, because we never broke, that is until your death shattered me. I have picked up so many of the pieces, month by month. Less lie on the ground than when you died. Yet, still some fragments remain scattered around me. Our anniversary makes it too difficult for me to pick those up right now. They are reminders of what I miss reflected back at me and I have no strength to even stoop down. Not today. Not tomorrow. Today, tomorrow, I ignore them, walk around them, without the worries of when I will gather them in again. And I will because I have. But today, tomorrow, I will think about the things I miss about you, us, our marriage and hold them in the place of my heart where grief took up residency on the day you were killed.