Fifth wedding anniversaries are commemorated in a number of ways. The traditional anniversary gift is wood, or you can go the contemporary route and give a gift of silverware. Year five even has its own gemstone, sapphire, assigned to it and its own colors of blue, pink, and turquoise.
Today, though, I am not celebrating anyone’s fifth wedding anniversary. Today, I am remembering my sweet friend, Michelle, on what is the fifth anniversary of her death. Even though I just typed that previous sentence, I find myself having difficulty comprehending it. Grief may morph and change from year to year, but when you lose someone you love, the grief lingers.
As this fifth anniversary approached, I thought about what I wanted to do to honor her and tuned to Google for guidance. Interestingly enough, my search turned up a variety of commemorative gifts to mark the anniversary of someone’s death. Wind chimes. Memory books. Memorial stones. Plants and trees. The gifts were not assigned to any particular year, as they are when celebrating wedding anniversaries, and while they were all nice enough in and of themselves, nothing resonated with me. So, here I am, like a guest who shows up without a gift for the host and hostess.
Five is a small number, but five years translates into 1,825 days. More specifically, that is 1,825 without the bright and beautiful Michelle. That figure is overwhelming, especially when it is paired with the knowledge that there is no end to the days without her.
I find some comfort is knowing that Michelle is alive in the hearts, thoughts, and memories of countless people whose lives she touched and in her three remarkable children. Breast cancer may have taken away her last breath, but it cannot, and will not, ever take away the love she embodied and that she gave to others.
I can still hear her voice and her laughter, and when I think of her, I always remember her as healthy, happy, and beautiful. I chat with her from time to time, and I had plenty of spirited conversations with her when the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team struggled mightily this past season. I have a feeling that she gave God an earful during the season, too, and I am hoping that she secured some divine intervention for the upcoming season. Go Cats!!!
Like her husband, children, parents, sisters, brother, family members, and friends, I have missed Michelle for the past 1,825 days and will miss her forever. We will continue to mourn her loss, celebrate her life, give gratitude for her presence in our lives, and love her.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story
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