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18 months today


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I woke up in the middle of the night, and I glanced at the clock on my bedside table, and realized it was September 28, which makes today 18 months since Becky died.

I have been thinking about that a lot in this week leading up to today, which is in itself somewhat unusual. For the first four months, I knew how many days it had been; I counted the weeks every Sunday into the 40's, and the 28th was always a sad day the first year.

But since March, the 28ths have even passed virtually unnoticed. The sad times have been related to birthdays and Katie starting school and growing up and those kinds of things, rather than markers on a calendar.

And funny as that seems, I think that is exactly the reason I am sad today. 2004 lasted about 17 years; 2005 has flowed past as quickly as any other year. The passing of time means distance from Becky and my life as a married man, and it saddens me that the extra distance of each passing day is so negligible. It is something that is comforting and makes my life so much happier and easier now, but I kind of miss the hurting because the hurting told me that I was so much closer. Does that make any sense at all?

But whatever the reasons, it has weighed heavy on me the last couple of days in particular. Certainly during Sunday school. Of course, we were discussing the beatitude, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they will comfort and be comforted." (My translation - the word comfort in Greek and in Latin implies both being comforted and doing the comforting, and our translation leaves out half of the blessing.) It is related to being the only dad at the birthday party Katie went to on Sunday. All of the rest of the dads were home watching football or doing whatever they do, and I got to be out at the party hitting on the moms. But I couldn't help reflecting that if Becky were here, I would have been home watching football while she and Katie went to the party, and that I would be the one missing out.

Thursday is the first parent-teacher conference. Yet another thing I would gladly have let Becky do. I hope it is productive and not just a love-fest for how amazing Katie is. Of course she is amazing; she is her mother's daughter. But I hope I come out with ideas about how to be a better dad and a better assistant to her education. There is certainly room for improvement; isn't there always?

And I am happily dating a woman for the last two months or so. And there is a point in every relationship I have entered where I sit back and think, hey, I don't want to be dating. I want to be married; I want Becky back! Of course, that isn't happening, and so after a little bit I come back into the moment and appreciate what I do have and what I am still capable of building.

Anyway, those are my reflections on 18 months. One of my best friends sent me a poem today, and I don't know that anything has hit the nail on the head as much as this has:

Living you made it goodlier to live,

Dead you will make it easier to die.


With you a part of me hath passed away;

For in the peopled forest of my mind

A tree made leafless by this wintry wind

Shall never don again its green array.

Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,

Have something of their friendliness resigned;

Another, if I would, I could not find,

And I am grown much older in a day.

But yet I treasure in my memory

Your gift of charity, your mellow ease,

And the dear honour of your amity;

For these once mine, my life is rich with these.

And I scarce know which part may greater be,--

What I keep of you, or you rob of me.


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