Yesterday marked five years since my husband’s accident.
I’m not one for paying a lot of attention to the anniversaries of sad occasions, mostly because once something like that happens there are plenty of other days all through the year when the sadness hits and I remember him with love and often tears every day of my life.
But somewhere in my mind as that date approaches it will always trigger a kind of apprehension as I find it also affects the holiday season for me because my last memories of “normal life” with him were over Christmas and New Year’s of 2012, and because that Saturday morning was spent putting away Christmas decorations before he went to work. It was the last thing we did together on the last day that was normal; the last time I spent with him before saying goodbye and sending him off for the day that would end tragically.
So there is sadness and grief and mourning that will never end.
BUT this year, I also found myself smiling as I was reminded of some of the simplest things I enjoy now that I either didn’t like or didn’t know about before I met Pat.
I used to eat mild cheddar cheese and only mild. Pat loved strong cheese and didn’t enjoy the mild, so I was gradually introduced to medium and then to old and eventually found my love of good strong cheese that I have today – the stronger the better. The one stage I couldn’t get to was the blue cheese stage. He loved it and I still can’t handle it. But I’m grateful he got me to tolerate and then love strong cheese!
I hated yogurt and couldn’t understand why anyone would eat it, let alone grow bacteria themselves and make their own! LOL Pat loved yogurt and ate it regularly, and when our son came along it was one of the first foods I introduced to him as a baby and he gobbled up even the plain stuff. Yogurt was a staple in our house for Pat and both kids; eventually I tried eating some of the fruity varieties and over time I developed a taste for it. I’ve loved it for years now, I eat it regularly, and if all I have in the house is plain and I want yogurt, I’ll make it work.
I’m sure I probably heard music from Peter, Paul and Mary at some point in my youth, but never really paid attention to them as a group. Pat knew their stuff very well – he was into totally different music than I so I was exposed to a variety of it over the years, some of which I liked and some not so much! But Peter, Paul and Mary are, to this day, one of my very favourite groups and their music is deeply rooted in my heart. I also learned to enjoy music from Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Eagles, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles, along with a lot of other random music that wouldn’t have been on my radar when I was single.
One of the gifts Pat gave me the first Christmas after we started dating was a mix tape he had made with songs from his collection that I got to know and enjoyed while we went for drives in his Scirocco. Today while driving on the highway, I had to smile when I chose the 70’s music station and found myself singing along.
Peanut butter was a take it or leave it thing for me until I met Pat who practically survived on peanut butter and bread! He didn’t even need the jam. I don’t honestly know if a day went by that he didn’t grab that snack, even well into his more recent years, and it eventually became a treat for me which isn’t always a good thing because when I get a craving for it, I’ll eat it right out of the jar on a spoon! And when I do, I think of him.
Thanks to his routines, I always remember to check my tires and my washer fluid before I head out for a long drive and I never let my gas tank get low during the winter.
And sometimes when I stop to write myself notes so I don’t forget things now that I’m middle aged, I smile when I’m reminded of how many little notes he used to write for himself even before we got married – I called them “IMP” notes, because he always wrote that at the top! – how they were spread out everywhere, and how I used to tease him about them. But he always remembered what he was supposed to remember.
So there are many significant and beautiful memories that I carry in my heart. But sometimes it’s the little things that come to mind that make me smile and remember how much he did for me, how much he taught me, and how much he showed me about life that I didn’t already see.
Five years ago seems like forever, and then it seems like yesterday. Because his spirit will always be with us 🙂