family, mom, reflection

Two Years

Two years.

Each day this week I have glanced at the calendar, the bright days of April quickly transforming into May. I didn’t want to turn the page to a new month; I wanted to freeze April for just a little bit longer, just as I had two years ago.

Just a little more time.

Just a few more days.

Just a few moments more.

What I have learned in two years is that even when we don’t turn the calendar page, even when we pray our hardest for more, more, more, we are unable to stop the progression of time.

Time continues on without our permission. Time turns daylight into night and the low tide of the morning will always rise by afternoon.

We are not in control of all things.

Today it has been two years. I can hear the faint echo of your laughter in my dreams, and I wake with the knowledge that you are still with me, witnessing all the things that the past two years have brought into my world.

You were in my heart as I struggled to fulfill the promise I made to you on the last day you were on this earth.

You whispered encouragement to my mind when I was too scared to submit a book pitch to my favorite publisher, the crushing weight of fear and failure immobilizing my courage.

You nudged me on the inside as I pushed through the fear and submitted my proposal and you were right there in spirit to celebrate when I signed that final line of the book contract.

You reminded me of my worth, my purpose, my passion again and again and again.

You smiled sunbeams from above when I submitted my first draft.

You created an avalanche of accolades when my first book was shared with the world.

You sent signs and Godwinks all around, reminding me that though you are gone, you are always here.

And today, two years later, you are reminding me that it’s OK to laugh through the tears; it’s OK to find joy in the journey.

It was through your dying that I truly learned how to live.

Today I am thankful for so many things. For my faraway friends who send surprises my way, not even knowing that their timing is perfect. For family members who treat me to breakfast (and later dessert!) and others who sent messages of love and thoughtfulness.

I am thankful for the small ways I see your love shining through and those little reminders that there is always joy to be found, no matter the date on the calendar.

After all, each day we’re a little closer to dying, so why not stop and enjoy the moments while we can?

Surprise gifts from Karen Caswell who lives in Australia.
Another surprise gift from Kim Gretes, a childhood friend – a handpainted frame in celebration of my first book.

As I attended my niece’s dance recital today, I saw a duet performed by two graduating seniors and the lyrics of the song grabbed my heart as I thought about my mom and the journey we shared. I was so touched by the words, I immediately downloaded the song from iTunes and copied the lyrics below.

Two years after your passing, the words still ring true to my heart.

"Time Of Our Lives" 
Written by Timothy Myers and Tyrone Wells
Performed by Tyrone Wells
This is where the chapter ends
A new one now begins
Time has come for letting go
The hardest part is when you know
All of these years - When we were here
Are ending, but I'll always remember
We have had the time of our lives
Now the page is turned
The stories we will write
We have had the time of our lives
And I will not forget
The faces left behind
It's hard to walk away
From the best of days
But if it has to end
I'm glad you have been my friend
In the time of our lives
Where the water meets the land
There is shifting in the sand
Like the tide that ebbs and flows
Memories will come and go
All of these years
When we were here
Are ending
But I'll always remember
We have had the time of our lives
Now the page is turned
The stories we will write
We have had the time of our lives
And I will not forget
The faces left behind
It's hard to walk away
From the best of days
But if it has to end
I'm glad you have been my friend
In the time of our lives
We say goodbye
We hold on tight
To these memories
That never die
We say goodbye
We hold on tight
To these memories
That never die
We have had the time of our lives
Now the page is turned
The stories we will write
We have had the time of our lives
And I will not forget
The faces left behind
It's hard to walk away
From the best of days
But if it has to end
I'm glad you have been my friend
In the time of our lives
I'm glad you have been my friend
In the time of our lives

Tyrone Wells. Lyrics to “Time of Our Lives.” AZLyrics, 2019, https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tyronewells/timeofourlives.html

As I sat outside later in the day, soaking in the sunshine remembering how much you loved the outdoors, I saw small reminders of joy.

A baby bird came to greet me on the sidewalk before scampering away to the other side.
A nest of baby bunnies nestled deep in the grass.
A Boston cap and a clay frog, reminders of the things that brought you joy when you were here.

Two years later, I am choosing to celebrate joy.

I know you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today I remember you.
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