This weekend I ventured to Buena Vista for a grief holiday with my bestie. Saturday it was good, but by Sunday I was ready to just be home. I was exhausted. Still am, although I think it is beginning to dissipate a bit. Monday was spent at the computer editing my life away to get caught up for a busy September. James got home from jury duty to find me crying because I pulled out a picture of our wedding that was of grandpa and me smiling in a similar fashion and him looking so very alive. Yesterday was a struggle. Grandma came to the office for the first time since Grandpa passed, which I can’t imagine was easy for her. I was busy with catching up from basically a week and a half of not being here mentally. Went to yoga and got my butt kicked (totally necessary!), and came home to snuggle up to that man of mine.
Today has been better, more energetic. And I have something to celebrate. With everything going on the past few weeks, anniversary presents kind of fell by the wayside. I was trying to remember what we did for each other last year and realized that I had wanted to give James a ring with turquoise because that was what he had really wanted for a wedding ring but we couldn’t find one that was good quality. I had asked my grandfather for his advice on where to go and the next week he brought in a huge bag full of rings and watches and belt buckles for me to pick from for James. He brought in a few pieces that his mother had been fond of as well for me to have. He was so fond of his turquoise collection, and to offer some of his best to James really showed how fond he was of him. I had picked a green turquoise ring that my great grandma loved. I wore that ring to the hospital both days, and again to his memorial service. It is a symbol of protection, friendship, good fortune, and wisdom. All things that I think both my grandfather and great grandmother had given to me over the years. I was in tears, gasping for breath, realizing how special all these pieces of jewelry would be, and noting that even if we gave each other nothing this year, these gifts of love, protection, friendship, and good fortune would probably be enough to last us a lifetime.
I started to reflect on our relationship. I have been lucky enough to find this wonderful person in life who is my best friend and life partner. Today we celebrate a happy two year anniversary. Five years together, two married.
Someone asked me the other day if I love him more today than I did two years ago. My response was that I love him differently today that I did two years ago. I don’t know how you can put an “amount” on love, but as our relationship grows through our life struggles and victories, so does our love for each other. We have both changed quite a bit since we first met. We have had ups and we have had downs. The year we married was one of the most life-changing, best years we had together. We got engaged, bought a house, I found a passion in photography and started working towards making it a profession, and we got married. This year seems to have been one of the hardest of my life. After two years of working myself to death between a full time job and putting tons of time and energy into photography, I’m getting burnt out. So is he. Never having me home has put a strain on our relationship, one that needs to be balanced out. I’m working on that. Trying to keep my priorities straight instead of letting myself get so overworked while going after a dream that I can’t enjoy the happiness of my reality.
The moment that we found out my grandfather was in the hospital, he was there supporting me every step of this dreadful journey. He has wrapped his arms around me when I cry and feel lost, given me space to mourn, he gave me encouragement while I struggled through writing the eulogy. Even when he was exhausted, when we were both exhausted, he was there with me when we went to find friendship and laughter with my family after the memorial service. He has been kind and caring and mindful of the grief I find myself struggling with. I appreciate him and everything we have so much more than I could have thought possible.
I realize so much more now than when we got married that we can make it through anything, if we make it through our struggles and our victories together. I am so glad to be on this adventure with him.
Love you heart of mine.