Ch.208 Our 58th Anniversary

Ch.208 Our 58th Anniversary

July 3, 2023

          Pat and I were married on July 3, 1965. That means every July I will commemorate almost simultaneously both Pat’s death (July1, 2022) and our anniversary (July 3).

          This July 3, I decided to visit Pat at her gravesite. I took my collie Levi, and a folding chair, rather than going with other people. Once there, I took turns walking Levi around the cemetery, an old-fashioned one with many beautiful trees for Levi to sniff around, and sitting on my chair so I could talk with Pat. The walking breaks helped buffer my time with Pat; I felt connected without being overwhelmed.

          Something bothered me, though. I kept thinking that this would have been our 58th anniversary today. But here I was talking with Pat. Indeed, I had traveled the 1 ½ hours driving here specifically for that purpose. I certainly felt that Pat was with me right then, very much in the present. It took me a while to realize that this is our 58th anniversary. True, Pat died, but our marriage didn’t die with her. I needed to reprogram my thoughts: It wasn’t that July 3, 2023, would have been our 58th anniversary. July 3, 2023, is our 58th anniversary.

          That small change in my thoughts has had an immediate impact on my life. I had been thinking of removing my fire agate ring from my ring finger now that a year had passed since Pat’s death. Maybe, I reasoned, it was time to move on. But Pat and I bought matching fire agate rings many years ago to celebrate our 30 or 35th anniversary. Keeping mine on right now feels like a good way to honor our marriage.           I had always hoped Pat and I would make it to our 70th anniversary. Maybe we still can.