Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Anniversaries and Adversities....

Anniversaries and Adversities....

This for me has been a week of sleepless nights and bone deep sorrow....not on the pot but close enough to stare at it longingly. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the day I married my sweet honey. We would have marked 18 years of marriage and very near twenty years together...I consider it the single greatest accomplishment of my life.

We weren't perfect but we were very good for each other. We always strove to put the other first and be honest to a fault. It was painful and exhilarating....we had trails that would've destroyed most couples but we held on and endured. We taught each other how to love...unashamedly and unconditionally. She made me a better man and a more complete person.
She taught me that joy comes from the simplest things and that even our darkest moments can be embraced and learned from....if we just change our perspective. It is this loving lesson that I cling to now. Desperately.

On our wedding day, those many years ago, we'd planned a simple outdoor service. At a friends house that had a beautiful backyard in the county. It wasn't extravagant in any fashion...financially our divorces had left both of us starting over but she was beautiful in a simple white gown and I had on the only suit I owned. At the time we lived 80+ miles from the place we'd chosen to be married and we traveled there because it was close to where my best friend (who was very sick with cancer) lived.

Amazingly, a large number of our martial arts outreach families made the trip that day...we started outside but before the service could be completed, the Tennessee skies opened up and the entire group was quickly drenched in a down pour. Our friend had a converted outbuilding that was his dojo (martial arts studio) and the entire group retreated say it was packed was like saying a sardine can was roomy! Many in attendance were professional soldiers and they quickly rigged a makeshift covering for the grills set up outside...grinningly cooking, drenched in the blowing rain...tarps were thrown on the floor to protect the mats. Hardly the romantic ceremony I'd hoped for...and yet, there she stood...damp...smiling and as beautiful as the morning sun. We exchanged vows and simple girl sang for me...her voice quavering and angelic...eyes brimming with happy tears. We danced...slowly and locked into each others eyes. I fed her best friend encouraged her to smash my piece into my face...which she did for him, giggling madly.

People applauded...many in tears for our union. Best day ever...and one that we each celebrated every year. No matter the circumstances. Be it before or after work...most times in simple intimate ways...I once filled her SUV with balloons, each having a scrap of paper with an endearment of my love. We spent an evening on our deck in the moonlight...dancing to a tape of love songs she'd made for me...whispering the words in my ear as we swayed together.

For those that don't know me...I have two dancing styles...Fonzie slow dance and a version of being tazered while remaining upright! Honey was the dancer...she could literally dance to anything and tolerated my ineptness with humor and grace. We loved each other daily...holding hands and stealing kisses. A thousand tiny gestures that strung together are a love and a life lived and shared, always together...which is why I am so lost without you babe.

You sweet Tammy Jean were my hopes...and my dreams...always included you. You asked me to keep cherish each day. I am trying. Truly. Your memory and selflessness encourage me and give me strength...most days. But I miss you...and I miss us. I think a part of me always will. It's that corner of my heart that keeps me going...makes me face another day. If not with joy, then at least with a stubborn determination to fulfill my promises to you. Yes dear...still hard-headed...despite your best efforts.

I don't know if I can ever love again...I know that was your hope. Your wish for me...but for now at least, it's beyond my ability to do. I love my family...I cherish my friendships but beyond that? I just don't know. I once told you that anything was possible as long as you kept pushing no matter how many doors were closed on you...I believed that and in long as it was desired, right?

Maybe I was life, some things are closed forever...beyond our reach. It's the reality...but does that mean our dreams become less meaningful? Our desires diminished and our drives forever crushed? I know what my girl would say...she'd say, “Follow your heart's a good one.”

If that was ever true, it's a broken one now...but I hear you honey. Happy anniversary baby....I love you. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Walls and Wishes...

Walls and Wishes.....

As I sit sipping coffee this morning, I reflect on the stillness of my environment. It's more than just the predawn quiet, it's the absence of presence and the knowledge of loss that makes what should be a simple time of recharging; instead an uncomfortable reminder of the hollowness in my heart....
It's a testament to the depth of my love for my sweetest honey and a true example of how very much she enriched my life. I know that there are people that enjoy being single and truth be told, I've never been bothered by being alone...but I miss my soulmate. That feeling of completeness that comes with the certainty of a safe harbor...of a place and a person that truly accepts and loves who and what you are...flawed as that may be.

As children our experiences teach each of us to build walls. Defensible places that we can shelter parts of ourselves from harm. As we become adults, these walls become multi-layered mechanisms for interacting with others. It's natural and a commonality all humans share...we expose only those aspects that we feel comfortable with and that can be quickly withdrawn when we perceive a possible threat. It's a survival mechanism hardwired into each of us. Those things which we hold most dear...our dreams and wishes of the heart are some of the most tightly held. We learn from hard experience to heavily shield that which can hurt us most deeply.

When we love, we slowly learn to allow each other to see all of those sanctums. Our fears, weaknesses and dreams reside here and when used against us or judged irrelevant, the damage can be catastrophic; resulting in walls so thick that we deny access even to ourselves. Honey and I spent years carefully learning how to share and truly know each other each of us lies greatness and sorrow. Learning to embrace and encourage such dynamically different parts of another is both challenging and ultimately rewarding that it defies description.

It's what makes each of us special and unique...

It was my honey's wish that I not rebuild those walls that she so lovingly created doors too. In some cases, into places I had kept locked even to myself. I'm not a braggart but even in my diminished physical condition, there isn't a man on the planet that I fear...I know I can more than hold my own...and yet I can feel some of those bricks being layered once more. Closing off things and places that I'm no longer sure I can go.
I know some of this is grief but as of late I've also found myself isolating large parts of my life simply because they're painful. I'm writing less...ignoring lines of communication and becoming less social. I've never been very dynamic in that arena but I it's becoming more strained as I struggle to stay minimally connected. For those of you that I hadn't responded to, my apologies...I do sincerely appreciate your efforts. wish and my hope is that I'll keep journaling my experiences and in doing so maybe scribble something that is relatable and relevant. My fear is that this is an exercise in futility, that my random ramblings are just that....meaningless rants. So be it... for the moment, this is an effort for me to unscramble and sort through the mess I've become.

In my heart I know that this mattered to her and in this way I can rationalize that I tried...for both of us.

If you're still reading, all I know is this...even Superman in his fortress of solitude needed Lois...if you have someone in your life that you hold dear, let them on it together. All things of greatness require risk...and encouragement. Embrace the differences fully...enjoy the simple act of being free to lower your defenses and be who you are. Share your desires and pursue your dreams...hand in hand, for as long as you can...we get one shot and settling is a path to defeat.

And if you're alone? Do what you whatever form that looks like to offer a glimpse behind those parapets. I am, to share some of your own light. Maybe...just maybe, it'll light another's way. It's a worthy wish from a famous quote...

Worthy are the broken...that rise again and again.

I hear you babe...softly whispering my dear honey.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Honey Rule...

The Honey Rule...

Shortly after honey and I first became a couple, I realized that she struggled with depression and low self esteem. It was something that she really tried very hard to hide from the world but those few she got close too saw it. She could become withdrawn and sullen, at times those feelings of worthlessness would overwhelm her and bring her too tears.

Her way of counteracting this was exercise and throwing herself fully into a cause that had a high probability of failure...and I would watch in amazement as she tilted against the windmills of her heart while loving and sharing herself with strangers. It was this undaunted spirit that I feel hopelessly in love the time, it was also that vulnerability that called to me....and spoke to my soul.

We are all shaped by our experiences and by our reactions (or lack thereof) to those circumstances. We are driven by complexities that we cannot always explain...but we do feel it. Honey and I shared many of the same traits, we just executed them in dynamically different ways. Where she would embrace and encourage the broken and the lost, I would charge in looking to confront the cause...she once asked me if I'd always run towards the sound of gunfire. She called it, “White Knight Syndrome.” My response was a shrug and a which she'd rolled her eyes. Like all couples, it took us time to learn about each other and breach the walls that we all build to shelter our innermost self's.

We all harbor pain and scars...the causes are as different and unique as the individual but the intensity is universal. It's when we trust another enough to share these that true love sweet girl taught me (painstakingly) that to make peace with some things, you had to first embrace it. I taught her that you also had to also let it go. As flawed people, this is often easier said than done. So...long ago, honey and I made a rule. It sounds simple but it took us a few years to both figure it out and implement it faithfully. The rule was this...

No matter the circumstance or reason, you are allowed just ONE pity pot day in any given week. No excuses. On that day you could cry, vent, sulk or be pissed at the world and bemoan the injustice of it all. As partners, on that day you could be as supportive or as distant as required. What you could NOT do was try to fix or rationalize the other's feelings or dismiss the validity of that feeling. Period. As a man, this was especially difficult for me...I wanted to FIX it! It took time to realize that fixing some things isn't matter what.

We held each other to that standard...usually with good humor and love. Even throughout her worst trials and illness. We came to this agreement with the mutual understanding that life is short and uncertain and that it was counterproductive to waste precious days not enjoying each other and living. It led to some odd conversations when one or the other would exhibit blue behaviors beyond a day... this is from when she was very sick.

Coming home from work and coming to the top of the stairs, I'd found her staring out the sliding glass doors at the rain drenched morning. Knowing she'd been depressed and angry the day before, I'd kissed her lightly on her head, asking how she was doing. Sullen, she'd replied.

Same as shit.”

My heart breaking, I'd sat next to her and taken her hand. Replying softly.

Yeah...I know. Can I get you anything?” Shaking her head she'd sighed, answering. “I think God's forgotten me.”
As most of you know, honey was the more faithful one of us...blinking tears, I'd slide off the couch and knelt in front of her. Taking both hands, I'd gently tugged her forward until our foreheads touched. Kissing her nose, I'd said hoarsely.

Not possible. I bug the shit out'a him several times an hour.”

Shaking her head, a smile ghosting her mouth, she'd said.

I'm gonna have to apologize for you everywhere I go, aren't I?”

Kissing her and tracing her arms with my fingertips, I'd swallowed hard and whispered. “Yup!”

Wiping each other's tears, she'd added. “I gotta get off the pot, huh.”

Wrapping my arms around her and burying me head in her neck, she'd held me while I sobbed. Stroking my head she'd softly chided me. “One day a week already had yours...”

I remember telling her that sometimes this rule really sucks...and at that we'd both sniffed and chuckled. Squeezing each other hard...

But it works...” she whispered. It does. For us anyway way.

Yesterday marked three months without you my honey. I slept very little...four hours in the last 36...even with Xanax, which I detest. I've had my day honey...I hear you...But I miss your smile, your touch and laughter...but more than that...your heart. Your faith in me and in us...I knew without asking that you'd be there. Unflinchingly at my back when I rushed I was for you.

I miss our frank conversations and the moments of comfortable silence when we could just be...the tiny things. Smelling your hair as I held you from behind while you were at the stove or waiting for coffee. Holding your hand...dancing with you in the the mailbox...the way you always woke me with a kiss. So many happy moments in's the tiny details that stand out and I realize it was because of that silly rule...the one were we made each other accountable for the other's happiness.

So...for you my darling, I keep trying. Trying to see the world as you a place to be explored and enjoyed at every opportunity. I hope and share as I can. I don't know if it really matters to anyone but it does to me. It's here that I feel you the most...were the pain is bearable.

I don't know what's next...if there is a time or a place when I can get beyond daydreaming, wishing and lounging too fulfilling those promises. I know so few things these days...except that I'm thankful for the time we had. I'm trying hard to not be resentful of it not being more...I love you babe.

Now and always, Tammy Jean...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The First Time...

The First Time
A honey-ism...
I promised to add these as I can and this is a fulfillment of that. Though she's gone, I am forever thankful for all she gave me. My honey and I had a very non traditional courtship. It was a slow fuse burning from two very different perceptions.
That first year I slowly fell in love as I watched this incredibly challenged person give so freely of herself to others. Her enthusiasm was infectious and when she smiled it was with genuine feeling. From her perspective, she saw a man with an iron will (read stubborn) that loved his students and truly wanted only to see them become the best people they could be.
Much later honey would tell me the only time she ever saw me smile was when I was encouraging a student, wether it was an adult or a child....
She said it made her wonder what was hidden behind that gruff exterior...and why it was kept so tightly controlled. After our ride in the rain, I was hopelessly hooked. My sweet girl however, was not. Her divorce was only just beginning and she battled with the feelings of guilt and self recrimination that are a part of that process. She tried to adhere to a strictly teacher and student protocol and I knew that pressing her would only drive her away....and so it went for many weeks. Polite conversation in passing, a touch on my arm or that brilliant smile when she was crusading for one cause or another. 
I'd tried to casually invite her to lunch a few weekends to no was late summer and in Tennessee that means hot and muggy. I'd noticed that she'd starting wearing simple, lightweight pullover dresses instead of jeans or workout attire. She was quite simply, gorgeous. I'd all but given up our relationship (if you could call it that) moving past that one incident. 
So imagine my surprise when on another Sunday afternoon, she again came to the school knocking on the door. I still remember the dress...a brilliant purple, run through with an array of yellow, silver and golds in a random pattern. Long, about mid calf and simple open toed sandals. I must have stood gawking because I remember her laughing and asking me if I was gonna let her in anytime soon. 
Fumbling with the glass industrial doors latch, I'd opened it and as she passed, I could smell the light perfume she wore. My heart fluttered and I reverted to a sixteen year old boy again...nervous and unsure of myself. Locking the door, I retreated to my office mumbling about paperwork and she followed. Sitting on the front edge of my desk, I'd asked what I could do for her. Stopping in front of me, honey had smiled and said that she'd been praying about me. My first thought was.
“Oh shit.”
Stepping closer, she'd whispered. “Actually I've been praying for you my entire life.” Wrapping her arms around my neck, she'd kissed me. Softly, tenderly at first but with an increasing passion that soon had me on my feet, pressing her into the nearest wall. Busy hands soon left us both breathless, panting with lust and need...but strange as it sounds, I didn't want our first physical encounter to be in such a setting. I'd wanted it to be special...I truly wanted her to know that she could trust me. 
I remember looking deep into those blue eyes and knowing that she was the one...her nails were lightly scratching my back and I knew she wore nothing under that thin dress. Honey rarely did...but with trembling hands, I'd held her sweet face and promised that we'd do this...( My body was screaming NOW!) but that I wanted to get us a room. I was living with friends at the time, so there was no “my place.” I recall the intensity of her eyes as they locked onto mine...searching, beseeching. Finally, she'd giggled, shaking her head and replying. 
“You are a very different man, Jim.” 
Being as I was already internally kicking myself, I'd grinned and said. “Is that good or bad?”
Kissing my nose, she'd said simply. “We'll see.” 
After she left a short time later I reserved a room (for the next weekend) in an upscale hotel with all the trimmings. Hot tub in the room, indoor pool, ect. The day before I bought flower's and wine along with several scented was very cliché but in my defense, I was fairly young! On the early evening of that fateful day, I meet honey in the parking lot. We were both nervous but she was absolutely stunning. A pale yellow sundress...tiny earrings and very little makeup. Bright red lipstick. I took her hand and led her up to our room. 
Opening the door, she'd been a little taken aback by the burning candles and the flowers in a vase. Closing the door, I'd turned to her and asked if it was ok. Honey had only nodded, throwing herself into my arms, kissing me passionately. We made love as all strangers do...overwhelmed, yet insistently. Sated, I looked down into her eyes and was shocked to find her crying! My initial thought was,
“Oh my God! I must really SUCK at this!” 
Not very romantic, I know. Wiping away at her tears, I'd tried to ask what I'd done wrong and in response she'd just pulled me closer and held on tightly while she sobbed. As you might imagine, every single thing going through my head was self criticism. 
“Idiot!” “She realized you're nothing but a mistake!” “Was I THAT bad??!!” 
As honey settled down, I was stammering apologies....mortified. Taking my ears in her hands, she'd gently tugged me forward again, kissing me softly, she'd explained that those were tears of joy...that'd she'd never experienced anything that had touched her that way. She'd said...
“I felt your heart and your soul. I was a part of you...” 
My turn for tears...both then and now. On that day I learned that the physical aspect of making love was just the tiniest part of what's possible. I learned about greatness and touched divinity...My love now and forever, my sweetest honey.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Between Love And Hope

Between Love And Hope

I've spent a lot of time lately wondering about this place that sooner or later we all experience. This hollow place between love and hope...I think we define this as grief. It's like standing in the middle of a tunnel through the mountains.
You can clearly see two distinct pinpoints of know what they are and where they lead and yet you're frozen. Unable to move in either direction...because you know, each step forward is painful...searingly so. Much better than to remain here...numb and immobile.

It's said that grief is a passage and that is truth but the passage also has many stops and the occasional derailment along the way. It is here that I ponder...where can I possibly hope to go? Worse still...why would I? That which I most desire is irretrievably lost and beyond my reach.
Forever...I don't know. Oh, my sweet girl...I just don't know!

I'm not new to loss. Grand-parents, siblings and comrades, even my mother but this seems to tear at my soul. Does that mean I loved those people less or you more...does an answer to that question have some meaningful application? I wish I knew. I only know that for me, losing you was akin to amputating the best parts of who I am....or was.

Through this void a steady winds blows, sometimes as gentle as a summers breeze rustling the leaves at sunset or without warning, the shrieking howl of sudden decompression at high altitude. My reactions range from misty eyed sorrow to gut wrenching bawling...I mourn not only your loss but all of the unfulfilled dreams we'd this selfish? Probably. Intellectually I understand all of this but my heart gives not one damn about logic or only wants you.

I am fortunate that many people, friends and strangers alike have not only offered but DO take my hand and try to help guide me forward. A kind word, a call or even a video or picture (technology is sometimes genuinely useful.) and I am deeply grateful and thankful to all of you for each of these acts of kindness. I'm quite sure that from their perspectives, it's akin to dealing with a petulant child...each step forward is often accompanied by being dragged back three. For your patience, I am humbled...and for those whom have remained steadfast, I beg your forgiveness. I am trying...

With my upcoming surgeries, a co-worked recently asked if I was afraid of dying. I replied as I have in the past. (due to my career choices) No. I've never been afraid of dying...I've been afraid of many other things in my life but never my own death.

The impending death of my beloved honey terrified was beyond my ability to control or influence. I could only react to each new affront on her body...each day was like walking blindly through a minefield. You pray for the miraculous, dreading the eventual explosion. Anyone who has been a caregiver knows this state of extended anxiety and dread. Then there's the guilt...could I have done some things sooner? Was I present enough...real or imagined failings, the intensity is the same.

These past months have been the most difficult in my life...before now, I've never felt lost. She grounded me and gave me purpose...for those that know me well, the thing I fear most some days is simple. Another day in this new reality. I'm not suicidal...I'm not wired that way but it's difficult to paste on a smile and pretend everything is ok. It's not.

I often use humor and goal setting as a coping mechanism. I also write things out... it's my process. I've made some long range plans...I set into to motion the goal of replacing my knees. A promise to my honey...things happen. An infected finger has put those scheduled procedures back weeks now...maybe a month or more. Ordinarily, I adapt and roll with it but I'm just...weary and uncommonly blue.

For those unfamiliar with type A personalities, let's just say that accepting anything as unchangeable through force of will and just plain stubbornness is challenging. My sweet girl used to tell me,

You can't change the universe to meet your demands.” I'd typically grin, replying. “Wanna bet?!”

She'd roll her eyes and shake her head but it usually worked out. I don't like losing...or failing...and this somehow feels like both. I feel like I let her down...irrational as that may sound, it's what my heart tells me. Dammit. All. To. Hell., I've vented, had my pity pot day...actually two. I can almost feel the head smack...the rule is ONE! Today, I'll dust myself off and get doesn't wait for anyone. It just continues, with or without you. I guess it's a lot like jumping into the middle of a pair of blurring jump can participate or watch. Jumping in you risk being tripped up and maybe even falling...but watching isn't's existing.

I'd my life...yes dear. Even when I suck at skipping...and have no rhythm. Bring on the whelps and bruises!

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Labor Da Honey-ism

A honey-ism...On this long weekend most of us try to get in that last camping trip or other favorite outdoor activity. The weather can be contrary this time of year as true summer begins to ebb and fall isn't yet fully upon us. The night are cooler and it's the perfect time to leave the windows open at sweet girl was always wistful this time of year. Being a sun bunny, she loved being outdoors but enjoyed the brilliant colors of fall too.

Our small deck was where she'd spent most of her final time here on earth...and since her passing, I've not been able to cross that threshold...until yesterday. Saturday was spent furiously cleaning the upper level of our condo. I deep cleaned everything in preparation for my upcoming surgeries. I even managed to uncover her elliptical machine (where I'd draped all her coats and light jacket's) and put her clean and folded clothes into the dresser downstairs, along with the assorted foot wear, left scattered in our bedroom and laundry room. These small task took an inordinate amount of time to was a tearful and heart wrenching experience...and I still cannot bring myself to take down her bathroom robes or the numerous cooking aprons hanging as they always took most of the day and left me in a funk...but honey and I had a are allowed ONE day on the pity pot...only ONE in any given week, no matter the circumstances.

So...Sunday morning, with her stern whisper in my heart, I set out to complete some of the task I'd been putting off (mending some pant's) and was determined to use our grill to make steaks and chicken for the upcoming week. Returning from the store, I'd prepped the meat and then turned my attention to the pack of needles and thread I'd bought. I couldn't find honey's kit and truthfully just couldn't make myself look very hard. A word a young man, my father had taught us the basics of sewing. Simple stuff...but I'd not actually done any sewing in DECADES. I had a pair of tactical pants that needed a button put back on and a pair of jeans with a broken belt loop. Easy right? I'd certainly thought so....

First off, threading the damn needle itself proved to an exercise in patience worthy of a saint! I didn't remember the holes being that small! After muttering oaths under my breath for nearly twenty minutes...success! I pushed the needle effortlessly through the material and plopped the button right over it...easy peasy...EXCEPT for when I tried to repeat the process....for the next half hour, I poked my damn finger TWICE, broke the thread once and ended up with a fishing spool looking snarl on the backside that I managed to tie down and secure...who's gonna see it, right? The belt loop??? Holy frick'n, mother pucker!!!! :o( Two bent needles, three poked finger's AND a thigh!!! The pant's very nearly went to the grill...I was seriously considering setting them on FIRE! All the while, I swear I could hear faint honey would've been rolling. I know she'd have rescued me after the first (maybe the second) blood letting... but she'd have giggled the whole time!

I knew there was a reason I'd outsourced this sorta thing....

So after bandaging my sore fingers, I had two completed (albeit bloodstained) pair of pants repaired...FYI...anybody asks and you can bet there'll be a better tale for the bloodstains than the truth! ;o)

Grilling and the making of the sides (Fried potatoes with onions and garlic sweet peas) was a bittersweet experience. We'd always done these things together...and while I'd enjoyed the meal (I have TON'S of left overs!) it left me melancholy. I'm not much of a drinker...two “girlie” beer's and I've usually had enough...but sipping one as the sun went down, I'd watched the contrails of a high altitude jet and thought of my girl...yes, there where a few tears...but they where mostly from good memories...lot's of them...of similar evenings shared together. Lying on lawn chairs or a blanket on the ground, hand in hand and just...being.
As the stars came out; I realized I'd been staring upwards for some time. The jet was long gone and my tears had dried but the memories of my sweet girl left a warmth in my heart and a wisp of a smile on my face...I feel you baby. Alway and forever my honey...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Would Honey Do?

What Would Honey Do?

I reached for you this I have every morning for these past eighteen years. In all that time, you've never disappointed me...even when you where already up...I could feel you...smell the faint scent on your pillow or the lingering aroma of coffee, wafting through the cracked door.

How I miss your morning smile and the “Hey baby!” greeting so often used when I'd stumbled from our bedroom door, usually headed to the bathroom. With rare exception, my coffee would be waiting when I emerged along with a kiss and a touch of greeting....fifty four days...1320 hours...79,200 minutes since you've been gone... Lord how I miss you!

The routines we all take for granted...those little things are the ones that cause the biggest aches. I freely admit to being spoiled. Rotten. My lunches were always made, dinner ready (even when you worked) and I was greeted at the door with a hug and a kiss...always. These things we did for each other...I too, packed your snacks, checked your bag or gear and loved on you coming and going. It wasn't a chore or a task...we wanted to take care of each other! Your vehicle was always gassed and clean and we shared in all of the daily details of living together...well, except the'd banned me from that! I realize now that we never argued over these things or made task list. We each just did whatever need to be done...gladly and when possible, together.
Grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning...I can still see you holding that expensive and shrunken to a child's sized sweater...rolling your eyes and declaring the laundry room off limits...I STILL swear it was an honest mistake! :o)

My greatest joys where taking you on new fulfilling your wants and dreams. We weren't rich...far from it but it doesn't take money...just time...that most precious commodity of all. You encouraged and believed in me without question and I in you. I was so proud of my sweet and loving girl...even when you gave away our cookware or my bicycle and God knows what else to strangers in need...I couldn't help but love you. It's who you were...

You my love, taught me to be kinder and more see the world and those in it not necessarily as they were but as they could be...with a helping hand and a little care. Common sense and color blindness dictated your always tried to simply do what was right..not what was politically correct. There were no special groups, everyone was equal...excepting children...any and all of those held your heart. The world could use more of that...a lot more of that actually. You taught me that there is a greatness in the smallest of believed, even when at times you doubted yourself. I'm trying to match your enthusiasm...your zeal for life and those around easy task my dearest honey. Sometimes in that moment between sleep and wakefulness I can hear you, whispering to my heart...I try then to hold freeze that fraction of time forever. If only I could...just a bit longer... but of course each time I fail no matter how hard I try.

It hurts...this life without you. In all of our preparations even now a part of my denies the reality...clings stubbornly to that thread of hope...even though I know it's a lie. I so badly want it to be true! This is the undying part of love...the memories that live on. For all that they hurt, I cherish them and always my honey.

I've yet to have a day without tears...most are from sorrow...selfishly wanting MORE...just one more minute to hold take your hand and again bask in your beautiful soul...but some are from joy...the gladness that the agony you were suffering has ended and too from a guilt that I kept you too long. I know that many of the things you tried, those treatments were for me...because I couldn't bear the thought of letting you go...I'm sorry baby...truly. I'm trying to make peace with forgive myself for such selfishness...but you know will take time.

I'm coming to realize that you are and will always be an inseparable part of me. You my dearest honey, changed me without trying, without demanding but through your shining example into a better man and a more complete human being. and forever I will ask...WWHD? What Would Honey Do?

One step at a time my step at a time.