Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One year

I thought of Teresa the second I woke up today.  The one-year milestone feels huge.  The positive part is that I actually made it through a year without her and the grief is less raw and fresh than a year ago, but mostly it makes me sad to think that time is going on without her.  A whole year of not hanging out with her, a whole year of not laughing or talking or going to Grand Forks or texting or going out for dinner or celebrating birthdays. I can no longer think, “A year ago, we were …..” Even worse, it’s been a whole year that she hasn’t been physically present for her kids and husband.  She feels more distant and I haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that that gap will only continue to grow. I have lots of physical reminders of her, but even those are fleeting.  I worry that the purse she gave me for my last birthday will wear out or that I’ll lose an earring she gave me or that that the cake stand/veggie tray/punchbowl (it's one dish that has three uses! It's so awesome!) that she knew was a perfect gift for me will break.
And then I got up and went for a run but I ran slowly because I couldn’t help thinking how bad it would be if I would die on my run exactly a year after she did (not to come across as self-important or anything).
And then I went to renew my Autopac. Despite my best intentions, I always end up waiting until the very last day before my car insurance expires.  You’d think that lesson would have been drilled home last year when I had to go to an insurance agency the evening of Teresa’s death in a haze of numbness and shock and a headache from crying and red eyes and balled-up Kleenexes. Thank goodness I didn’t have to have my picture taken (because I like to look awesome for my drivers photo?).  This year was less traumatic, which was a good thing since it was a picture year.  While I was there, the song “Just Give Me a Reason” started playing on the radio.  It makes me think of Teresa every single time, so I felt like she had a hand in that.  It’s her way of showing me that despite fraying purse liners or lost earrings, she’ll always be around and she’ll never let me forget her that easily.  

I'm thankful for all the support and prayers of caring and thoughtful friends and family who texted and called and emailed and brought me frappucinos and sat with me on the front porch in the warm sunshine.  You're all awesome.  Dale and I went to hang out with Anthony and a few other friends tonight and we laughed and joked and talked about Teresa and other things.  Even though we all missed Teresa's physical presence so much, her spirit was definitely with us.  I'm not just saying that; I felt like the evening was comfortable and meaningful and positive, which couldn't have happened without her presence. The distance I felt from her this morning was definitely less after the evening at her house.  All those prayers were not in vain.
I happened to see a post on a friend’s Facebook wall today (not someone who knew Teresa) that said, “Many we love have passed away too soon … without reason.  We remember them often in a thousand different ways … in the morning, in the night, when we look at the stars. A date, a song, a place, a smell.  In memory of all those who left us too soon.  Click Share if you miss somebody who is watching you from heaven.” 
It's all true and I thought of sharing it, but I don’t love being super-public on Facebook (I know the blog is more public than my facebook, but writing things down does something for me, so that’s my excuse).  And then I started looking for other quotes and most of them were lame (ie. “Death may indeed be final but the love we share while living is eternal.”)  While I know without a doubt that Teresa will be honoured and flattered by all the people thinking of her and her family today, she was never really sentimental or sappy.  When I saw the following quotes - not exactly your traditional profound words of encouragement - they made me laugh.  Death and laughing don't normally go well together, but one of the things I miss most about Teresa is her sense of humour, and I know she'd love these.

So update that status already, Teresa!  I love you and miss you every single day!


someone said...

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.”
― Henry David Thoreau


Anonymous said...

Love to you Ellen. A lovely tribute...and not too sappy. :)

p.s. The grandpa one made me snort laugh. :)

Anonymous said...

Big hugs Ellen. Lisa