And 86,400 hours. Give or take.
However you count it …… it’s a long time.
And it’s not.
It’s the blink of an eye.
The lifetime of a teenager.
A graduate to a parent.
A mother to a grandmother.
The end of what was planned.
And the beginning of what wasn’t.
It’s not the horrible number that you might expect.
Which is odd, since most of the first five or so were pretty rotten.
Ten feels …… natural, I guess.
I mean, of course it’s ten.
Jim died ten years ago, almost to the hour.
Ten long years that have flown by.
Ironic, I know.
So much has happened.
In the lives of our children.
Many things have changed.
Some things have not.
My life looks far different from the life I had ten years ago.
And though it goes without saying (so why do I always feel the need to say it?) …… I would far prefer the life and plans we all had ten years and two days ago.
But, that wasn’t my choice to make.
And so this life, this ten year construction, is the life I have learned to choose.
And have worked hard to make.
This past year has been pretty awful at times.
My father died.
My house flooded, as did the homes of many of my friends.
I had to foreclose on our family home and then sell it again, for less than I had hoped.
I am selling my “flooded” house for about half of what I paid for it.
But, through all of this, and more …… I’ve been good.
Nothing that happened has been worse than what happened ten years ago.
The death of half of you gives you perspective.
Our children are good.
Our grandson is amazing.
Life has moved forward.
But the good has mostly outweighed the bad.
And the best thing of all …… is the love Jim gave.
To our children.
To his family.
To his friends.
To our community.
God has multiplied that love.
In my life and in the lives of our children.
In more ways than one.
So yes, it’s been ten challenging years since I last kissed him goodbye.
Ten years where some dreams have died and others have been born.
Ten years of missing him.
But this year, on this day, I am celebrating his love.
That love has made me who I am.
The love that gave me our children.
That love will never be gone.
Even when I am.
Long live love.