Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Date By Any Other Name ....

                                                   picture from here

(Post pre-explanation & warning:  I wrote this post for my personal blog .... on Sunday, the 18th, the 4th year date of Jim's death.  This date, this year, was no easier for me than the previous 3.  I still cried.  I still wished that I were the one who was not left behind.  I am still crying, and I think I may forever be wishing. And yet .... this date, this year, also held more than tears for me.  It held hope.  And reminders.  And so I wrote about both.  For some of you .... the hope will be too hard to read.  You are not there.   You're not even in the same state as "hope".  And I get that.  But push past the hope.  Because one day .... maybe not any day relatively soon, but one day ..... you will catch a glimpse of hope.  Only a small glimpse at first, but then .... a bigger glimpse.  And it will be the one thing, maybe the only thing that day, that helps you put one foot in front of the other.  Just one.  One glimpse.  One step.  One hope.)

... would still bring tears.

That's the basic meaning behind Shakespeare's "rose quote", you know.

So we can call today Sunday.
We can call it December 18th.
We can call it One Week Before Christmas.
We can call it the 4 Year Mark (because I refuse to use the word "anniversary" for something so sad) of Jim's death.
We can call it a Day of Remembrance.

We can call it my Sister's birthday.
We can call it my Brother's birthday.
We can call it my step-Dad's birthday.
And we can call it my friend Gail's birthday.

Because this day is all of that.

But it doesn't matter what we call it.
It matters that it exists.
And it matters WHY it exists for me .... and for my children.

We pretty much hate that it exists outside of being a wonderfully fun birthday for so many of our loved ones.

But ..... we also know that it is MORE than just that day.
So much more.
And its existence DOES matter .... in so many ways.

Because .... it is another day.

Another day to wake up and remember how very blessed we were to have Jim as long as we had him.
Another day to wake up and think of something that he once said, or did, that we hadn't thought of in a while.
Another day for us to love him.  :)

Another day for us to feel the huge gaping hole he left here, to be certain.
Another day to cry another tear.  I used to think I'd eventually run out of those days because I'd most certainly run out of tears one day.
Not so much.

It's another day to cry one (or two) less tears.

It's another day to go over our plans for Christmas .... and re-check my list(s).
It's another day to hang out with my children while they're not feeling the stress of needing to study.
It's another day to sit with them and watch the movie "Elf" for the 57th time.

It's another day for every one of you to tell your spouse, if you are so blessed, that you love him/her.  And that you always will.
It's another day for every one of you to tell your parents, if you are so blessed, that you love them.  And that you always will.

It's another day to start over, to get over a perceived injustice, to ask for forgiveness, to let go of some anger that's harming only you.
It's another day for you to be the bigger person ..... without even telling anyone.

It's another day to quietly help someone who needs your help.
It's another day to smile at a complete stranger and say, "Have a great day." and/or "Merry Christmas."

It's another day to talk a walk ..... in the cold, in the wet, in the clingy humidity ...... and be thankful for the sounds you hear while blessed enough to walk.

It's another day to look back at how very far you've come/grown/traveled/survived over the past several years.
It's a day to be proud of yourself .... and know that your loved one is just as proud of you.

It's a day to admit that all of the days that have come before have not always been pretty, or graceful, or loving, or even desired.
But they have ..... been.


It's so much more than the limits you might give it.
It's full of more capabilities than you could EVER dream.

It's a day that just might hold a miracle.  Or two.

A baby will be born on this day.
And that, to me, is the most awesome miracle of all that could change this day.

And yes, someone will most certainly die on this day.
And more tears will be shed.
And the cycle of grieving will begin its relentless journey in someone else's heart.

And quietly, softly, miraculously ..... sometimes invisibly ......
(Begin His journey in someone's heart).

And this day will become ..... more.
And limitless.
And lovely.
Even in its pain and grief.

Once the day has become "more" ..... once you have become "more" ..... you will find that there is more love, more beauty, more ...... MORE in this one, single day, .... than you could have ever dreamed or imagined.

I am happy on this day.
I am thankful on this day.
I am loved on this day.
I am strong on this day.

And I am So. Much. More. .... on this day.


  1. I woke up this morning finally feeling content after dreaming of a happier future. And I also thought of how I missed my love this morning. Two years ago, I could not even see the future, I couldn't understand how I could feel grateful and sad at the same time. Now, I get it. I can look back and laugh at how excited he was about finding a Santa snoopy to put in our yard and shed a tear as I hold the Christmas Stocking that was his. He would want me to smile. He would say I deserve to after all I went through for the 3 years he was sick and the 2 long years without him. To those of you who just started this journey, Janine is right, you will get here after what feels like an eternity and you will fall back into the pit on occasion and the time it takes you to crawl out will shorten. Hang unto what ever Hope you can, because that will be the rope to help pull you out!

  2. Absolutely beautiful Janine! I cried throughout! You are simply amazing!

    Hope we can all find the "hope"!

  3. Five more days to the 3 year mark of his death, and every single word you wrote...I get it, I feel it. I think I will still cry on that day (btw, I haven't been crying for a long time), but I get it when you say a bigger glimpse of hope.

    One glimpse. One step. One hope.

    Thanks for the beautiful words!

  4. Such a beautiful post...full of truth and hope. I am closing in on the second year without my husband, Jim. Some days it seems like only yesterday and then again, has it only been 2 years since he died?? You never stop loving them, missing their smile, words of wisdom or sense of humor. And we each keep moving forward at our own pace through each day. Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Janine, Very well written. You speak from the heart of many. My 3 yr mark was the 19th. Three yrs ago the word "Hope" was not even in my vocabulary. But now I see it, I feel it, and I know it. For those just starting on this journey hold on to Janine's words for it will come a day when you can see a glimpse of that "Hope" coming to your heart.

  6. You are strong, Janine. How lovely to have other famly memebers birthdays to celebrate the living on your husbands day of death. We all need other things to focus on, especially this time of year. My Mom died a year to the day my husband did, so I have yet to embrace that day with anything but sorrow, maybe in time... I am aching to be hopeful, but still feeling so lost in it all.