Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The End of May ......

...... has always brought my family many new beginnings over the years.

Our twin daughters were born on Memorial Day weekend.
Our oldest son was born on Memorial Day weekend.
All of our children graduated from high school on Memorial Day weekend.
In fact, our youngest son graduated this past Saturday.

But the biggest beginning for our family ...... began 30 years ago ...... on Memorial Day weekend.
Thirty years ago ...... today. (This Wednesday post is actually being written on Tuesday.)

Jim and I were married thirty years ago.

And so what was once viewed by me as a month full of beginnings ...... is now a reminder of the biggest ending I've ever experienced.

Today should have been my 30th anniversary.
But it was not.

Jim should've been here for Son #3's graduation.
But he was not.
Exactly like he wasn't here for Son #1's or Son #2's, not to mention the various college graduations that we've celebrated without him.

Thirty years ago today I cried.
I was nervous.  I was scared.  I was nauseous.
But mostly ...... I was so in love with him, that those feelings were short-lived.
And the tears I shed were tears of love, joy and relief.

I know that I wasn't the only one who cried that day.
Jim also cried as we spoke our vows to love each other until the only thing that parted us was death.

We fulfilled those vows.

And thirty years later, I still cry ...... although the tears I shed today were very different from the ones I cried that day.
The day of our new beginning.

I didn't expect to cry today.
But then, after five and a half years of living without him, I rarely expect the tears that come.
Which, as usual, seems to make them worse.

I shed more tears this weekend than I have in a long time.
I never stop missing him, but sometimes the missing feels larger than usual.
It felt very large as I watched our "baby" walk across that stage Saturday night.
It felt enormous this morning, as it occurred to me two hours after I awoke, what this day used to be. And it grew as I realized that on this day ...... 30 years later ...... I was the only one crying.

As time goes by, I do cry less.
I am happy more often than I'm sad.
 And I'm starting to recognize the days that symbolize the new beginnings in our lives.

But I think that I will most likely always feel, that the 28th day of May ...... feels more like an end.


  1. Those significant days will always be so, can't imagine not remembering them with tears. Just passed 40/30 (40 years together, 30 years married), it, too , was bittersweet. Tears come easily for me yet, too; downsizing my home, selling retirement boat, selling rental properties, daughter getting engaged...he should be here for all of this and more. For every beginning there is an end, just didn't have these in sight. Take care, and thanks for sharing, I get so much insight from all of you ahead of me.

  2. Last October would have been my 30th too. I went to yoga class and then went to eat dinner, alone. I ordered a split of champagne and toasted my sweet husband. As a couple of gentlemen left the place, one of them commented that it was "nice to enjoy being by ones self." Sure. If they only knew.

  3. Hang in there Janine.

    Maria O.

  4. Oh Janine, Your posts always resonate with me. I think of you today.
    How proud he would have been to know you raised your family, you have watched them grow and start new lives.

    I don't know that many people married over thirty years. I was married 36. My husband died two days after our 36th anniversary. He held on . . . until that day passed and then went immediately into a decline and died.

    I woke up the other day a little frightened i would forget some of the little things we shared, the nuances, the inside jokes, the stories. So I decided every time I think of one I will write it down. I am going to make a book out of it. With pictures, to remember the farms we passed and watched change, the bridge we always kissed under on our Sunday drives. Out little rubber frog - that we moved around our bedroom, each time, never saying a word to each other - just having it appear.

    It has been 2 and a half years. Some days I feel like I am just waiting. . . I know he won't return, I don't really believe in heaven . . . I think I am just waiting for my new life to begin.
    Yet I give myself tasks. I do "stuff". I make myself travel. I remain open to joy, to happy.
    I still cry, sometimes at least a few times a week. About once a month - the gasping weeping. If it is bad that can happen for a few days.
    But I rise again.

    You are ahead . . . with the light.
    I follow.
    Thanks Janine.

  5. Janine, you always share so deeply and so honestly! Thank you!!!! I hit my 30th, well what should have been, last year two years shy of his death anniversary. I wept and missed him so very much. Sometimes it takes me by surprise how the grief can sweep back in take his under.

    Thank you again!

  6. As always most of these posts resonate with me also. My husband passed away two days after our 40th anniversary, 28 months ago.He will miss our oldest grandsons high school graduation this weekend along with countless birthdays etc. I still cry every day.Along with the waves of disbelief that this has really happened.I too know he won't come back but I wish for that daily.Thanks for putting my feelings into words.
    Kim B

  7. "I never stop missing him, but sometimes the missing feels larger than usual." These words touch my heart in a larger way today...missing my husband in a larger than usual way the last few days even as I walk into year nine without him...