Anniversaries and mileposts

  On May 23, 2017 at 1:07 p.m., I looked at the attending nurse and asked, “Is she gone?” The nurse nodded. At that moment I experienced an emptiness I had never experienced before. Today marks one year since that nurse nodded that Carolyn was dead. I still cry at a sudden memory of her, but as I have since the moment she died, the tears represent both sadness and gladness. Sadness for the years we would never have, and gladness for those precious five that we did. Only the percentages have shifted. Increasingly over this past year the tears have favored gladness, as memories of her are able to bring smiles to my face. Now, the tears that are sad center around thoughts of a life she was unable to live for herself. That’s a sadness I’ll be carrying with me for the rest of my days.

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