I made it through the one year mark ... I don't really like calling it an 'anniversary'. Anniversaries are good things, wonderful events that we want to celebrate. September 22, 2010 certainly was not that. While I am very grateful that Vern's passing was peaceful, it is not a day I wish to honor with a celebration. It marks a monumental loss and a drastic change in my life. It is a point that I needed as a compass this first year, but I am hopeful that I can place that date off in a private place. Let me instead celebrate the many special occasions we enjoyed during our 41 years, and use his birthday and our wedding anniversary as my special dates of remembrance.
Today I purchased tickets to upcoming events at the new Smith Center for Performing Arts that will open in March 2012. It felt like an investment in my future - and a push to get me out of the house for more than just work. I'll be seeing Straight No Chaser, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and 4 Broadway shows: The Color Purple, Mary Poppins, Million Dollar Quartet and Memphis. And I can't wait to see Wicked when it arrives later in the year. The song "For Good" from that show speaks so very deeply to me of the impact Vern had on my life. (I have that song linked over on the right-hand side under "Special You Tube Videos" if you haven't heard it.)
And then there's Camp Widow in Myrtle Beach in April plus the add-on trip to DC afterward with my extra special Widowed Village pal, Tracy - and the trip to see her in Calgary in July for the Stampede, and a visit to Lake Louise and Banff - and then Camp Widow in San Diego in August. Whew ... I'm going to be busy! I guess I'm going to need to keep working in order to afford to do all of these things! Thank goodness for the 4-day work weeks that give me long weekends and for my good number of vacation hours on the books.
Yesterday I purchased a CD package called "The Re-Entry to Life" program from Second Firsts, an online company that helps others deal with grief. I think it will be helpful to make the steps forward I need to make. And since I was one of the first 10 to make the purchase, I'll also get a private phone consultation with the author. I've never done any one-on-one counseling so this will be another growth opportunity.
So today feels like a start. There were tears as I listened to the songs I had placed over in the You Tube video file, but they helped to remind me that how I live the rest of my life is a reflection upon Vern and so I must do this right. He was such a very, very special man ... and "because I knew him, I have been changed for good."