Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anniversary, or Grief Camp Continues

Because of a day back in December, the twenty first, 1991, when a young guy named Philip vowed to be faithful to an even younger gal named Ginger, a teeny little baby was born on another December 21, 1995. Patrick John. Second born son.

I cried when I went to the cemetery today. Cried when I told Philip how thankful I was that he married me 19 years ago today. How thankful I am that I married him.

I wouldn't be me if it weren't for him.

With Philip I went to Europe and saw Paris and Vienna and Salzburg and Venice and Rome and Mont St. Michel, among other places. With Philip I learned to eat sushi and spend two years of my life learning Japanese.

With Philip I learned to love the show "Combat."

With Philip I learned to love Van Morrison.

With Philip I learned that marriage was hard and commitment and loyalty took work and miraculous grace of God.

With Philip I learned to laugh. To cry. To fight. To weep.

I learned to love to cook fancy food for Philip. To enjoy long, candlelit dinner parties filled with funny stories. I learned to love New York.

Philip told me I was beautiful. He loved me. He believed in me and supported me and encouraged me to write, to cook, to bake, to lead ladies' bible studies, to pray, to farm, to teach, to pretty much do whatever I had bubbling up inside me to do.

He knew I needed a certain quotient of quiet time and took care of the kids so I could find it.

I wouldn't be me if it weren't for him.

How bizarre it is that he is not here.

I miss him.

I thank God that we managed to marry, that we managed to survive the hard years, that we managed to find good years, even in the difficult.

Tonight we shared a feast with Rachel, Jason, their kids and mine. We celebrated Patrick's 15th birthday, and we remembered my 19th anniversary. We ate our mashed potatoes (Jason is the king of mashed potatoes), broccoli and venison steak and passed around pictures of our honeymoon to Europe, nineteen years ago. Did they really make glasses that big? They covered half my face! Were we really so young and innocent? We had no idea.

We raised a glass and toasted the Providence that brought us together. Me and Philip. Thomas and Patrick and Maggie and Rose and Nora.

And Rachel and Jason and the many other lives that intersect ours and the farm that wouldn't if it weren't for that fateful day nineteen years ago.

And through the tears I thank God.


Anonymous said...

I love you. Because of all of this and because Phil helped make you, you. I miss him today, too.


Denici said...

I came across your blog today - looking for a farm to buy. Your post gave me strength to keep looking and to believe it can be done. I pray that you are held in God's hands and that you are blessed everyday until you and Phil meet again.

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

Thanks, Lynne. And if it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here, either. Love you so much. Thanks for missing him with me.

And Denice, nice to meet you. Thanks for your encouragement. Don't give up!

Anonymous said...

My mom and I rearrange furniture when we are stressed and going through a difficult time. One year when I was living at home, we changed 3 rooms around because of a very painful break-up for me and my brother going into the Air Force thus my mom having to let go.
It felt good!
I would love to help paint and/or help you redecorate. I thought about buying you new sheets and a comforter- may I? I would love too! Laura R