Today is bittersweet. I suppose it always will be. This week marked a very difficult anniversary for my family. A year ago this week, my kids and I were supposed to be driving to Kentucky so they could go fishing with their Pa Stone. Instead, a year ago this week, I got on a plane and flew home so I could see him one last time. A year ago this week, we’d been sleeping in a hospital room keeping vigil as our dad slipped away. And a year ago today, we stood on a hillside and said goodbye to him.
Today, in spite of the tears that keep slipping to the surface, I am grateful. I am grateful that I was there to say goodbye last year. I am grateful that I get to read to my Littles tonight as they fall asleep. I am grateful that this year, I get to be here with them to see the wonder in their eyes as they wake on Christmas morning to presents under the tree. I am also grateful for the friends and family that have been there to encourage us as we try to navigate this anniversary – for the people who have given us smiles as we’ve frowned, for the people who have given us space as we’ve been quiet, and who have given us a shoulder as we’ve cried.
They say time heals all wounds, and perhaps it hasn’t been long enough. But I have been blessed. And I will spend today and tomorrow cherishing those blessings. Perhaps I’ll cry. Most likely, I will. Today is bittersweet, but I know that I am not alone. And for that I am grateful.