11 Years Ago

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TTkztVfFFLT6jKUNA

Google Photos sent me this little gallery of pictures from eleven years ago.

What a day that was. Amy and I wandered the Benedictine monastery gardens. It was a hot and sunny day. The flowers were blooming and filled with insects. The stifling summer heat was tempered with a deliciously cool breeze. She was the most beautiful thing in the world.

As someone who cannot sense the passage of time, little moments like this are always fresh in my memory. I can tell you almost everything being about that day. The way she sang in the silo that had been converted into a chapel. The buzz of insects in my hearing aid. The smell of the flowers. The feeling of being head over heels in love with an entire lifetime ahead of us…

The problem with having memories this fresh and vivid is that the loss is always new. The scars don’t really heal. I just learned to get used to the pain at some point over the last fifty years. To steal a line from Moby Dick, I am past scorching; not easily can’st thou scorch a scar.

The challenge now, and every day until I see her again, is to hold my memories of Amy without losing the present moment. Being brave enough to keep on living and loving and growing every day. It is not always easy, but I keep on fighting because I once danced in the August sunlight with my bride, floating on air like lovers in a painting by Chagall. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I will meet it laughing because we have too good a story to end with me growing old and bitter.

Eleven years… Wow.