zyzyly: (Default)
My day started with a 6:45 am call from one of my nieces wishing me a happy birthday.

"How old are you Uncle Mike?"

"I'm _____(guess my age!)"


This was followed by a call begging me to work, which I ignored.

So I eventually got up and was surprised by a flurry of "happy birthday" emails. That was pretty cool. I headed out to the little Franciscan church for mass, and then on to the cemetery to spend some time with arlina. I was a little bit upset with her today for leaving me to fend for myself, but she reminded me that she gave me everything I need. She's right, as usual.

After the cemetery I headed down to the river to take some pictures and walk. It was such a nice day, even though it was chilly. I had indonesian food for lunch--very yummy.

After my walk I had an espresso, then dropped by work to retrieve birthday kisses from the danas. I headed over to Arlina's folks for dinner and a birthday party. It was a lot of fun! I got all sorts of interesting little gifts, and was entertained by the nieces and nephews.

And now here I am making my first real post in a while.

Where have I been? What have I been doing?

I have no idea.

But here I am.

birthday cake
Hunny bunny offers me a piece of the cake she baked all by herself. "eat it", she says.
zyzyly: (Default)
Today is the first anniversary of Arlina's death. A year has passed.

One of my friends wrote this: "a year is enough time to form and file a memory. It takes a year to confirm a hope, and it takes a year to understand a loss.

It seems like a year would be enough time, but it really isn't. As the time passes, the memory and the understanding of the loss continue to evolve and change, but they never really become fixed.

I woke up this morning and thought for a moment about how, in her pain, Arlina became something awe-inspiring. It was as if everything about her was distilled down to just an essence of goodness. I will never forget how in the last days of her life, when her pain was again becoming unbearable, she continued to give of herself to everyone around her. She comforted, consoled and shared her wisdom. She loved all the way to the end, and that was what she left behind.

So it is too with my pain and grief. What was once the worst pain imaginable has now been distilled into something much different that I could have ever expected. The emptiness created by the grief has slowly been replaced with joy--the joy of knowing and remembering that I was so fully and completely loved.

She left me with so much--so many gifts. Perhaps the greatest of these is that she left me with everything I needed to be able to recognize within myself the person she always saw in me. She always said that she loved me more, and now I understand.

Love never fails
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