Yesterday was Maribeth & Alan's wedding anniversary. We wish them many more years of love, health and happiness together!
Yesterday was also the four-year "anniversary" of Katie's passing. I don't think of it as an anniversary, but I don't know what the synonym for the word would be, under the circumstances. No matter. The day is always marked in my heart. How could I ever not acknowledge that morning, with its events that changed our lives, our hearts, and the shape of our family, forever?
Gregg, David and I have been in Canada for several days. We spent most of yesterday in Victoria, taking a walk early in the morning, eating breakfast harbourside, renting bicycles to ride around James Bay and along the coastal road, and catching the Coho ferry back to the States. We arrived home last night to many kind messages of remembrance. They gave me great comfort.
It doesn't seem to get easier for us to bridge the gap between male and female grieving here, when it comes to the two dates that I always mark: Katie's birthday and the date of her passing. Gregg doesn't want to mark either one; he says that the fact that she isn't here causes the same pain in him every day. Her birthday isn't cause for celebration, to him, because she isn't here to celebrate. The day of her passing is unbearable for him to recall. So I go through these days "virtually" alone, even though we are together - except for all of the kind calls and messages from family and friends, for which I am deeply thankful.
Gregg and I have talked about it, and we will continue to make efforts to be considerate of each other's needs, but it seems to be a fact that we women, who carry our children from the moment of conception and care for them throughout their lives, have a visceral need to mark certain events. It's not an intellectual movement; it's a gut-feeling. I have a need to honor her memory, and this is the way I do it, as of now. I pray to be led to find ways to share these memories constructively with those around me.
The fact that you are here, reading, is a gift that honors Katie's life, whether you met her here on earth or only through my words. Thank you for being bearers of her memory with me.
Our trip was full of love, joy, peace and contentment. We began in Victoria, B.C., and spent a night there before driving up-island to Tofino. My brother and sister-in-law joined us there; it was their first trip to the lodge we love. Tofino is one of my favorite places in the world; it feels like home to me, on a deep, cellular level. Here are some images of our trip...
|Jim, Gregg, me, Caroline & David at dinner in the lodge|
|Caroline with me on the Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop Trail|
|The wild west coast of Vancouver Island. You can see why there are so many shipwrecks off of this coast!|
|Interested in slugs? Here are slug facts that I didn't know!|
|Cara & Jim - outdoor dinner at the Wildside Grill.|
|David and Gregg and some incredible fish tacos and fish and chips - all the fish was local and freshly caught!|
|Gregg & me|
|Outdoor dining area at the Wildside. I love the "fish skeleton" made of driftwood on top of the cabana!|
|Jim & Caroline enjoying freshly baked cookies while playing cards.|
|Gregg and David, who is about to teach us to play "13."|
|My son and me on one of my favorite beaches - barefoot & loving it.|
|More card games after dinner.|