November 6, 1999…19 years ago today I said I do to Patrick Mahoney. This was always our day. It was the beginning of our story as one. It was Pat’s favorite day of the year. He always did it up right. He would send flowers, plan a special evening and give me incredible gifts. It’s was a day all about us. Since he died, I have tried to honor this day in little special ways. It’s an anniversary. It has nothing to do with anyone else but him and I. I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t even remember this day but for us it was the most important day of the year.
There have been anniversaries that other people do remember, such as the anniversary of Pat’s birth. People send me text messages, write on facebook and even post their favorite photo memories on instagram in honor of Pat’s day. I love that. There is also the anniversary of his death. This day is a little more complicated. People recognize this day in their own ways. Some people do send pictures or thoughts, but that day is also my birthday and I think that kind of makes people unsure as how to commemorate the day. It’s as if they want to acknowledge this as his angelversary or whatever you want to call it, but they feel like it takes away from my birthday. Or that if they mention it I will remember that it is not just my birthday. That one sounds crazy to me because really? how could I forget? But the thought has crossed my mind.
Beyond those two days, people don’t think about Pat and I in the anniversary sense. For us widowed folks we know that there are so many anniversaries that we do remember. The anniversary of the first kiss, the first date, our first house, the last kiss, the last conversation, the last breath. And so many in between. We get to remember it all. I feel lucky to remember it all. I was so blessed to get to make those memories in the first place. I wouldn’t ever want to forget.
But today…what would have been our 19th wedding anniversary is something that is just for him and I. Something only we remember, well I guess now it is something only I remember. That’s sad to even write, but it is the truth. I am the sole owner of the memories of what was once us. I alone hold the stories of us; every special moment, every intimate conversation, every dream and even every regret. I’ve got it all inside of me. And I am thankful for that. He was mine and I will forever hold him in my heart. Not just on this day that is ours, but everyday of my life.