Looking for answers to life's questions

We all remember certain days of the year that have meaning for us. Today, October 19th, is one such date for our family. For most of you it’s just another day. Usually, some event will turn it from ordinary to memorable.

Twenty-Three years ago, on this date, my children lost their father. He had one heart attack, no warning, and was gone in an instant at 42 years of age. Our son tried to save him but couldn’t. We were no longer married at the time but still, I cared deeply for him and was angry with him for dying. I know, it’s an odd response. I was angry that he didn’t take care of himself well enough to be there for his kids.

Rick, two days younger than me.

Rick, two days younger than me.

Rick’s death changed us all. Every year, October 19th rolls around and we all get quieter. We reflect on what could have been and the empty space that was left behind. He left two wonderful slightly grown children. His family of origin took it hard too, of course.

We tried really hard.

We tried really hard.

Today, Rick’s younger brother, John is attempting to give this date a slightly different meaning. John is getting re-married today and although we are too far away to attend, our hearts and our love are with him. John is a month younger than my son, his nephew. Yes, those things do happen.

Age 18 months John has the darker hair.

Age 18 months John has the darker hair.

There are many dates on our calendars that are significant for various reasons. Some make us happy, some, not so much. Some dates we have to find a way to redefine. I have a number of dates that rub me a bit raw. Then I try to find ways to celebrate each and every day and moment with each person here or not. I never forget an “I love you” or a hug. Events change us and remind us how precious each moment can be. There is no “later”. Only NOW.

Best wishes to John and Linda as they embark on a new meaning for this day. I hope it brings nothing but happy memories and new ways to define this date.
How many days have you had to give new meaning?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a Date’s New Meaning" (21)

  1. JackieP said:

    We all have those kind of days. I try, like John to give new meaning to them, a happy brighter meaning. No one that goes before us wants us to be sad. That’s my thought anyway. I honor them by not being sad and remembering the good stuff. It’s all I can do.

    Like

    • My kids and I agree with you whole heartedly. I’m pretty sure Rick will be in attendance at his brother’s wedding. We all sent well wishes. I also agree that we honor them by being happy. I have insisted on a party after I’m gone.:). Thanks for readijng.

      Like

  2. Only now…perfectly stated.

    Like

  3. I am sorry for the loss you suffered and the life that was taken too early, but what a wonderful way to change the meaning of a day that brings sadness by bringing a bit of happiness to the family. I think we all have those days, I have a few of my own, for some I find a bit of time to sit and recall the good things I shared with them, for others I will have a quiet conversation as if they were right there listening to me.

    Like

    • Isn’t it nice to have a conversation with someone who can no longer argue with you. I have lots of conversations with mom. I have a different attitude about death than many so I’m not as uptight about it. My kids were just fine with Uncle Johns wedding that day. Me too. Just wanted to make sure he and the rest of the family knew too. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. I loved seeing that photo of you, how cute! It must have been really a shock when your ex passed away so suddenly and at that age, I’m sorry you and your kids had to say goodbye and missed all that may have been. My husbands dad and Alys’s dad as well, passed away when they were very young, it leaves scars like nothing else.

    “There is no later, only now”, I love that Marlene! Sometimes it’s ok to feel those harder days. It says you’re alive and sharing your love. Julia and I were just talking about that this morning. She generously shared a quote with me by C. S. Elliot and so I will pass it on for you today too. In part it reads, ““There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken”. That resonated with me. The truth is, it would be misery to live without the risk of a broken heart, you would never know love. I still have a quiet celebration on my dad’s birthday, it just makes me happy.

    Have a wonderful day Marlene xoK

    Like

    • Thanks for reading. I agree with you. I would risk heartache again for love. I have a better definition of it now. I still love my kids dad and he’s still taking care of me. Thanks to him, I have Social Security. I have no hard feelings nor did I ever. The kids understood. Their dad always said he wouldn’t live past 40 and refused to take care of himself. It was hard to watch. He made it to 42 when his heart stopped. I still talk to him. Finally stopped being mad at him. He’s in our kids so how could I not feel love for him. We love our pets and lose them, our parents too. Physically. They are always alive in our hearts. I too celebrate their birthdays.;)

      Like

    • Well said, Boomdee and certainly true for me. I thought about your dad and mine when I read this. You have to live your heard. To paraphrase another quote, To love it to commit forever to wearing your heart on your sleeve. I wouldn’t have the highs without it. The lows, though very hard, are part and parcel of it all.

      Like

      • (( Alys )) I absolutely believe we were destined to be friends. Our sentiments about life, love, marriage, community, animals and family couldn’t possibly be any more similar. I know when it comes to our dads, you understand better than any one else, While I wish it wasn’t so, it’s very dear. Your loving nature is bound to leave you spent with despair at times and yet I know it’s the only way you could be you. I love you for that. xoK

        Like

  5. My heart goes out to your entire family. Continue to Be a Blessing because you’re Blessed. Blessings, Mtetar

    Like

  6. Marlene, I remember you sharing this earlier in the year when I wrote about my dad dying so young (54). My heart goes out to you and your kids. You’ve all suffered a great loss. The years soften the loss, but these anniversaries have a tendency to bring it all front and center.

    Sorry to be commenting so late. Sending gentle hugs your way. xox

    Like

    • Thanks so much Alys. It’s been a long time which is why I wanted the in-laws to know we had no problem with moving on to better thoughts and happy times. Staying sad serves no one. We still remember but now we will also have something happy to celebrate as well. We don’t get to chose when someone leaves. Only how we react to it. We take each day as a gift. Hugs back to you.

      Like

  7. What a heartwarming account, It is so good to be reminded that NOW is not forever. Hugs to you.

    Like

  8. I wrote a comment earlier, but it went into the abyss. 😦

    Those anniversaries are difficult. We always drink a toast on the anniversary of Mother-in-law’s death and the anniversary of her birthday. It helps to mark it as a day that we celebrate her life, rather than simply mourning her death. We will eventually lose all whom we care about that way, unless we go first. But life is still worth it, and amazing, so it’s always worth celebrating.

    Like

    • Thanks for reading Bethany. I have had many comments go into the ether’s as well. Frustrating. I toast mom with a beer, Dad with a seven and seven and my kids dad with a glass of wine. Mom was German and our beer had to be German. You are right, we are all going there someday and I want to be celebrated, not mourned also. But the anniversaries can still be so reflective.

      Like

  9. Well done for taking such a negative and making into such a positive! That’s no easy feat. You’re a tribute to us all.

    Like

RIGHT FROM YOUR HEART

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: