Sharry and I dated for almost two years before getting married and we didn’t live together although we spent almost every day together when we would part for the nights it was always so difficult. So we came up with a plan. We would keep a shared journal that we would exchange pretty much weekly. If it was your turn to have the journal you would use the time to write loving notes, glue in pictures, share future hopes and draw pictures. Those are priceless journals to think of and go through, a time when we felt invincible and the future was open to whatever we were going to make of it...together. This is just one small sweet example of how wonderful, creative and thoughtful Sharry was/is (still don’t know what tense to use for this kind of stuff). Shar loved to celebrate our relationship and life to it’s fullest looking for the smallest occasion to make a big exciting celebration. Holidays are going to be difficult for a while because of this, but at the same time I want to make them wonderful joyous events for JJ because of his mom. The dichotomy of these type of problems can be overwhelming.
|A 4th of July not too long ago|
|JJ's 1st July 4th|
One of the greatest experiences I have had since JJ’s bday (low baseline for “greatest”) was a night in the NICU. It was the first night I was able to do “skin to skin” with JJ and we both LOVED it. I lay there with him kind of dozing for 2-3 hours sharing warmth and a bit of sweat when I heard one of the nurses talking about the “strawberry moon”. I totally forgot that was even happening until that moment. Sharry’s zest for life and celebration definitely covered solstices. Every solstice she would come up with some fun activity where we would either greet the sun or bid it farewell. I love these memories!! And believe me I would have much rather stayed in bed at the time sleeping. One of our more recent seasonal celebrations happened at the Great Saltair. So after overhearing the nurse I left the NICU and told my roommate (aka Mom) at 4 AM I’m heading out, but not to worry it’s for a good reason. I stopped and got some coffee and treats, as we would traditionally, to keep myself awake and headed to Saltair.
|Shar at Saltair|
I walked around the muddy, smelly area getting bitten by some kind of bug talking aloud to Sharry. As I have on many occasions, I begged for her to come back to me and JJ or in the very least make her presence known, if she still exists. I screamed at her how much I miss her, that my soul is crushed and that I cannot do it alone. I stuck out my hand saying “Shar if you’re here touch my hand”. I begged her for comfort and guidance. What does she want me and JJ to do from here on out? I talked and walked while looking up at the giant beautiful strawberry moon thinking how she would’ve loved this special solstice. I didn’t get any concrete answers so I told her at one point that until the sun rises I’m not going to talk. I’m going to sit and listen. So I sat as the sky grew pink around the bright full moon. I sat and I felt incredibly connected to my surroundings as I watched seagulls overhead and felt in tune with the earth and the salty soil.
|One solstice we camped right by the Spiral Jetty...incredibly rocky and windy|
I don’t know if it was Sharry or not but I thought about how JJ is NOT my sun but he is a little star that brings a bit of light into my life. I love that kid sososo much. I watched the full moon and thought how there are people in my life that reflect Sharry’s light just like the moon to the sun. Her amazing family, her close friends and to some extent people like her that are incredibly idealistic and dare to hope and dream that they can help make the world a better place and actually go for it. People that despite all the suffering and shit that life can throw at us find extra days to celebrate and plan trips and adventures so that there is always something to look forward to rather than the never ending daily grind and/or heartache.
One of my new friends said something that touched me pretty deeply when he was visiting in the NICU one day. He said something to the extent of, “When a light that bright goes out, people notice.” Sharry my beautiful introverted, private, creative, loving, passionate, vulnerable, idealistic and compassionate sun is such a light. In one of my books for widows it quotes Psalm 30: 5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” One thing I know from all the sleepless nights spent weeping is that the sunrise always comes and although I have yet to experience a morning of joy I am hoping and praying to God and Sharry for that possibility.
Here comes the sun