My Dear Christine,
It's May Day, also Beltane. We picked this day for our wedding because traditionally these are reminders to welcome the Northern Hemisphere Spring, and look forward into the productive year. The festivals are associated (or were, once) with the idea of fertility, to create abundance and plenty. We had but seven years together, and whilst I feel saddened that we did not have more, forty-seven would still not have been sufficient.
That said, we enjoyed seven years of love and sharing that many people never get. Sure, we had our ups and downs, we argued and fought from time to time; occasionally we would drive one another crazy. Nonetheless, I tell you this - I would not change a single thing. Sure, the cancer and the treatments made it hard sometimes to remember that we were sweethearts, especially as time went on. One thing is for sure though. Many people never get what we had, and for that, I thank you. Seven years can be a long time, and not time enough.
I remember how beautiful you were that wedding day, despite your hair falling out in the morning from the chemo. I remember the dress you wore, borrowed from Eve. I remember Jim wearing a plastic pig nose, and me calling him my "Best Pig". I remember adopting cousin Koren as my surrogate sister. I remember the little-girl bridesmaids positively vibrating with excitement. I remember just holding your hand, listening to Sam conduct the ceremony. I remember Tessie saying "Yes!" when asked if I could join your family. I remember lighting the candles; one for each of us and one for the family we were becoming. I cannot remember my own words; they were insufficient, and I remember only my love for you.
I still have that, and while ever I remember you, you will be alive to me.
It was our tradition, set the first morning I awoke with her, that I would make a cup of tea and bring it to her in bed. We'd sit and cuddle, drink, talk, plan. Sometimes we'd just be. Almost every day for over seven years I did this. It was important, it set the day out in front of us, gave us a starting point. There's a hollow in the morning now, a little dip in the day that catches me and rolls me back into lassitude. This is the hard part, the part that I was not ready for. It's called "missing her".
Not that there are not good memories to sustain me; there are. Not that I am wandering the house weeping and wailing; I'm not. There's just a hole in my life, but I'll survive, as strong people do.