Today marks 4 years and 4 months since you left us - 52 months, 224 weeks, 1,580 days. In terms of Eternity, it is just a drop in the bucket of time. Most days, it seems like a lifetime ago. In many ways, it was. Life is different in so many ways now. Memories are marked by what happened while you were still alive and what has happened since you left.
And there are so many memories. Some are the huge, life- changing ones - weddings, births, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays; but most of them are the little things. The hundred little things and more. Those moments in time, that make up a day, a week, a month, a year. The hundred little things and more that don't really seem to matter at the time because you take for granted that there will be a hundred more. And then, one day, there are no more - the memories, the hundred little things, are all that are left.
At first, every single one of them hurt. A hundred little things and more that could bring me to tears, in mere seconds. Tears that would last for hours or sometimes days. They hurt so much, cut so deep, that sometimes I could hardly breath. While I found it impossible to believe all those memories would ever become more than a reminder of what I didn't have anymore, the painful recollection of what I'd lost, the fact that you were no longer here, in time, they did. Slowly, ever so slowly, some days, when one of those hundred little things would come to mind, they would bring a smile.
They became a connection between what was, what is, and what is yet to come. They became a reminder of the past, yet at the same time, a bridge to the future. They became a source of joy and hope. (And, yes, at times, they still brought tears. Sometimes, the tears were still torrential, but more times than not, they were short- lived). They made me grateful - grateful for what we had, the life we built together, the children we had and the men they had become, and the future ahead. They made me more aware - more aware of the hundred little things and more that make up my days, weeks, and months now that will also become a part of who I am. They made me stronger because I know I can go through dark days and still come out the other side. They made me acknowledge the pain and struggles in others and understand in a much deeper way. They made me so much more attuned to both the beauty and the pain that is all around.
But most of all? They enabled me to see the Grace and Love that God surrounded me with. I always knew it was there, but it was not until it was all that was there, that I truly appreciated the depth and the magnitude of His love and grace. I never saw how He covered me with them in a hundred little ways. Not until I was able to see myself through the filter of this unending love and undeserved grace, was I able to extend them to myself and others.
So, thank you. Thank you for the life you lived. Thank you for the many gifts you left behind, for the hundred little things and more that are always in my heart and in my mind and will forever be a part of who I am. Thank you for the hundred little things and more that let me know you are never far. Thank you for loving the person that I was and helping me become the person I am now. Thank you for the sons you gave me and the father you were to them. Thank you for being here for us, then and now, in a hundred little ways and more.