I woke up this morning to the gentle crescendo of my iHome clock radio-- a feature ALL clock radios should have, if you ask me. My particular model displays the date next to the time.
Mar 2 2009
As my sleepy eyes gained focus, I stared at that date, letting my mind wake up and my heart settle into the reality of the day. About a half-hour later, I pulled myself out of bed and started another day. It wasn't 3 snoozes-- the typical way I'd spend 30 minutes getting myself out of bed and to the shower. I was fully awake. Staring at the ceiling. The couple of pictures that remain on the dresser. The empty pillow beside me.
In a past life, I'd have rolled over and kissed her forehead and said, "Happy anniversary, baby". I imagined doing just that this morning. I smiled for a minute at the thought. Then the loneliness set in. This day is no longer shared. It's not "our day". Not like it was. "We" are only a memory. So is our anniversary. I'm somewhat certain there are no calendars in Heaven. If there are, I'm QUITE certain Leslie doesn't pay much attention to them these days. In her earthly life, she was obsessed with the calendar-- birthdays and season changes and upcoming vacations. And anniversaries. I found myself wondering if she gave it a second thought today. March 2, 2002 was an awesome day. Perfect for the first day of "Tyson and Leslie"... great food, friends, and a beautiful bride and the groom who loved her. I thought of the excitement of our honeymoon in St. Marten. Our first house in Fishers. Our friends we'd meet up with at Brewpub or Chalkies or Fox & Hound. Her beauty school adventure. God calling us (quite literally speaking) to the Chicago area. Pregnancy. TJ. Parenthood. Our friendship. Her smile. Her laugh. Her scowl. Her voice. Her eyes. My mind was awhirl from about 5:00 until sometime just before 6am, CST, this morning... March 2, 2009. And then it was on with another day... Dana called before 6. Will's sick. Activate contingency plan. Call Gram, see if we can get him down to her ahead of schedule this week. (Work schedule had required/ provided for a mini-vacay for TJ at Gram's this week.)
God, we had such a good life. You blessed us so much. You bless me every day-- in this "new life"-- with the life we had. She taught me how to live this life. I literally owe her my life (as I was just pondering with Dana via email). (Thanks, by the way, to all of you who dropped me a voice mail, email, etc... today to let me know you were thinking of me.) I literally spent the day just remembering. Giving thanks for Leslie. Giving thanks that her suffering is over. That she is now complete. No more cancer. No more depression. No more Februaries. Yet her memory and the very essence of her life lives on in so many of us. In TJ and me... in Dana and Mom and Dad and Chris and Margarette and Cody and Dan. In all of her family. In our friends here... In Indy. Shoot, across the entire globe, so says Google Analytics.
Tonight I called Mom (-in-law). I used the excuse that I wanted to say goodnight to TJ, but really, I just wanted to tell her thanks. Thanks for "giving me" their daughter. For trusting me to love her and care for her the way they did. And for accepting me into their family on March 2, 2002. This date is not only a wedding anniversary... it's a "birthday" of sorts. Today is the anniversary of the day I was welcomed into the Bucher family. So there's still reason to celebrate. And there always will be.
So it was a beautifully and difficultly complex day today. Memories and missing Leslie. Thankfulness and worship. I guess it was a perfect "anniversary". Leslie, my wife, was honored. And fittingly enough-- as this, I hope was the essence of our very marriage-- so was God.