A New Year. Hope Renewed.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and, even though I often feel like my husband has been gone been for forever, I know it is but a matter of months. It is the that I realize all over again — I am alone. Tomorrow, January 1, 2020, will mark the 9 month anniversary of his death. In my email I get a post each day with poetry and prose on it, along accompanied by great quotes. The site is called, “Inspiration Quotes.” This is the one today, found under the heading of “The Power of Positivity.” It is a quote by a writer name Mignon McLaughlin an it reads as follows:

“Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.”

And right below it is this awesome quote by our favorite writer, Anonymous: “When we are going through or darkest days, hope is the little ray of brighter times ahead. Hard times are not permanent, and holding onto hope and hoping that ‘this too shall pass,’ is the little ray of hope that reminds us there are brighter times ahead. Hard times are not permanent, and holding onto hope that this, too, shall pass, is what gives us strength to get through them.”

So, on this New Years Eve as I am about to begin the first year in forever that I will be without my husband here with me, that quote gives me hope and the confidence and courage to face tomorrow head on. And, in doing so, I can remember that the we in my life is no longer there, yet the me that I am now can do this. My wish for myself, and for all of you, is that you take Hope with you into the New Year, along with all of the beautiful memories in your heart that help keep the we in your life a constant source of strength.

Because We Were

Sometimes I wake in the morning with the stark realization that you are no longer here.

My mind races to remember where you have gone, why I am alone.

Time has turned into vague nuances of numbers on a clock, the changes of the seasons —

Daylight always morphing into darkness as one day blindly follows another.

And always . . .I am alone.

It’s these days, the blurry ones, the ones where life seems to have slipped helplessly

into some sort of suspended animation, that I feel the loss most keenly.

It’s days like these that leave my aching heart and my spirit bereft from longing.

Longing for what was — but is no more.

Longing for closure. Longing for comfort.

For one more smile from you. One more touch of your hand on mine.

Another chance to say, “I love you,” one final time.

It’s on these days, where clouds fill the sky of my mind, and numbing cold

threatens to chill my wounded soul and seeks to overwhelm me,

and bury me deep within its smothering sadness;

It’s on these days, when, if I but stop the racing of my mind,

quiet the ceaseless chatter that threatens to overwhelm me,

burying me under it’s smothering sadness;

It’s on these days, when in some strange, yet wonderful way, if I but stop —

close my eyes and really listen, really feel,

It’s on these days, that while you are no longer physically here, that I finally find it:

Your presence. Your spirit. The very essence of the person you were —

This . . . this reminds me that you are, indeed,

still everywhere.

You are in every tear that I cry, in every smile and every laugh.

You are there in the caring and love that I show to others, and that others show to me.

You are in all of the good that I do.

And it is then I realize you are not really gone at all. You have only changed form.

And, in the end, I realize that I am who I am today, not because you were,

but because we were.

And, for now, that is all I need to know.

Julieanne Gentz, December 31, 2021

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