Today makes 22 months since you died, something I still find confusing, yet I do know that it is real. In fact, I know that all too well. And, while I haven’t written you a letter in a while, we have had some pretty pointed and serious conversations in the interim. Today, however, is one of the special days I remember you even more than usual, so you get to be the feature post on my blog, which I am sure you don’t mind at all.
I am writing this a little after 6 am, the time of your death, almost two years ago. I have been up since 3:00 am (yikes, right?!) I don’t usually wake up that early the first of every month since you died but I have not failed to wake up at least by 6:00. Perhaps because your spirit visits me, or perhaps that time on this day each month has become, for me, a sacred interlude of sorts. Whatever it is, here I am again, bright and early this morning, already having written my thoughts in a poem. I have the distinct feeling that this afternoon I will be borrowing a page from your daily playbook — taking a nap. The concept of napping is something that I never used to do before you died, but have taken up on a sporadic basis since then. I am sure that you approve of this practice and are thinking, “Well, it’s about time she started doing that!” Remember that book about naps that I bought you? I DO, because I eventually came to regret buying it because you were always ready with some quote from it about how good a nap was for you. The book was called “Take a Nap and Change Your Life.” In fact, that book and your penchant for quoting from it became a “family legend” of sorts — so much so that after you died Hans wanted it because it reminded him of you! Perhaps I am hoping that my new “sometimes nap taking” will change my life and help me move forward. In fact, it might be starting to work already. I really have been able to branch out into new things and not only find a break in the dark clouds of grief, but actually see some rays of sunshine peeking through on a good many occasions. Of course, I wonder if that really is sunshine, or if it is you smiling at down at me. I like to think that it is a little of both.
Even though you are no longer here, I will forever carry your memory and the love we shared tucked away safely in the corner of my heart that belongs only to you. I will keep my promise that I won’t quit living: That I will continue to write the very best next chapters in my life that I can. Right now, I my life is passing through the part that is sort of a mystery/suspense story, which I think is pretty common at this point. I am optimistic, however, that the plot will evolve into something a bit more settling with at least more than a modicum of a happy ending.
Thanks for the memories, Brian Gentz. In his song, The Dance, Garth Brooks does a great job of summing up how I feel. It’s become an all-time favorite of mine.
“And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”
My Favorite Song I heard the music start to play the day that I met you. I recognized the melody, but the words were all brand new. As days turned into weeks and years the melody played on. And I still hear it even now, long after you've been gone. Each day there was another verse we added to our song, and the melody just grew sweeter the more we sang along. We learned to dance together too, through sunshine, cold and rain. We shared each other's happiness, our trials, joys, and pain. Our dance of life continued on until you had to go, and now I sing the song alone, with words that I don't know. And though I write my own verses now, I'll never regret the chance I had to sing our song with you and be your partner in life's dance. Julieanne Gentz Feb. 1, 2023