Cheers to the wish you were here…

Yesterday, March 1, marked 23 months since Brian died. Sometimes it’s hard to believe he has been gone that long. Other times it feels like he has been gone forever. But, this I do know: Though I still have a long ways to go to get to wherever it is I am going, I have made great progress. And for that I am not only grateful, but extremely proud of myself. So, just as I did those 23 months ago when I had no choice but to face the harsh realization that Brian was not going to survive this last challenge we faced together, I am writing him a letter.


March 1, 2023

Dear Brian,

6:00 am this morning marked 23 months since you left us here on Earth for bigger and better things in Heaven. In 30 days I will have lived without you for two years. Two years that sometimes seemed longer than the 29 years I knew you. Those years at the beginning, when the “I” we each individually embodied turned into the “We” that, together, we became. And the years that in the end, changed from that comfortable and oh, so satisfying “We” back into just being “Me” once more.

Do I still miss you? Of course, I do. On some level I will always miss you: Miss your smile; your laugh; the sound of your voice saying my name, saying “I love you.” And, while I am sad that you are not here with me anymore, I am overjoyed that you won the final battle over your Parkinson’s. That you not only lived your faith, but that you shared it with countless others in ways that helped them live their faith as well. Most of all, I am so grateful that you are free from all of the pain and suffering, living a glorious new life in Heaven, surrounded by the love of all those who have gone before you. And, I am confident in the truth that one day, when my journey here is over, I will see you again. Until that day comes, whenever that is, I’m going to live my life. Making the most of each day I am given, for I have seen how quickly they can be taken away. I will move forward, and in so doing, continue to write the rest of my story. A story that, even though it will no longer have you physically in it, can still be filled with joy, wonder, hope, and love.

So, here’s to the memories, Brian Gentz. Here’s to the love. Here’s to you and here’s to me . . . to who I was . . . to who I am . . . to who I’ve yet to be. Here’s to all of the love for you that I carry with me in my heart. Here’s to the day when I see you once more, when we’ll never again have to part.”

” Here’s to the ones that we got. Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not, ‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories of everything we’ve been through. Toast to the ones here today. Toast to the ones that we lost on the way, ‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories, And the memories bring back, memories bring back you.” (Memories by Maroon 5)

For Loving You
                Written December 27, 2021: Revised March 1, 2023 . . . Note to self: You've come a long way, baby.

Sometimes when I wake up, lying all alone in bed,
     I can't help but remember that you're gone.
Then my mind goes to those places that only our love knew,
     and I used to feel like I just could  not go on.

Your chair's still empty at the table.
     There's still those dreams that won't come true.
Yet, I wouldn't trade the heartache for a thing.
     I've found the strength to write my story.
I know it's something I can do, 
     Because I am who I am today for loving you.


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