19 years ago...a blink of an eye...yet, a lifetime ago...
To say it was the 'best day of my life' would be an understatement. It was amazing. Those of you who knew Kim, who knew the attention to detail, the way she made you feel special - no matter who you were, can begin to understand.
This was my wedding day. The day I decided to put behind all of my selfish whims and to partner with Kim. For eternity. And Kim made it more than worthwhile. Every bit of that day was fairytale.
So today, 19 years later, I felt a bit of guilt. It was the very first anniversary in 29 years that I did not take off. Yes, 29, for we dated 10 years before I finally manned up to pop the question. We always took the day off for our anniversary and filled it with the things we loved the most. The Lehigh Valley Parkway was one of them. Tossing frisbee. Walking along the Little Lehigh River. Basking in the sun. Followed by dinner and a night out. Always amazing.
I tried to capture as much as that as possible today...stopping to pick up some candles...Mary of Guadalupe...I thought to go to the DeGrazia gallery - where we had spent so many casual and care free afternoons. DeGrazia had built a chapel on his grounds, a beautiful place.
Today, the sky was filled with 'Kimmy Clouds', as if she had placed them there special, for us. The wind was just strong enough to keep the bell tolling.
I walked inside, on leaden feet, to place her candle, and one for a friend, on the altar...
....Praying a full rosary for Kim and my friend...The open roof of the chapel bringing in the afternoon sun....and serenity.
But, as I sat there, and prayed, I thought:
I'm sorry for every time Kim called me at work and I was 'too busy' to chat.
I'd like to take back every time I was too tired to stay up and talk or watch a movie.
And the times I'd say she sounded like Joe Pesci and she'd say "Seriously Dave? You are comparing your wife to Joe Pesci?"
And when I wasn't strong enough to stay 24 hours at the hospital with her.
For every time I wasn't listening.
And when I might not have had her back.
If you are reading this right now, time is short.
If you are reading this right now, stop. Get up and go to your wife. Or husband. And let them know how you feel right now.
If you are reading this right now and your loved one is not at home, stop reading and call them up. Tell them. I mean it, seriously.
We have regrets in life. Some of you still have time to make amends. I do not have that luxury.
Oops, my damn finger getting in the way of the magnificent Kimmy Clouds..
More Kimmy Clouds from inside the courtyard at DeGrazia.
Love this pathway in the courtyard leading to the gallery.
An Indian fountain in the courtyard.
On this anniversary, I thought to go to the San Xavier Mission, where we were married, to light my candles. But, I thought how much Kim had enjoyed DeGrazia and thought it would be a nice place to celebrate our marriage.
I come here now and again when my life gets so chaotic that I cannot make it to Mass. Over the last two or three months, my visits have become more frequent. Passing through the gallery, one painting kept calling to me...
"The Way of the Cross"
Ironic for a number of reasons. One of my favorite movies is called "The Way of the Gun" starring Benico Del Toro and James Caan. Kim liked this one too. Another is that we had both looked at this painting with admiration over the years. And I thought it was not available in print.
Today, being my anniversary and wanting to get Kim a gift, I asked. And received. I just wanted to make it a special day, in the way Kim would have appreciated. The passion in this painting is amazing.
I was deep into our anniversary when Autumn texted me she was out of school:
"Hi Dad, how u?"
"Hi Honey, How are you?" I answered her question with a question.
"Okay, thanks. how was your Principal breakfast?"
"Good! I got a framed certificate! 'Okay'? Dad, are you OK?"
Just like that. She got a Kimmy sense through my seemingly innocuous text...I quickly shot her back:
"Yes, I am good! Thankful that Cindy (Cindy Peterson, Office Manager at Desert Sky Middle School, former neighbor, commissioner of our fantasy football team, etc, etc.) had been thoughtful enough to take some pics of Aut!
It still amazes me how in touch these litte ones are!
The rest of our evening was spent at Lupe and Manny's for dinner. The bambini playing video games with Monsi...a beautiful tribute to Kim and our marriage, as Lupe and Manny have the same type of friendship and reverence for one another, as Kim and I were blessed to share.
My anniversary. Always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. Of course, when married to Kim, everyday was a holiday to celebrate! She had that way...
...and I am not special. I know this. But Kim made me feel that I am. Right now, the bambini are my focus, as I
fill try to fill in as Mom and Dad. They are gracious. And understanding, in a Kimmy way.
I think, if she were here today, she would have had a fun day. And that was my goal. Of course, she was here - in the 'Kimmy Clouds'. And the blue dragon fly that landed on Tonio's shirt at school today. And the hummingbird that Autumn saw close to her face in a mesquite tree. And the final exams that Cody took today and felt a certain calm come over him as he began testing....
If you are still reading this - what else can you do? What else can you do to make sure your significant other feels special?
Time. Time is slippery. Unless you embrace it and make it work in your favor. I am working on a proposal for the president. For the U.S. Government. To extend the day to 30 hours. 24 is simply not enough.
If you are still reading this, please, stop. Stop and give a hug to your loved ones. They say that hugs are more powerful than the majority of the medicines the FDA approves every year.
Looking back at the pictures and the memories in my head, it is nearly unbelievable..She was amazing...