Happy anniversary

Today was my 36th wedding anniversary. There have been lots of important days in the nearly eleven months since Shannon’s death. Many of them go by without much difficulty for me. Maybe there’s a brief pang or a sad thought. Sometimes there’s a mental or even vocal monologue with Shannon. Other times there’s a happy thought or memory.

But our first wedding anniversary without her was a fairly difficult one. When I face a hard day, I often find it helpful to sit down and write. That’s what I did at about 12:30 this morning. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

Today’s the 36th anniversary of my marriage to Shannon Morrow and I’m feeling the sting of her loss a bit more than on most days. [A] wonderful little article on motherhood posted earlier by my niece Jessica Morrow really touched my heart.

Jessica started the adventure of parenthood relatively recently. I can tell by her Facebook posts that she’s crazy about her little boy and I can see that she has become a devoted, wonderful mom.

How I love and miss my mother and, today even more than usual, how I love and miss the mother of my children. It seemed like she always knew just exactly what to say and do to help our kids feel loved and happy and to keep them moving in the direction they needed to go. She was their friend and mentor and, for Andrew Morrow and Mark Morrow, their schoolteacher from the very beginning right through their graduation from high school. She never stopped teaching, she never stopped encouraging, and she never stopped loving each child. Her influence on them is immense, as I know it will remain through the rest of their lives. We talk about her frequently, we think about her constantly, and the aching in our hearts goes on and on.

I am so grateful for the wonderful life Shannon gave me, for the wonderful children she gave me, and for the endless, tireless labor of love she freely gave as my wife and our children’s mother through her entire adult life. She was devoted to each of us and put her whole heart into making us happy. I know she was proud of the kids and would remain so today. I am who I am today because my mother gave me a great start and then my wife stood by my side and strengthened me and taught me how to love.

I promised Shannon I would move forward happily, and that’s what I’m doing. I am deeply grateful to have the companionship of a wonderful woman, Joanne Marie Richards Parsons, as a big part of that happy life. We’re both recovering from the loss of our spouses this year. Our relationship is fun and exciting, but we’re also there to comfort and understand each other as we go through the difficult, seemingly endless grieving process. Thank you, Joanne, for making it so easy to love you and for accepting me as I am. And thank you, Shannon, for loving the children and me deeply enough to give us the strength to go on without you. Happy anniversary.

Life’s good and it’s getting better. I can feel my heart get stronger and happier all the time. So the bit of grief I felt today wasn’t a setback. It was just a natural, normal part of my healing.

I love my life.

One Response to “Happy anniversary”

  1. Paul Says:

    It was a tough day for me too, but I can’t imagine the difficulty for you. I love you tons! I’m positive that we’re all moving forward and doing our best to live happily in exactly the way Mom wanted. I’m also sure that she would be proud of all of us for being able to keep living and not get stuck in the past. It’s obviously not easy, but I think all of us are doing it quite well.

    Mom was an amazing parent and spouse. She is in my thoughts daily, but not in a bad way. When my memories come and go, they are more often than not something funny or happy than anything sad. In a way, I suppose it’s easier to not remember what I don’t remember sometimes. It’s also quite frustrating sometimes. Either way, I watched her live her life with us as a caring, loving, kind, gentle, and incredibly patient person. Always looking out for the needs of others before her own and making sure we were all well taken care of. What a great life she led. What a great role model.

    You are also an incredible parent. I want you to know that I admire your strength, kindness, loving nature, and genuine desire for all of us to be happy. I’m well aware that I was not the easiest child/teenager on earth, but you stuck by me. No matter how frustrating I was, no matter how much trouble I got in, your love was never conditional. That means more than I could ever say.

    In short, I love you, I love Mom, and I love our whole family. I’m looking forward to the future and the fun that we’ll have when Joanne joins us. Little does she know what she’s walking into! Bwahahaha! 🙂

    Love you tons! Talk to you soon.

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