One of my most treasured possessions are cards, cards that my husband wrote to me over the years.
He didn’t just give me cards on birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s day, he gave me cards all throughout the year.
He would give me a card to wish me good luck on the first day of school (I was a teacher). He gave me cards to say thank you for something I did, cards to congratulate me on an event, there were cards to apologize, he even gave me a card or two on Halloween.
I remember thinking on several occasions, “Why on earth am I saving all this crap?”. I thank G-d now that I did. When I’m feeling melancholy and missing him, I sit on his closet floor and open the big brown box that contains literally the hundreds of cards we had given each other in the 23 years we were together.
The last birthday we shared together was his 50th. The last card he gave me was Valentine’s day 2016. Three months later he was gone. That Valentines card has a permanent home in my nightstand next to my bed.
This is the 4th birthday of his that we won’t be celebrating together.
Birthdays however, weren’t really my husband’s thing. In fact, he always shied away from celebrating anything for himself. He really only cared about celebrating his loved one’s milestones. When my husband was turning 40, I wanted to commemorate that milestone with a big surprise party. He was quite surprised. Friends and family from around the country flew in to celebrate.
When he turned 50, we had a quiet dinner with five couples at one of his favorite restaurants. As much fun as we had at that big party, I know in my heart the quiet celebration amongst the closest of friends was more his speed.
Not all cards are filled with happiness and joy, so here it goes on your birthday one more card…
There are so many things you’ve missed between these birthdays, countless things I want to tell you. I so desperately want to tell you these things in person but then I remember that you probably already know.
You have missed Olivia’s entire life in high school and nearly Josh’s entire life in college, such crucial times in their lives. Do you see them? I often wonder and I try to remember again that you do. Do you remember the young 12-year-old Liza was, now approaching 16 and a completely different girl? I pray you see them, and you are proud of them. They are the amazing people they are because of the father you were to them.
If I could give you one thing on your birthday it would be the gift of seeing them blossom and grow into these amazing young adults. I hope this brings you a smile on your birthday. I hope you can have a Crown Royal RESERVE on the rocks, I hope you have the best seats in the house to watch your children and I wish you peace for the rest of eternity.
Happy 54th my love!!!
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I am a widowed mother of three youngish children, ages 20, 17, and 15 and two delicious canines. I lost my husband a little over 3 years ago to a very rare brain disease. I am a former elementary school teacher who has since found solace in putting pen to paper and journaling my story even if only for myself. I hope by now sharing my journey I can help others who are now or who have walked in the same shoes of widowhood.