Before and After and In Between

Saturday is Double A and my 5th wedding anniversary. Typically, we spend the evening reliving our wedding weekend. We start with dinner at the pizza place where our family and friends gathered to start the festivities with the rehearsal dinner. We sit and go through night and the Oh, remember when… stories, bringing back some of our happiest memories. From there we head over to “Reni,” where we got married. We walk through the lobby, up to where the cocktail reception was held, and over to the ballroom, pointing out details, and who was standing where, when, and doing what. We have a drink (or two) at the hotel bar, and are usually joined by two of the hotel folks who helped us plan for and celebrate that big day. They not only remember us, they remember the date and the details. I was so looking forward to going back this year and sharing the big news, something they’ve asked us about every year since. But now, I’m not sure what we’ll do, as we’re not in the mood for celebrating.

A lot has happened these past 5 years, and don’t get me wrong, a lot of good stuff has taken place too. What really hit me though, was when we were at my parents’ house before the twins’ funeral, and I saw a photo montage they had on the wall of our wedding. I looked at this happy, beaming couple, who were without a care in the world. Who had no clue as to what they would be forced to endure. And I was both jealous of, and saddened for, them.

In these past two weeks, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in front of my computer. And during my space out moments, when the photo screen saver comes on, I see a visual pictorial of our life together. I see the young, carefree, lively versions of ourselves and the knowing, hardened and something missing versions. Two completely different people living within the same bodies. Truth be told, most people wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the two. But I know us better. I can see it in our eyes. In our smiles. In the wrinkles and grays that seem more than just age. Where the sparkle isn’t there and the expressions forced. I’m not sure which pictures are harder to look at. I ache for us, and I wish I had a way to protect or provide comfort at every dark moment that has, and continues to happen.

I know we’re not alone, that most people experience highs and lows over their lifetime. It’s part of the human existence, I suppose. Some are just lucky to not experience the lowest of the lows, time and time again.

Over the past five years, there is a positive constant throughout this land of the loss in which we live…each other. I am so grateful to have Double A by my side at every step along the way. He is my rock. And not because he doesn’t cry or show his emotions, but because he does. Sure, a lot of the time he feels as though he has to be strong for me, to protect me. And I hope and wish that I give that same strength back to him. But each step of the way, no matter what is happening, we are there, together. I know that this is sometimes rare, and appreciate that—and Double A—more than I’ll ever be able to express.

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4 thoughts on “Before and After and In Between

  1. The only positive in these horrific events is the beauty and strength of your love for each other. Statisics show most marriages will crumble. Yours will not!!! I can’t tell you to enjoy your anniversary, but do as you have been doing, drawing comfort from other. Respecting the path each person travels as they grieve is not always easy. But you are doing just that. We are both thinking of you this weekend as always. We send our love.

  2. I’ve looked at our wedding pictures and pictures of the past and thought very similar things… if those people only knew what was coming…

    Hope you were able to find a way to enjoy your anniversary anyways.

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