Ten Years Later

By: Elaine Marze

When we hear the word Anniversary most people think about a joyful celebration, but for unfortunate others it can mean an acknowledgement of a death.  Ten years ago today my husband left his cancer-ridden body as he also  left me, his son and daughter, five grandchildren, his mother and mother-in-law, three brothers, a sister and numerous other family and friends to mourn and miss him.  And we have done so with a vengeance.

 It’s been 10 years since their daddy was there to help build things with and for Daniel and Phaedra or put his arms around them and share their joy or troubles or to give them advice on finances or work.  It’s been 10 years since he’s taken the grandkids fishing or 4-wheeler riding.  Sadly he didn’t get to watch them get older: Kingsley crowned Homecoming Queen or graduate high school or Hagen and Garrison win shooting competitions.  He’s missing Colton and McKenna’s basketball games and teaching them to drive.  So many should have’s!  So many missed opportunities to be the absolute best dad and Papa he was born to be.


Ten years ago I lost the man who had given me his strength through hurts and sadness. He’d been my comfort and protector, my best friend, the open arms I ran to, and the wide chest I rested on.  Unlike some couples we were totally united in our politics, religion, morality,  beliefs in our constitutional rights, child rearing, humor and enjoyment of our marriage of 39 ½ years.  The loss was profound, indescribable.


How many lonely nights and meals are there in 10 years?  How many missed occasions, special events and lost opportunities with the kids?  Men, and women, were not made to be alone I think.  But some of us, through no fault of our own, have lost the opportunity and blessing to grow old with our life-mate, instead having to face the future alone without the physical presence and support system of the one we desired and loved ... a huge should have been. 


Forgive me for being melancholy on this 10th Anniversary of JR’s death, but it brings to mind something I read that stuck with me:  “I don’t feel like I’m terribly important to anyone anymore.  I just kind of exist in people’s lives.”    Please don’t give me sympathy or advice.  I’ve had plenty of both.  I know all the scriptures.  My faith is firm, but my emotions are not always on that higher plain.


In summary:  “Lord, once upon a time you gave me a rare man, and I loved him well … as he did me.”