When someone you love dies, discovering things they had, said, or did become all the more sacred. This concept is especially on my mind because it is a new year. For Simon, a new year meant new goals. Every January, he would type out very specific goals for the year, often broken down to each month. From books to read, foods to abstain from, activities to do with each child, ideas to grow our marriage, and intentional ways to enrich friendships, Simon would share these goals with a core group of friends to hold him accountable. This is the first time in nearly a decade that I don’t have him here to make and share those goals.
Last night, a dear friend revealed a conversation he had with Simon one week after his terminal cancer diagnosis. They went out for coffee and Simon shared some final wishes that he had for me and the kids. They were extremely special, thoughtful, and private. Simon also shared that he was at peace about his circumstances and was not afraid to die. We all know that to be true after watching him suffer bravely and fearlessly those six and a half weeks.
A tangible item that was meaningful to us just resurfaced today. Simon had bought a small, blue stone that was engraved with the word JOY when we were dating. Joy is my middle name and our first daughter’s middle name. Joy is what we always strived for in our relationship, knowing in the back of our minds we probably wouldn’t have a full lifetime together. He was very casual about the fact that he carried that stone in his pocket every single day thereafter. When he passed, I frantically searched for it because I wanted it to be in his pocket forever. I looked for hours to no avail. Today I happened to glance in a box in the garage that had all of his work office items. His boss graciously packed it all up and delivered it a few months ago to save me the pain of reliving the loss and packing it all myself. There was the stone. My guess is that Simon took it out of his pocket and set it on his desk that fateful day last June when he felt ill and drove himself to the emergency room. And it wouldn’t be beyond him to do that purposely. To consciously remind me that joy is still here.
I won’t leave you totally weepy. Another item I was desperate to find was this framed picture.
Simon and I were sticklers for customer service and competency. We both believed there are jobs available for all skill levels but that it’s just not good for business to match inappropriately skilled people and positions. During Simon’s corporate job days, he found this picture and chuckled at it often as he coped with incompetent employees.
I wonder what other treasures I’ll find as the days, months, and years go by…