Today? Well it was very different for two reasons:
1. Looking through some of D's things made me happy. Very happy.
2. I actually was a little mad at him because one closet was stuffed with his college textbooks. Like this elementary teacher could use 40 year-old copies of "Plane Trigonometry With Tables", "Engineering Thermodynamics With Applications", or "Basic Electric Circuit Analysis". (If you should need dated information on these subjects, let me know and I can fix you right up.)
During today's archaeological dig, I found a letter from D dated Valentine's Day 2003. It was the week before his first cancer operation, where they removed a tumor that wrapped around his entire femur. We had agreed to write each other letters...just in case.
I've shared enough of the Sad with you over the last ten months. Will you allow me to share The Happy found in his letter to me?
"As I sit down to write this note, I have many things running through my mind. Being diagnosed with cancer has certainly put a new priority in my life. I suspect there will be many changes due to this, however, one thing that will never change is my love for you. It is one thing that you can depend on for as long as I live. I know that I can depend on your love, too. For that I thank you.
"Ever since the first time I met you, I knew you were special and that God sent you to me. It took you a while to see that same vision, but you eventually did in a big way...you married me. Thank you. You have been my soul mate and best friend since the beginning and my love for you continues to grow each and every day. To have you as my life partner is an answered prayer that I would put in the category of miraculous. You fill my voids with positive loving support, encouragement, and prayers. We understand each other without speaking, we feel the same hurts, we celebrate the same joys, and we wish for the same future. We are one.
"Thank you for challenging me...it widens the path upon which we walk. Thank you for talking when I don't. Thank you for supporting me in all my endeavors, no matter how crazy they may seem. Thank you for wanting to be with me even when it is is not very exciting. Finally, thank you for loving God.
"This Valentine's Day is different from all the previous ones in that I feel more loved than I have ever felt before. I also feel more love for you than I have ever felt for anyone, ever. It is this love that will sustain us through the trials that we will see in the future. It is this love that will provide the beautiful future that we dream of, and it is this love that God will continue to grow in us as the years go by. You are the only person that could fulfill my dreams and show me what love truly is...you bring me joy.
"With all my love, D."
The final boxes (and textbooks) are heading to Goodwill, but I am reminded over and over that it is not the "things" that defined my marriage to D. It was our hearts.
"Three things remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. " I Corinthians 13:13