Saturday morning of the 7th I woke at 3:15 a.m. - which was exactly the time that the Hospice nurse was gently shaking me to tell me Jim had passed. Even though we had all sat in that Hospice room for 5 days knowing and waiting for this moment the sudden reality of it took my breath away. It's so final.
On this first year anniversary I spent the day up in the mountains trail running up the access roads of the local ski slope, Sunday River. My girlfriend, my dog and I found ourselves almost to the top with black storm clouds moving in but the sun was still shining where we were. This sunlight with the clouds as the back drop is always so incredibly stunning, all the colors get so enhanced; the pink tips of the deciduous trees as their buds are just popping, the dark green of the conifers, the gray-black clouds. She and I just stopped, taking a moment to soak up this amazing spectacle with the mountains stretching out before us. And then there was a rumble of thunder so we headed back down a bit faster.
Jim loved light. He taught me about light. His photography was brilliant due to his understanding of light. Thus, the amazing light on this hike had me knowing that Jim was there too ... in some way he knew I would stop and notice the light.
It was a moody day weather wise and seemed to help clear out the darkness that had been hanging over me for almost a month. I felt a little lighter and brighter on the actual anniversary day. Not what I was expecting at all, but then I'm learning not to expect anything anymore ... just take it as it comes.
So, all the "firsts" are now behind me; the first Christmas, New Year, birthday, death day. I've been told it gets easier and I trust this and almost believe it. But I'm not sure I will ever stop looking behind me to see if he's there.
Thank you all for remembering, for holding me either in spirit or physically, for being there in so many different ways; I have been kept afloat in this turbulent sea because of all of you.
Loving you all back,