A few days ago, on September 1st, we would have celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary. The morning we got married at the courthouse is a morning I won’t ever forget. Our wedding was short, sweet and simple, just the two of us, with Richard’s mom and sister as our witnesses. The big ceremony with family and friends was happening in a month, but that was it for now, and that was perfect for me. We got out from the courthouse, and I got a call.
My dad was having a heart attack thousands of miles away while his little girl was getting married. The doctors were optimistic, but my dad still had to spend a few days in the hospital. I remember telling him he had to stay alive to meet his future grandkids, that this had just begun. I remember he said it would be fine, that he would be there for my future kids, and to not worry about anything.
By the time we got back to the truck, the lady from a store was by our truck and we heard our baby boy dog Nike howling and crying. She said he’d be fine and then he started crying. Richard opened the truck and Nike was completely stuck underneath the passenger seat. Now before you get all high and mighty, it was not even 11 am, and we had left him in the truck with all four windows opened a bit, under the shade of a big tree and a building, and the store lady said she’d keep an eye on him for us, which she did. Nike was not good about being by himself, he freaked out and he got himself under the seat. Richard managed to get him out, unharmed, and we were all relieved.
Good grief! I mean, talk about a busy morning. We all decided it was best for all of us to just go home and get some rest. We all hugged and went back home. I can’t remember what else happened later that day. I do remember the rest of the day was uneventful, but that morning is not something that easy to forget. Even today, I can still feel the cool crispy air from that morning. It was a beautiful morning I’ll tell you that.
I only got to celebrate 8 wedding anniversaries with Richard. Ironically, he passed away from a heart attack at home, right in the middle of Christmas and the end of 2012. The kid was a little over 2 years ago. Richard came back from work, he skipped dinner, said he wasn’t feeling good. He said he wanted to take a shower with the kid before bed, he did and the kid screamed bloody murder the whole time. I remember Richard telling me he had to spend more time with Sam so he wouldn’t cry that much. I remember drying the kid up and agreeing with him. He was gone a couple hours later.
I don’t know if not celebrating this anniversary is a horrible thing. I do know that he’s not here anymore to celebrate them with me. I do know his kid and I spent the day together, and I thought it wouldn’t have happened if Richard and I hadn’t gotten married 14 years ago in the first place. I do know that it all began with us together, and now it’s just me and the kid.
The kid and I were talking last night about this coming Christmas. The kid said we should have two Christmas gifts for each other, get our Christmas ornaments for this year and work on doing stuff together. Richard and I started getting Christmas ornaments that year. He already had some from before me, but being the Christmas lovers we were, we decided that getting ornaments would be our second best tradition. Hosting Thanksgiving was our first best tradition.
So, I guess by continuing our ornament tradition with my kid is still a way to celebrate my anniversary with his dad, even when he’s not here. So for this coming Christmas, we’ll get another cardinal bird ornament for Richard and along with 14 years’ worth of ornaments, we’ll put them all on the revolving Christmas tree Richard loved.
Richard, happy anniversary in heaven! We love you and miss you!