So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. -- Psalms 90:12
Friday, July 24, 2015
This is not my wedding anniversary. I think that will be easier when it comes along in a couple of months. This was just our day. I’m not sure exactly how it started, or, rather, I remember exactly how it started. I was driving that stupid blue Malibu. It cornered like a hog that had been eating too much sour mash, and the Boss slid over to the center of the bench seat. The next year, I bought her flowers or something. And every year after.
Last night I drove out to the cemetery with a handful of her favorite cut flowers. On the shelf on the island in the kitchen is her stack of Alan Jackson CDs. She liked to get those on the 24th. I usually bought her favorite perfume for Christmas, like last Christmas, but sometimes, if she ran low in summer that would be her gift. In the old days, yellow roses, chosen for some forgotten reason, were replaced by bouquets of lilies.
This day last year, instead of a gift, we went out for dinner, and she had prime rib. She had been already been hospitalized and released three times, and the doctors had no idea why. We had even been to see a specialist at the university medical center who was as baffled as the local neurologists. I don’t blame them. She knew what it was, and I refused to believe it. She made me go to the funeral home where she picked out her casket. We went to the lawyer to set up our estate. She picked the spot in the cemetery where the big black stone stands. Miss Organization, I called her. Even the Lord respected that.
Vickie was a faithful believer and follower of Christ, in the extreme, as she was in most everything. It is oddly comforting to think that the Lord spoke to her, and she heard and responded as she did. She kept telling me, “This is my last …”, and I kept saying, “No.” Don’t say that. Yet here I sit alone on this day for the first time since my age was a third what it is now.
I tell stories so that I don’t live in the past. For me, the present can only be understood by the past. Not everyone is like that, maybe it’s the storyteller’s burden, but I don’t mind. If this has been too personal, I apologize. Sometimes I write something I’ve planned and hope that it helps a reader. Other times, like today, I write something I need to know and am helped by it.