As most of you know, today marks the 2nd Anniversary of Ray's death. We will be spending the day with family, both mine and Ray's, celebrating Ray's life. And I am glad for the occasion to celebrate him. I hope to make this anniversary this year and every year more about his life than his death. Last year I gave our families green crosses to commemorate Ray, this year, "remembrance" angels. I like marking the day with something, and having something to think of Ray with. I wished though that I could do something for Ray -- some gift to him. It is always hard to figure out what that would be -- something for his grave, something in my heart, something to carry his memory. One of the things I like about this day is the chance to spend time talking about Ray, much more than about his fighting cancer, but about him and who he was. There are so many people who miss him, and so many who will never know him. To talk about him brings him a little closer. And so I thought that my gift to him today would be to talk about him.
So. Today I am thankful to my sweetheart Ray for Maggie's twinkle in her eye. It is the same one that her father had. It is a joy to see and recognize. And I am so glad for his winks. All three of those girls have them! They wink at me and I see him! I am thankful that he taught me how to cherish family, and I am thankful for the family he gave me. I am thankful that he taught me about the Catholic faith; he was a living testament to it. I am thankful that he taught me and the girls how to be Southside Irish, to love the Sox and hate the Cubs, to listen to the Saw Doctors, and eat Irish brown bread. I am glad that he told me that Nora wouldn't have a heart attack riding a roller coaster, and that he rode one with her. I am thankful for White Lake! I am thankful for every memory he made with those little girls, jumping off rafts, riding double bike, watching Incredibles and Animal Planet. I am so glad he was good at sports, I think of him when I watch those girls play, that easy talent! I am so glad for his lightness, his humor, his good nature! I pray that those qualities are imprinted on the souls of those little girls! I am thankful that he told me, probably far too often, not to complain. I am thankful for his friendship and for sharing politics with him. What fun that was! I am thankful for how much he loved our friends and for the friends we had together. Most, I am thankful for the mark that he made on my life, the minutes we had together, the person that I was with him and am still because of him.
Our tenth wedding anniversary was earlier this month and the girls and I watched our wedding video. Ray had played a tiny secret joke on me in the ceremony and he was so entertained by it. It was so sweet to see and to see him savoring this and many other moments.
When I think of Ray that's what I think of: JOY. LOVE. FAITH. HAPPINESS.
I know my husband has all those things now. And I know he wishes them for us too.
I pray that on this day we will feel his presence even as we reflect on his absence. And that we will be comforted and inspired by the mark he has made on our lives.
not alone and not afraid --
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, becasue the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor... to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3