One of the things about time marching on is that over time as we do things without Ray, those things lose some of their close association with Ray.
For example, the first time we went and got bagels after church without him it seemed unbearable. Over time, it became more normal. It is all the first times, and second times, and third times that I think of him so much, miss him so much.
One of the great joys for our family this summer is the Olympics. The girls are super sporty and super competitive and along with cheering along the women's soccer team -- that we just saw play in May -- we are cheering on all the Olympic athletes. From cereal boxes to magazine and newspaper articles, if it is Olympics we love it.
I am so grateful for the fact that the last person the girls watched the Olympics with was Ray.
This is the first time without him.
There aren't that many firsts left. But joy of joys, four years ago, the girls watched Michael Phelps with Ray.
It means so much to me. When I watch them cheer Michael Phelps I think of that. I hold those moments in my heart! And I do my best to ensure that they will hold them in theirs.
I can't believe all the changes since then. Maggie was a baby never mind Lucy. Now, all three of them are on their OWN swim team! Swimming their own races just like Michael Phelps.
Later this summer we will travel to Michigan with my family. We did this four years ago with Ray as well. The same beach. Watching the same Olympics.
It's hard to remember! That's one of the funny things, sometimes it's easier to forget because it's so hard to focus on it. So hard to miss him. But I am glad that the Olympics happen so seldom and that they fell on that summer. Even in 12 years, it will only be our third time without Ray.
And we will always remember!!
Oh to know Ray's thoughts when he looks down from heaven. I know he would be so proud of his little swimmers and their hopes to someday be Olympians. And I pray that they always feel that in their hearts.
not alone and not afraid --
"Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever." Psalm 112: 6