Today marks the sixth anniversary of Ray's death. This Sunday we met Ray's family for mass, brunch and a visit to Ray's grave. We all remembered our favorite things about Ray. When we got in the car to go home the girls said, "Why didn't you tell us this about Daddy?" The stories we remembered to them were new.
I remember that when Ray was sick I used to think to myself, will I ever be nostalgic for these very hard days? It was so very hard, and so painful, it was difficult to imagine that I would ever long to go back to those times.
As we were decorating the Christmas tree, we listened to a Christmas song we hardly ever listen to, a song that was indelibly marked as being from that time. I asked Nora, what do you think of when you hear that song? She said, the hospital. So it wasn't just me, it was a true relic of those days. I asked her if it made her feel sad but she just remembered the association, less the feeling.
That song for me will forever be sad. But I listened to it on repeat that day and many days afterward. I don't wish for the sadness, but I was moved by the connection.
When Ray died I knew that it would be hard for Lucy to remember the connection she had with her dad so I documented it. In journal entries written in the months after Ray died, I laid out for her just how she felt about him as a baby. The things she said. What she remembered.
Six years later, I was right that it is hard to remember the connection to her dad she so longs for. I am so grateful for that journal! It is exactly what I hoped it would be, a reminder of how much she was marked by her dad, even at age one!
I reflected often as I wrote that I couldn't believe how well the girls did. That my only answer was the prayers of so many. Likewise today, it is by the grace of God and to his glory that we are doing so well. We are grateful to you for the many prayers God answers on our behalf.
January 6th would have been our 14th anniversary. Always on that day I think of the vows we made. Though we had the traditional service, our vow was just a tiny bit different than the traditional. Instead of vowing till death do us part, our vow was simple. We vowed to love each other all the days of our life.
All the days of our lives sweet Ray. We are loving you and remembering you.
not alone and not afraid --
"I will remember my covenant between me and you." Genesis 9:15