It’s been a tough year.
We are missing so many…those who have passed away, those who are so far away, and those who are near but seem worlds apart.
We miss the former versions of ourselves–the ease of our days, riding on curvy roads as we lean into a brisk wind, dancing into the night, laughing with one another instead of wiping one another’s tears.
We miss our full house. Being minus a 90 pound black lab still leaves an empty place at the end of the sofa, on the floor by the bed, as it does in our hearts.
We miss our fathers; men whom we looked up to, the very same now immortalized in our memories, locked in framed snapshots from our past, smiling their winning smiles.
We miss our brothers and sisters, taken too soon from this world or removed from our lives out of pain and misunderstanding.
We miss our kids, those who used to look up to us, who now look past us or through us–or see us not at all.
We miss our dreams, the wind in our faces, the sun on our backs, the wealth of wellness, and the illusion that love conquers all.
As we’ve endured these hard months, we are thankful for the love and friendship of those who haven’t given up on us, or set us aside for not being what was expected–those whose unconditional love and support never falter.
We are grateful for our love. Despite the stones and mud thrown at it and in spite of those who have tried to tear it down–here we are together as we promised one another that April day as we stood on the bridge over the Ocoee, as witnessed by friends and loved ones.
As I gaze upon the moon, lending its clear light to this cold November night full of shadows, I remember all the times I would look up at a moon and wonder if there was someone out there who would love me just the way I am–someone who would see past my scars, my tendency to think too much or want to be lost in my own worlds, my awkwardness around crowds or people who don’t quite understand me, or my reluctance to give of myself again to those who hurt me.
My crystal ball did not see you when I searched for some sign of a heart so gentle in a man who would lend me the strength of his back and his hands, and the safety of his comforting arms. And yet, the moon kept coming back until I could see at last, so clearly, that the man I kiss goodnight tonight is my best friend.
Tonight I see the one reason to be grateful, above all others. I see the man who promised to love me all the days of his life.
Regardless of the trials thrust upon us, ours is a love, friendship–a partnership–that prevails.
And for this, I give my few words of thanksgiving this year.
Shadow or light, heartbreak or joy, we have one another. I love you, John.
Kim Bailey Deal
November 26, 2015