Today it has been 10 years since you left this earth. When I first realized that it would be 10 years soon, that seemed impossible to believe. How could it possibly be 10 years since I saw this sweet face?
|The first photo I ever saw of you.|
But what I have realized is that in no way does that amount of time—or any amount of time—alter the fact that you and your love changed my life forever.
Little did I know, on a date I can't even pinpoint much less remember, when I joined a site called christiancafe.com, that I would encounter and eventually fall in love with the sweetest man I have ever known. Little did I know, when I went into the chat room. Little did I know, when we had our first private chat. When we started chatting outside of the site. When we started talking on the phone. As I drove to the meetup where we first laid eyes on each other. Through all the fun we had, alone and with the rest of the group, throughout that gathering.
I shall never forget that moment in my apartment when the thought that you'd be leaving the next morning brought tears unexpectedly to my eyes. I shall never forget that when I asked if you ever thought about us as more than friends, you said you'd been thinking about that for a long time. I shall never forget how we dreamed together about the future. When we officially became a couple. That time in the hot tub. The moments you first said "I love you" to me and when I first said it to you.
Thank you for loving me. You were such a bright spot in my life. Your love helped me see myself more as lovable. You proved to me that not all men are the same. You accepted me exactly as I was and weren't put off by the knowledge of what was in my past. You called me your beautiful lady and other names too special to share.
I'm also so very grateful that I got to be the one to love you to the very end of your life. To love you in a way that I suspect you might not have been loved before. To love you from the inside out. I'm so glad I got to the point where I could say to you—and really mean it—that the weight didn't matter to me. I knew and cared about you, the real you, the person inside. And when you said you were trying to lose weight for my sake, because "I'd want you to be proud of the man you'd married," well, that melted my heart. And of course it broke my heart that we never got to fulfill that dream.
But you are a part of me. You will always be a part of me. No amount of time will ever change that fact.
As I'm certain you know, I've faced opposition for calling myself your widow, for continuing to speak of and honor you as I have throughout the years. But no one else was in that relationship besides me and you. I'm the only one left on the planet who knows what it was really like between us. And because I know how we were, because I know what we'd planned, because love is worth honoring, and because grief does not just go away: I will always honor you and our love. I will continue to identify as widowed and will support other widows as long as I live.
You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I can never thank you enough for coming into my life, for being your sweet self, and for loving me.
I loved you then, I love you now, I will love you forever.