Last month, Dave's childhood friend Larry died in a motorcycle accident. He left behind his wife, Debra, and twin two-year-old boys. Debra has been grieving openly on Facebook, movingly and memorably. I'm sharing her latest post, with her permission. It is a beautiful testament to love.
I was having a “good day” not too long ago. I suppose I was so busy with the kids, work, the house and the holiday, that I just hadn’t stopped long enough to think about us. I hadn’t stopped long enough to be sad. And I feel a little guilty about that.
I decided to run into Pathmark for some wrapping paper on my way home. It is not a store I am familiar with, so I had to look down each aisle as I walked through the store.
Produce, health and beauty, etc. No, no, no….
Then I looked down the greeting card aisle…surely there was wrapping paper there.
I turned the corner briskly, and immediately felt like I hit a brick wall. Bright red flags stuck out from the sections of cards so that customers could expeditiously find what they needed. And the flag that was staring back at me said: Merry Christmas Husband. For a second I thought: “Great! I’ll get the card now!” Then a second later…I remembered.
My eyes looked down instinctively: Merry Christmas Dad/Father.
I had to remind myself to breathe.
I didn’t need to buy these cards anymore, and it saddened me greatly. I enjoyed picking cards out for you. I always took the time to pick out just the right one….
Next to your bed, in a drawer, under some papers, I found many of the cards I have given you…You must have enjoyed reading them over and over…reading about how much I loved you and all the reasons why. I decided I was going to buy you a card. So I fumbled through the selection looking for the perfect one.
As I read the cards I began to cry in the aisle at Pathmark…not the dainty tears of someone that tries to hide it or hold it back, but the big tears flowing in streams…the silent sobbing that comes in waves between gasps for air…It made reading the cards next to impossible, but I think I found your card.
I hope you like it.
Merry Christmas to the Man of My Heart
You’re the kind of man I never thought I’d get to meet…
A man whose smiles and words can sweep a girl right off her feet…
Strong enough to lean on, warm enough to care,
True enough to count on when I need you to be there…
Sweet enough to make me feel I’m someone you admire…
A friend you love to laugh with, the woman you desire…
You’re everything, and then some, that I’d ever hoped you’d be-
Dream enough and real enough and man enough for me.
Then I would have written about how impressed and proud I was of you for making a career change that meant a better life for us. And how grateful I was to have a man that was never satisfied with himself. You always strived to be better. In everything you did, coaching, riding, being a Dad, being a husband, being a human being…you just worked tirelessly at always being better…changing and growing…I would write about how lucky I felt, and how much I loved you and our family.
I would put a couple of scratch-off lottery tickets in the envelope…and seal it with a kiss.