“‘When you wanted to forget everything would return in raw brutal focus. When you wanted to remember the details would slip away like a dream at dawn.”
I read this the other day and it struck a significant chord. Wham! Straight to my heart! Some days I struggle to bring the memories to life. I fight with my brain. Bring it in. Clearer. Clearer. I can’t see it. Focus. I don’t remember. Frustrating. I want it etched in my mind. Every detail. I don’t want to forget. I want to see Gregger. Every part of him. His eyes. They sparkled every time he looked at me. Gleaming with a touch of emerald. His beautiful bald head. Took me ages to convince him to get rid of the fuzz. I loved his baldness. Sexy. Sweet. Just like him. The stubble on his cheeks and chin. He could shave in the morning and have stubble by noon. Poor guy. He hated it. I loved it. And his smile. The smile that lit up a room. The world. Reminding us to be kind. Loving. Gentle. Good. The smile that emitted laughter. A giggle that turned into “hee-heeing” and “weeeeee” until tears rolled down his cheeks. Eyes squinted. Belly laughter. I miss that. The details.
The first year was easier. Fresher. As time passes, the picture fades. The edges fray. I fight to keep it intact. But will I be able to hold on? Paint the picture every day? I don’t know. It scares me. Just the other day a beautiful gift came my way. So unexpected. An incredible blessing. I opened the back pages of my FB to send a private message to my sister. Something silly. Inane. But, as I did so, I noticed something I’d never seen before. Something about messages to “accept.” I clicked. Had no idea what I’d see. I thought it was these weirdos who kept trying to “friend” me. Widow status. It attracts all kinds. But this was different. A few names I knew. A few I didn’t. I started clicking. One after the after. Messages about Greg. Dated: September 2014. Words from the past that I needed today.
“Whenever I stopped by Greg always took time out of his day to talk with me. He treated everyone like that. For me (as I’m sure it is for you), this world is a very different place without Greg in it.”
“Although I knew Greg only for a brief time, he was always very generous to me and imparted many wise words. More than talking about work, the last thing I remember is him telling me to enjoy my kids and reminding me how quickly they grow.”
The words imparted the same message. His kindness. His generosity. And his love for family. The last message shocked me most. Yet comforted me in the strangest of ways. From a “stranger.” Someone I’ve never met. Someone I’ll probably never meet. But she was there. On the beach. That very day.
“My family was with you and your family today and witnessed your tragic loss of your husband. I just want you to know that we are so sorry and we are lifting your family in our prayers. I am sure that words can’t fill this wound but we are saddened by your great loss today.”
She found our name. Found my name. And took the time to send this special message. I am forever grateful for these words. Two years later. They melted my heart. Maybe even more than had I read them back then. The words would have been mixed with so many others. Today it brought the focus back. The memories. Of strangers. Hugging. Holding. Praying. Compassion. Love. In a world filled with hate, anger, and violence, this moment was anything but. Strangers gathered. But in that moment we were all one. I will never forget. And be forever grateful.
These words reminded of memories I’ll never forget. The man who was loving, kind, generous, supportive, warmhearted, and selfless. My Gregger. Memories etched in my heart forever.