November 9th, 2011
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My niece is getting married this Saturday and everyone in my large boisterous family is looking forward to getting together and celebrating this wonderful occasion.  Months and months of preparation have gone into planning this special day and I think my sister will absolutely have a fit if it doesn’t all go off perfectly!

No matter what happens, I know it will be a beautiful day, a day filled with great memories.  For me, it will be another reason why Nov. 12 stands out on the calendar.  My niece’s wedding will also be sharing the date of the day my husband died.  This year will mark the eighth anniversary of his death.  My husband loved my niece very much and when she was about 3 years old we took care of her for a weekend in our 2-bedroom apartment while her parents were away.  She was the kind of child you could take anywhere and she ate anything you gave her.  He would be so happy for her and her big day and I know he would like the guy she is marrying.

Both my sister and my niece talked to me when it became apparent that the wedding date would probably end up being Nov. 12.  They had fallen in love with a particular place for the reception and it was available on Nov. 12.  They were both so excited and I was genuinely happy for them.  Never in a million years would I have told my niece that she couldn’t get married on that day.

It’s a hard fact to embrace, but life does go on.  In the beginning, you can’t imagine that it will, but it does.  It’s sort of stunning when it hits you and you arrive at the realization that you can’t put a proverbial fence around the date of your loved one’s death and say nothing else can ever happen on this date.  From the first anniversary until this year’s anniversary, I have always made sure I am out and about on that date.  I’m not saying that I don’t get teary or that it doesn’t hurt.  It did and it does.  A lot.

But throughout all of those anniversaries I reminded myself that I needed to continue to try and raise my fantastic son as best I could, rebuild and find another way to lead my life and stay involved with family and friends.  In fact, about four years ago another one of my nieces needed me to participate in her Confirmation ceremony and it was scheduled for the day after the anniversary date.  I am her godmother too and she needed me.  Life does continue to happen for those that we love and again I was happy to be there to support her and sponsor her as she received this important sacrament.  Yes, the date reminds me of the sadness of losing him but I can’t control the other things that life sends along to me.  I can only control my reaction to it.

I will be thinking of my husband during my niece’s wedding ceremony and how it felt for me to say those same words to my beloved husband and to hear him say them to me.  I will also be reminding myself that I was very lucky to have fallen in love with someone who also fell in love with me.  Not everyone finds love in their lifetime and I know that I did.

My husband would want me to have a good time at the reception and I know I will.  Of course, I wish he could be there but I can’t spend the day replaying the slide show of our life together in my head.  We always spent a lot of time out on the dance floor and I intend to boogie with the best of them.

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