Kallio Memorial Service - Snippet

Our Wedding Day - July 13, 1985

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year - 2010

I knew this year the Christmas holidays would be difficult. So many reminders and gifts that had been planned by Darrell that would go undone. That in itself was a cause of grief for me. Darrell had planned to make walnut music boxes for each of his daughters this year. He would say, “I just want to make something special for each of my girls this year.” The walnut wood was at the mill being sawed and planed. His plans for each, drawn and re-drawn in his mind. If only the mill had finished their work sooner, maybe he would have completed his gift. But, it was not meant to be, I guess. With no time or energy to go shopping, I tried to find wooden music boxes that might be a replacement, or at least a token of what he wanted for them. I was able to find 3 music boxes that were nice, but, not near as exquisite as what he had planned. The girls and I spent a quiet Christmas together and I was glad to have them close. The grandchildren had fun opening their presents. Their laughter was music to my heart.

Many years ago I had given Darrell a chain for Christmas. To some, it would be just a simple piece of jewelry. But, for us, each link represented the ways and reasons that I loved him. When I closed the clasp, it was my seal of unending love for him. Through the years I would hear him talking with our grandson, Tony, and heard his promise too, that someday the chain would be his. So, this Christmas, I passed the chain of love for my husband on to our grandson. The chain, removed when Darrell died remained open, until I once again closed it around our grandsons neck. I was shaking as I tried to close the clasp and the tears ran down my cheeks. My grandson put his arms around me and together we shared our sadness.

As anyone knows, that has lost a loved one, the holidays are especially hard to cope with. The memories of Christmas past come flooding in, the good memories become sad as you realize you will never share them with that person again. I know that one day the good memories will provide warmth again, but right now they only bring tears for things that will no longer be. It was good to be with the people who are most important to me for Christmas, but I had one more holiday to face. New Years Eve I would have to face alone and I dreaded it.

Darrell and I did not celebrate New Years Eve going to parties or shooting off firecrackers. It was to special for that, because you see that was the day, 25 years ago, that he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We would get 2 lobster tails and a small steak. He would cook while I set the table with my best china. I'd dig out the little butter carafes and light the tea lights under them. As he would open the wine I would get my fancy wine glass that we only used on New Years Eve. We would sit at the dining room table with only the candles for light. We would hold our wine glasses up to toast and he would say: “I love you so much, thank you for sharing my life.” Then I would say: “I love you too and I can't imagine sharing a better life with anyone but you.”

There was no lobster, wine, candlelight or my husband to tell me that he loved me, to bring in 2010. A ham sandwich, glass of milk and the television took its place. I did make a promise to myself though. I would try to cry a little less everyday, I would not drowned myself in misery forgetting how to smile again. I would stay faithful to God and pray for his strength and love every day. I promised to only live one day at a time. And, that I would continue to follow my dream that Darrell encouraged me to do. And so 2010 begins the Next Chapter.

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