Yesterday was an interesting day. Not only was it college orientation, but my 6th wedding anniversary. I have to say, it makes me happy when my widowy anniversaries (we have many - death, life, marriage, etc.) land on days I'm busy with something else. Yesterday was perfect. I was able to think of him but just before I'd allow myself to get overly upset, I had to focus on something for school.
Orientation was easier than I expected. I always blow things up in my mind.
"What if I cant find the building?"
"What If I'm the oldest person there?"
"What if I fart when the teacher's talking?"
I found the building, I was not the oldest person there, and I managed to keep all farts in appropriate time slots and places. The first part of orientation was held in a small auditorium style room reminiscent of a small movie theater. The room was a little outdated, which made me feel at ease. I felt I could get comfortable in my seat, bad posture and all, without feeling bad. When my surroundings are too nice, I tend to feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, too skanky makes me feel dirty, which also makes me uncomfortable. I had no issues with that here.
The group of freshman was mixed. Mostly young kids, fresh out of High School, but as I looked around I could tell there were a few faces that had obviously seen a little bit more of life than living at mom and dads. One woman was significantly older than me, probably in her fifties, and a few of the others seemed to be late twenties to thirties. Thank god, because the first girl I saw as I came through the doors and signed in -- had a side pony (exactly when did those come back into style?!) and a sparkly headband. I needed the reassurance from peers with a few wrinkles, a few extra pounds, and an outdated fashion sense (according to 17 year olds...)
For the second part of orientation, they split us up into groups by major so that we could meet our advisors and register for classes. I was the only one that showed up in my major. I was ok with this. All of the focus from then on out was on me. The teacher (professor?) who led me through the registration process was extremely sweet and overly happy. I would describe her as... squishy and bubbly. Maybe uncomfortably so at times, but I realize at this point in my life that that is my issue, and not hers. (Happy people just scare me in general. My cross to bare.) We discussed my minor. I already knew what I wanted- Foreign Languages. She seemed to think it was a great combination with Journalism. It gives me the option of being able to study abroad - an exciting thought. I'm starting with French. She was also impressed that I had already chosen a major and minor right off the bat. That made me feel special. Then I realized it was only because I'm an old fart and therefore have had plenty of time to mull over it. Still, to give myself a little credit, that's the one good thing about waiting to go to college. I know what I want and am taking classes right off the bat to get it. No wasted time over here!
So, I'm now enrolled and considered.... a student. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that the sky doesn't fall on my face, because I'd really like to finish this.
As far as my anniversary, orientation kept me nice and distracted until about 1pm when they let us free. I was starving so I stopped at a sushi place to grab a roll and calm down from the mornings activities. I was still high on excitement as I drove home, but the closer I got to home, the more the reality of the day hit me. I started thinking about the day we got married. Then started thinking about our marriage. About the shoebox I had when I was 13 that had my name with his last name attached and how ironic it was that it actually happened nearly ten years later. I decided to bring him some flowers and a card.
I found the perfect flowers, red and white for Alabama - his favorite football team that won the BCS Bowl the night before. I then wandered to the card section - and this is where I messed up.
"I can't imagine my life without you."
"Every morning I wake up to your face I appreciate my life even more."
"The world is a better place with you in it."
"I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you."
One even said something along the lines of, "I know you aren't in Timbuktu or anything, but I can't help but miss you when you're gone." Um, I wish he was in Timbuktu... shit.
A tad crushed, I continued to search, fighting back tears as I read through more and more hopeful (nauseating) love letters.
I decided then and there that they need a "you died" section in every card aisle so that anyone who has lost someone and would like to place a loving card on their grave can do so without wanting to shoot themselves then and there.
I was approximately two seconds from pulling out a gun when I did finally find something that was appropriate. I squeaked a tear, purchased my gifts, and went to see Cleve.
There was something morbidly pretty about the card and flowers laying across the grave. He looked loved. That made me happy. I sat with him for a minute, telling him that I don't appreciate the fact that he hasn't been in my dreams much lately. My widow friend was told by a psychic once (yes, we resort to these things for comfort) that when our loved ones who have passed feel their presence is no longer helping us, they will back away from us and let us live our lives. Um.... I'm not ok with this. I want to piggy back Cleve for the rest of my life. I told him this and I hope he heard. I would rather feel he's there through everything and me hurt because of it every once and a while then never feel him there at all. (DO YOU HEAR ME CLEVELAND?!)
I ended the night with a widow dinner. I was going to go it alone, then decided not to be pathetic. I called my two widows, and of course, because they are awesome, they were there. We ate pizza, had some beer (I chose Sweetwater 420 because he died on 420 and it just seemed appropriate), and proceeded with crazy widow/girl talk. I left feeling refreshed, and loved, and grateful.
It's been SIX years since Cleve and I took the plunge. A lot... a whole lot has happened since then. I remember when anniversaries were filled with "what ifs" and excitement over the thought of our future together. Now, I can only reminisce on our past and I am no longer the one getting the flowers. I miss him every day and am so thankful for every single second we had together. We would have known each other for 14 years this year. Fourteen years ago, I knew I'd marry him. And I did, damn it. Score.
I love you... always. Always. Always. Always. Until I die and see you again.
I may have posted this song before, but I don't care.