The Anniversary

Dear Derek,
We have always celebrated our anniversaries with a date night, special dinner, laughter and time together.  Our anniversaries, have always been special, meaningful, etched into my soul, a beautiful time for reflection of many wonderful memories.
Anniversaries are a time for yearly recurrence, to remember or celebrate a joyous occasion.
Dec. 14th, for us marks a new anniversary. A different type of anniversary. One I know you want to forget.  To never remember or relive the horrible events of that day.
It’s been three years today that marks a huge change in your life,
a day when your life was turned upside down,
and was spinning out of control all around you.
The day a surgery went so wrong,
forcing your life to stop….. right in its tracks.
This day, leaves me with the haunting question,
what do you do with the anniversaries you don’t want to remember?
Do you keep yourself busy that day?  Allow yourself to grieve and be by yourself? Buy yourself something to make you feel better,
or drink enough alcohol to drown the sorrows?
Historically, the famous anniversaries of horrific events like:
April 14, 1912, sinking of the Titanic,
or the Pearl harbor bombing on Dec. 7, 1941
the day that started WWII for the US,
or Sept 11th, 2001, when so many lost their lives in the world trade center, are dates etched into history, of tragic events,
marking the days many lives were lost.
The anniversary of a death of a loved one, a murder, a rape, an illness,
a broken heart……
The list could go on,
are the anniversaries no one wants to talk about,
let alone think about.
These are the negative anniversaries, we just all want to forget.  The anniversaries that we want to hide deep down within
and throw away the key, to hide them,
never look at the horrific images again in our minds.
Derek, I know that today is a hard day for you, a negative reminder, of a day you never want to think about.
December 14th, 2012, marks the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and the same day that your surgery went horribly wrong. Though I have not one picture from that day, for at the time, I didn’t realize the significance it would have in your life or mine,
the picture instead, has been painted in my heart and mind forever.
The horror in your eyes, the look on your face that day when you woke from surgery, haunts me everyday, like a hidden ghost, forcing me to want to shut my eyes, shut out the image.
At the same time, it’s an opportunity.
An opportunity, to step over anger, fear, doubt and frustration.
To find a new way to look at your anniversary that changed your life and mine.
The ‘hard anniversaries’ in life, are really events, that lead to a break through, a discovery that often leads to a turning point in one’s life.
These moments, even the bad ones, become a milepost, a mile marker in one’s life.  For better or worse, richer or poorer, these moments happen and like our marriage vows,
we are committed, even through the rough anniversaries.
What we choose to do with these moments is what matters.
Having the ability to choose, is a gift we have been given.
Free will, allows us to turn these tragedies into success or to failure.
I have watched you behind closed doors, suffer so greatly.  The grueling task of overcoming what happened to you has suffocated you every single moment of every single day, for three years now.
Though, I cannot physically see what you feel, or even feel what you feel… heart can. I see what no one else can, and I would do anything to take away your suffering. For three years, I have kept the last pictures taken of you, before the surgery, in Africa,
our last great adventure together,
as a memory of who you were.
Truth is, Derek it’s what you have become that has made me love you even more. Looking back at the last pictures of you before all this happened in Africa, now make me only think of what is yet to come.
Though my heart, has been deeply wounded watching you struggle for so long, I know this…
 Today marks a turning point in both of our lives.
An occasion that is the mile marker of the day we surrendered to GOD, when we solely relied  on HIM, not each other.
Not medicine or alternative means… but GOD.
He has provided for you. He will continue to provide for both of us.
Though we don’t fully understand why such evil things happen, this is what I do know.  The fallen angel, the devil, lurks here on earth, waiting to devour us.  His evilness is a poison wanting to take away any hope that we might have.
He cannot have us.  Nor will he ever have us.  Your day of true healing is coming. Whether in this life or the next, it is coming.  Today, is a beautiful reflection of God guiding you to overcoming this night mare.
It’s a day to remember, all the amazing people we have met along the way, the amazing healthcare providers, Dr. Brock, Dr. Maasa, and Dr. Kempter, who have gone above and beyond to help you find true healing.
It’s a day to be thankful that we were guided to the right therapies to help you learn how to walk again, and to see the world more still and not bouncing all over. Today, we are grateful for the guidance to Cerebrum Health Centers in Texas and Georgia, and all the amazing heros we met like Christian Mayberry, and countless others.
It’s a day to remember, that even on the days, when you didn’t have the strength to go on, HE gave you a heavenly strength to not quit or give up. Today, is the day, I want you to remember, all the miracles of so many earthly angels,that have loved you, and opened their hearts with kindness beyond measure. All the people, who listened to the whispers of GOD, to guide you, and became your greatest prayer warriors and HEINY helpers.  They have relentlessly prayed for you for three years, and will continue to pray for you.
Today is the day, we remember all God’s miracles performed in and around your life on a daily basis and for the gift of our beautiful first granddaughter born admist the chaos of our life. The greatest of all miracles during this dark time.  Proof that beauty does exist in darkness.
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Today is the day, we encourage others, that the rough anniversaries in their lives, are the beautiful anniversaries of when God scooped them up in HIS arms and carried them.
These are days not to forget, these are the most important days in our life of a true celebration of a turning point in all our lives.
It’s easy to believe and celebrate when everything is going great in your life, but having the courage to believe in faith and still celebrate when things are so horribly wrong, is a miracle in itself.
To hide behind such anniversaries, and throw away the key to hidden secrets, is allowing the devil, the evil one to rejoice in the sadness of your heart.
Today marks the day, that you became, once again, my hero. I have unlocked this anniversary with the key of God’s promise.
“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”
Today, let’s celebrate, that we are finding answers, as we leave for North Carolina this week, to the next part of your journey, I believe in my heart, that your healing is continuing.
Each day, healing is that much closer. I look forward to the future anniversaries of this day, when we will be able to look back, and connect all the dots of the beauty of God’s masterpiece.
Though this anniversary is only but a speck of dust, in all the tragedies that have happened in this world, you have become a great source of inspiration to many, and to be married to such a hero, is an honor.
I look forward to spending the rest of my life, looking for all the beauty that comes from this tragedy.
There is no other way, because the Devil can’t have us.
I will forever be your biggest cheerleader here on earth.
More importantly, God, is parting the RED SEA for you.
All you have to do, is walk on dry land.
You hold my heart,

2 thoughts on “The Anniversary”

  1. Thank you for sharing this! To see Derek’s true character through all of this is an example to us all. And to see you writing Sarah, using YOUR gift amidst such a FULL time in life, is just beautiful. Keep writing!


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