"Promise me you'll always remember, you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you." - Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh
It's been one year...
The heavy down pour of rain this morning with the flashes of lightning and booms of thunder definitely match my mood but with a mish/mash of sad but also happy memories. The sadness that veiled my heart and soul this morning was evident as I sipped my coffee and watched the heavy rain through the windows. Still, the sound of that heavy rain and thunder, flashed a memory of Monika and I back in June 1995. We were done with college and a group of us friends (we weren't dating then) flew to California to visit a friend for about a month and half.
During that trip, we backpacked Point Reyes National Seashore and one day after dinner, Monika hiked down to the ocean from Sky Camp to watch the sunset and waves along the rocky beach. We found a spot on a rocky outcropping and sat just in front of a small tide pool. The waves would hit these rocks in front of this tide pool about 20ft out, water would arc up into the air about 10-15 feet and then come crashing down in front of us but land in the tide pool five feet below us. We continued to sit just on the edge of the rocks at the tide pool tempting Fate and Luck to see if the next wave would crash past the tide pool and drench us. Hearing the booms of the waves and the sight of the water crashing just in front of us but always just missing, was pure amazement and beauty even with the risk of getting soaked.
We did this through the last of the day's sunlight and then for the next hour or so of twilight. When darkness did join us, we used my flashlight to continue watching the waves crash, but always just miss us - still tempting Fate and Luck and just living in the moment. Eventually cold and lack of ambient light had us hike back to camp with memories made to last a lifetime and then some.
Monika had taught me (and perhaps still teaches me) to appreciate the moment, the present, to see the beauty and wonder right in front of you as long as you were willing to see it. Even through those 6.5 years battling breast cancer, she showed me the courage to just enjoy today, live in the now. Yes, she was very aware of the future but she never missed the moment of "Hey, I get to pick up the kids today from school", or "I still have just energy to run around the outside of the house setting up Easter eggs for the kids to find later in the day", or "let's go watch the night sky tonight, just go grab me some extra blankets" and "Glenn, can you get me an iced frappuccino with whipped cream?". She knew of the things she didn't have control of but that did not stop her; she knew what she did have control over and enjoyed the life still in front of her.
So, I hope to continue finding that courage to persevere, to continue living life to its fullest, to aid those who are in need and to appreciate the challenge from Fate and Luck knowing that those experiences yet to be made will continue to shape myself for the better.
Cheers to you my Monika, my Sweetie, my Love, always.