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Posts from the ‘Anniversaries’ Category

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“It is such a simple thing to say yet it carries so much weight, whether it is with a spouse while you both read your books or it’s with a friend who has been with you through thick and thin or it is to a family member who has loved you from the start.
Those words, that thought, the action of saying it to them with purpose and truth can mean the world to them. Because after all, they mean enough for you to say “Thank you for loving me.”- T.B. LaBerge

 

Today marks 11 years since I said “I do.” to a man that would change the whole trajectory of my life, heart and soul. A man that in his 22 years of life has inspired me to try and do a small fraction of the good he spread.

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Yeah….this is a funny story for another time 😉

On past anniversaries I’ve done a sea of random acts of kindness for a slew of strangers (you can check them our here and here ) as a way to spread the love he showed so many, but I awoke this morning struggling. Though I have enjoyed spending a whole day spreading joy to my fellow life journeyers, my heart felt as if there was something more important for me to fulfill this year…and after thinking back to something that a person I love so dearly shared (thank you, moochie), I knew what it was…

Instead of a day of random acts of kindness to strangers, I would spend a day of intentional acts of love and gratitude to those who have been there through it all….my family….specifically my 3 sisters and parents.

I tell my family I love them all the time….sometimes a little too much…because the truth is, after Michael was killed, I didn’t tell them “I love you” for nearly 3 years. Why? Because after experiencing the pain of losing someone I loved, I convinced myself that not saying it to them would save me from feeling that kind of pain again….it didn’t work and was a total #lifefail…don’t do it 😉

 

So what would I do to let them know how much they truly rock my heart?

 

Easy….think back to one of my lifetime wishes as a child, mix it with some wisdom learned along my life path, add in some extra sappiness and turn it into reality! Boom!

 

First, I typed up letters for each sister and my parents….not just telling them I loved them and appreciated them….but literally listing out every little thing from childhood and on that I maybe never told them but would want them to know in case today was my last day to live….Michael left no loose ends in his short life and everyone around him knew how much they meant….so yeah, my sisters were going to know how much I loved their love for “Ace of Base”, their drawing talents and intelligence, and that time we jumped off the stairs into a pile of pillows…..it meant my parents were going to know that every tuck into the bed and selfless sacrifice was noted and appreciated…….it meant I possibly cried my eyes out……it meant that they were probably going to hear more than they asked for and then some…. it meant it was perfect!

After the letters were typed I entered into the childhood dream part! Ok….this might sound weird but at the age of 9 I started opening up and sending in the Publisher’s Clearing House letters my parents received! (Hey….a kid can dream)

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I was so convinced that we were going to win that I would sit by the front window for hours and months on end…waiting for that darn  van to pull up and have someone jump out with the balloons, champagne, roses and a giant check! (See Photo…)

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I could get all the items for this day but the check…which I replaced with something I think is far better than money….love.

I picked up the goods and the sweet lady getting the balloons and roses asked me if I was doing employee appreciation gifts….I told her the whole plan and she shared with me that she had lost her daughter 11 years ago to leukemia and it made her happy to see good coming out of sad….i have a feeling we were supposed to meet. Thank you, Christina.

After checking out I recreated a scene from “Up” in the parking lot and maybe got a little excited….

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Then it was off to Lindsey’s house.

When I got there I hit my first snag….15 balloon ribbons all tangled up….sweet baby jesus…i just ripped them off….back to the surprise knock on the door! How did PCH do this so many years 🤔

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Lindsey is my second youngest sister and would be the first victim of love (that’s a good song title…just puttin’ it out there ;D ).

She thought I was dropping off some AWP stuff for her to work on….no sir-ee-bob!

The knock came and the love check/letter was handed over…

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She did not see it coming!

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…And her and her wonderful husband thought they were surprising me (and did), because when I came in they had champagne waiting too , to do a toast for today. They’re amazing.unnamed-4.jpg

Next up, my youngest sister, Sammi…the one whose life I missed out on so much while going through the darkest parts of my grief in the first few years after Michael’s death. The one I had a few more important things to share.

She thought I was dropping off cookies I baked (which should have been the first clue of a surprise to come since I’m not a baker).

As I drove over the perfect song came on…unnamed-6.jpg

When I got to Sam’s house she was out in the front yard….just like in the PCH commercials….

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Ok…maybe she didn’t faint, but I think it was a surprise and it was one of the letters I had the hardest time writing aka I cried a lot and hoped she felt the love.unnamed-7.jpg

Off to my last sister’s house. Kenzi was prepping the house for Christmas eve and answered the door in shock…being the oldest sister we always knocked heads….but I let her know just how amazing she truly is to me.

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Her smile and my other sister’s smiles made my year…I love them so much and am very lucky to have them love me back.

Last but not least were my parents, who were out at dinner but came home to this little setup:

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All in all….it was the perfect day.

I’m guilty of going through life supporting and helping and sharing love with people I barely know (if i know them at all)…and it has brought me so much happiness, healing and joy… but I did so just telling the people I love the most “I love you.” without ever really letting them know in all the ways, and without sharing the memories that have had the deepest imprint on my heart….

I’ve done it….and I never will fear that they didn’t know… nor will there be a second where I think “I wish I would have told them…..” and that is the greatest act of intentional kindness that I know how to give…and that is love…and that is family….and that is eternal.

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You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. -Rabindranath Tagore

 

Tomorrow I leave for a 12 day buddhist pilgrimage on the small Japanese island of Shikoku.

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I have no earthly idea how I was led to do this, how I’m going to get around on an island of non-english speakers (and my small knowledge of Japanese language…..other than that which I owe to 80s music ….case in point:

Thanks, guys….wait…I mean domo arigato 😉 )

Add to that a forest of pit vipers, wild boars, signs I may not be able to read to get to my next village and poisonous centipedes…and I’m kind of feeling like Indiana Jones, but the indiana jones that didn’t like snakes and found himself in interesting situations:

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But man…I am pumped!

Yes, maybe at times I’ve worried about trying to figure out how to use the japanese baths  (luckily I found this jewel): bath_small.jpg

 

And I was worried about what to pack ( but found out I’ll be sporting this amazing and symbolic ohenro-san apparel….where every item has a very deep and spiritual meaning. “It is said that white is worn because long ago some pilgrims would collapse from the physical exertion and die during the pilgrimage, and the white robes could serve as their burial clothes”….two birds, one stone…respect):衣装.jpg

 

I’ve had the great gift and capability of being able to travel to many places and this will be my second pilgrimage (with the first being the Camino de Santiago I did at the one year mark of Michael’s passing) and if there was anything that I learned that time around, it was that everything would be okay if I trusted the path. That was very difficult one year after Michael died, as it was hard to believe that anything happened for a reason, but nine years later, years into trusting my “path”, I look forward to challenging myself even more….mentally, spiritually and physically. As it’s been said about the Henro:

What is important is not the destination,
but the act of getting there.
The Path itself is the goal.

Buddhism has also played a role in my life after loss and I love the idea that On the way of the 88 Temples, anyone that you meet, anyone that you hear, anyone that you see; they are all manifestations of Buddha. Learn from their strengths and reform your own shortcomings.….so listen and learn and honor them…..I think that’s a goal to embody in everyday life.

 

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INSERT YOURSELF HERE…you look great in orange too!

There are many “seas” in this inner world we each hold within…and I have stood upon many shores looking out at what seemed like an endless abyss..

An abyss that your mind tells you you can not survive and that tries to freak you out (like these signs on the Henro Pilgrimage: )

 

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Not sure what’s going on here…but the snake looks pretty friendly…and has nice hair 😉

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Pumba does not look happy!

…but I have crossed them, because my heart always said it would be worth it…and it wasn’t lying.(What the heart forgot to mention is once you cross that first ocean, you open the door to looking through the binoculars to see there are many more seas out there waiting for you if you are willing to look deeper…not on the beach, but in the current, the unknown, life.)

 

So yes, I am a bit nervous and have no clue that will come my way,but THAT IS LIFE and  and  I’m ready to keep on living’ it!

 

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Lots of love- Taryn

Perfect

Monday will be the big day….

5 Years.

5 years since I last heard his voice..saw his face…heard “I love you…and I’m so in love with you, baby.”

And in these 5 years I’ve learned just what it takes to be the “perfect” widow, and I’d like to share it with all of y’all:

  1. You must be imperfect.
  2. You must make mistakes.
  3. You must persevere.
  4. You must follow your heart.
  5. You must do so knowing that many will tell you you shouldn’t.
  6. You must ignore them.
  7. You must find a reason to smile…
  8. Not everyday…as that is not feasible…but more times then times you frown in a year will suffice.
  9. Being a widow is a title you should be proud of..
  10. Never forget that.
  11. You are amazing.
  12. Your spouses love will get you through the moments that you will sometimes feel are unbearable…
  13. Keep you heart open to feeling it.
  14. Life is short.
  15. Love is eternal.
  16. Repeat that to yourself each day.

And there you have it….ingredients to being the perfect widow.

It took me 5 years to realize and I’m sure I’ll become more “perfect” along the way…but this is all I have so far.

The Wall

“But mostly, I cried because my life had been going full speed for so long and now it had just stopped, like running right into a big brick wall, knocking the wind and the fight right out of me. And I didn’t know if I’d ever even wanted to get up and start breathing again.”

– Sarah Dessen



This quote embodies the day I was notified and the months and years to follow (and even random moments in my day-to-day life).

I never thought I’d be here.

Alive.

Living….thriving…without my love by my side.

At first I held back from a smile or a good time, in fear that it would be dishonoring him. But with time and introspection, I realized that by doing so…holding back..I was dishonoring him.

Our loves don’t die for us to shrivel up into a ball, to live in a cave, and become Gallum-like. But in the beginning I couldn’t grasp that.

But the winds of time and his love blew away those mis-conceptions, and with that came the realization that I was going to get up…I was going to start breathing once again.

Man, do I love him, with every ounce of my being.

I still have those choke-up moments in realizing how far I’ve come…how much I’ve lived…

Those moments where I’m shocked at my soul’s capacity to survive…

My face’s ability to smile…

My arm’s ability to embrace…

But even in that astonishment,

I am never,

never,

astonished by my heart’s capacity to pump our love through my veins.

And with that knowledge, nearly four years later, I am able to live.

I am living.

I hit the wall…

But I stood up.

I’m standing.

3

Three…

Three whopping years since it happened.

Since my soul mate went to the other side and I ventured out in the unfamiliar world called widowhood.

The Angel-versary is always a time where I look back on the time that has passed, things that have been conquered, feelings that have been realized, and growth that has taken place. As I drove in my car one evening, thinking of these things, thinking of THREE, one thing took precedent.

In the rehashing of all that has transpired, what came to mind the most were the three words that have got me through it all. Three words that he said to me for the last time on May 21st, 2007. Three words that have not only carried through my grief but helped me soar above it’s grasps into a life where smiles are more prevalent then frowns, and memories are recalled while making new ones.

Three words that on this three year anniversary will be heard in my heart and felt in my veins. Three words that have defined my being.

Three….

I LOVE YOU.

4 years…

Well it’s almost midnight, and at this time 4 years ago we had already shared our vows and become Mr. and Mrs. Davis.

This anniversary is harder then any other I face without Michael here. Mostly for the reason that I don’t define my relationship and present by Michael’s death, I define it by our love……and a day that helps in symbolizing that love is our wedding anniversary.

I miss him, I love him, I’m in love with him. The pain persists, and I must honestly say that at times I wonder how fate still allows us to be separated. But the air leaves my lungs, and still I inhale. There is some madness to this unreasonable reality. For now, I must believe it is to strengthen our love more, to put it over the fire and forge it to a level of strength that is insurmountable by heaven and earth combined.

Happy Anniversary my love, my heart, my soul. Your love pierces me deeper with each passing moment, and I could not ask for a more beautiful gift.