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Posts tagged ‘anniversary’


“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… 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)


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…)


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….


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 🤔


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…


She did not see it coming!


…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….


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.


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:


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.



Today marks 7 years since Michael was killed in Iraq.

It could be thought of as a day of sorrow, but for me, today is a celebration of decisions.

Decisions that dictated a life that I’m blessed to have been a part of for 6 years.


You see, it’s hard to mourn on a day that is a true reflection of how we should live our lives.

Michael decided many things….

Things that some fear to try, commit to, or experience.


He decided to lead.

To serve.

To love fiercely.

To always say what he felt.

To teach.

To care.

To live each day like it was his last.

To sacrifice.


He decided.


These decisions are not ones that I can look back on with sadness….these are decisions that 7 years ago put me on a path that led me to decisions that have dictated/will dictate the life I decided to take back….just when I thought all had been taken from me.

Through his example and remembering the core of one’s soul path, Michael has allowed me to fearlessly make decisions that I know I will never regret.

Whether those decisions will affect 22 (or 100) years of the life I may live.


So if there is anything I can ask of y’all on a day like today, it is to decide.

Decide to live life.

To learn.

To love.

To forgive.

To be challenged.

To embrace the unknown.


For me, my wardrobe choice for today is my decision:


And I have a feeling that Michael couldn’t be happier.


Taryn And Michael 012“Giving thanks for the moment is the only way to glimpse eternity.”

One moment.

When he walked through the front door and our eyes met.

When our lips first embraced.

When I said “I love you.” And he said it back.

When he slid the ring down my finger.

When he boarded the bus.

When he surprised me at the front door for the last two weeks we’d share together.

When we’d kiss for the last time.

When we’d share our last words and see each others faces over the computer screen.

When I heard his last “I’m so in love with you.”

When the explosives went off.

When he took his last breath.

When I got the call.

When I drove home to find out he wasn’t coming home.

The moments.

Theses are some of the moments that made up our physical time together. Our unity. Our love.


Talking to him in the darkness of our empty room.

Remembering the things he said and taught me while on earth.

Feeling his love and warmth, in my heart and soul, when the rest of the world felt cold.

Knowing that with each leap and fall, he’s there by my side.

Knowing that I am never alone.

That I will never suffer when I stay in the light of what is the now.

Feeling alive in the beauty all around.

Still telling him every night how in love I am with him.

Falling, again.

Getting up.

Finding my purpose and passion through his example of having found his.


Living an utterly beautiful and confusing, yet clear life.

The moments.

These are some of the moments that make up my life after his passing. Our unity. Our love.


The moments before and after that allow me a glimpse into the eternity. Of our love. Of our lives. Of his legacy.

The moments that make up life. The moments that I cherish and can never give enough thanks in sharing and in having with the best man I’ve ever known.


I took a shower for you. I know you’d be happy about that.

I couldn’t sleep all night. I struggled for my mind to grasp what this day was.

I awoke and cried. It still will never seem fair that we are not together in the form we first connected…in the form we were meant to share more years in.

I felt whole.

I felt empty.

I rode behind someone on a motorcycle like yours and smiled.

I played Louis Armstrong like we did on our wedding day.

I was grateful for the few who still stick with me. Who see a slither of the being I was when you were alive.

They filled our house with flowers.

I bought tulips.

I know they’re your favorite.

I look at my ring and know you fingers graced it.

I know you weren’t a dream.

I miss you.

I miss having not to tell myself that all we have is not some fable.

I miss having the one person who knew we were true.

Who knew me.

Who knew that I knew you.

I love you, husband.

I’m so in love with you.

I don’t think I’ll ever fathom that we we’re married 1.5 years on earth…4.5 years apart….

But I can fathom the moment we are reunited and it makes each passing second a gift.

Happy Anniversary, My love.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
-Pablo Neruda


You placed it onto my finger and our eyes met….making the agreement that from that point on our souls would be eternally connected….a searing of two hearts into one…no matter what lay ahead.

6 years ago you asked me the question that taught me that risk was a shorter word for following one’s heart. Nothing has been more clear or absolute. Nothing has made me more honored and more proud.

The ring is more than a ring. Our love is more than love. We are more than us.

I cleaned it today with my toothbrush and the cleaner from the jeweler your purchased it at, who still makes an effort to send a card or gift on the day one ring joined the other. I look into it and don’t see facets, colors or perfection…I see you.

I’ll never know how our souls found each other or why I was lucky enough to be chosen by you…but I will not question the gods too much…as it has and continues to elevate my heart, life and soul to a level only you can push it to.


I will….I do…I am….

Happy Engagement Anniversary, my love.


If I had to choose between loving you and breathing, I would use my last breath to say, "I Love You."

This Thursday will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary. As I've stated through the years, this day has always been more difficult for me than any other...including the day he was killed.


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