One year ago today I was dancing with my wife at my sister's wedding. The DJ was having a contest to see who had been married the longest. If the number he read off was higher than the number of years you were married you had to leave the floor. As he progressed, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, a feeling of pride welled up inside of me. With each passing year, Melly and I just kept dancing and having fun.
We made it to 15 years together before we had to leave. I remember thinking about how special that was, how happy I was that we were in the double digits. How I thought we could easily compete with the eventual winners, my Aunt Carol and Uncle John at something like 52 years. That we didn't get our chance continues to feel surreal and unfair.
This week, this month, are going to be full of "one year ago today" memories. Our June 2016 was one of the happiest I can remember. We started the month with a long road trip to Texas for the wedding. The trip included life affirming visits to the Chiricauhua Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns. June of 2016 was the month we found out our baby to be was going to be a boy, and it was the month that we named him Matthew James. June found us happy and whole.
I still have a hard time accepting that life is gone, replaced by something darker and more difficult. This past year has taught me many lessons, the most important of which is that no person can exist as an island for long. The total outpouring of love and support that I have been given and continue to receive has been a blessing I never expected but and am eternally grateful for.
I am choosing to spend this weekend up in Portland, OR with close friends. That this trip corresponds to the one year anniversary of our last road trip is a coincidence. Being here has been a tremendous help. I am up here to see one of my favorite bands, The Mountain Goats. They wrote the song that has been my mantra these past 11 months, "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me". That I will be seeing them perform 12 months from the date of our anniversary dance, almost to the hour, seems scripted. One of those things that you would have a hard time believing in a movie.
This year has been a lot of things, the one thing it has not been is predictable.