Saturday, September 7, 2013

Four years

Today marks four years without Steve here.

Perhaps I write this every year on Sept. 7. It's worth repeating: The time since Steve died has been incredibly slow and super fast all at once.

I was blessedly busy on this particular Sept. 7.

My fifth-grade class is moving to a portable building, to accommodate the continuing crazy-town growth in Frisco, Texas. Today was my big work day, and there's no way I could do it alone.

A team of family members and friends and their children pulled together to create a cozy, cheerful space. (If you want something done, call on Jim and Betty, Melane, Jenny, Julianne, Liz, Angie, Stephanie, Tammy, Kris, Stephanie S., Katrina and Allison. And that list doesn't include all the help from my fifth-grade team and other teachers plus friends who've stocked my supply cabinet.)

The whole experience was joyful:

1. When Steve lived with cancer, our family was supported by an amazing team. We couldn't have survived without loved ones all around us. Just like today.

2. I was working on something new and exciting, challenging and rewarding -- and I kept thinking of how proud Steve would be.

3. When Steve died, I wasn't sure that I would ever again make any new friends. Would people find me dull and/or depressing? Would it be strange to have relationships with people who had never met our Steve? Half of the people helping me today were an integral part of our journey with Steve. And half I didn't meet until after his death. All those new friends feel like "old" friends, and Steve would have adored every single one.

So, yes, today is a gloomy reminder of what we've lost, and I cried off and on thinking of what could have been and what should have been and how much I miss that tall, dashing, witty, brilliant, creative, compassionate man.

But the day has also been hopeful and joyful. Steve would no doubt approve.

Outside my classroom door

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