It was one of those perfect days. When you wake up and the sun is on your side. Your eyes sort of flutter open and sleepy stretches easily flow through your limbs. You have no care in the world, except to make sure everything is packed before check out.
Stumbling down to the lobby for a latte in last nights concert tee and sweats I felt light and happy even. I hadn't woken up like this in three months. I ordered a large iced coffee and a cookie for later. Taking my time up the elevator back to our room, I let myself think about this time a year ago. This same day last year I woke up happy, excited. The sun was on my side. My eyes fluttered open and sleepy stretches flowed through my limbs. I had not a care in the world, except to make sure everything was ready before I walked down the aisle.
On our one year anniversary Dan and I sit and look the same. But, oh how we have changed. Most of the change happened in the last three months...and still is happening. We sit heavy with grief however, light gleams through. That light shows in our smiles and our strong desire to live even with these holes in our hearts.
Back in our hotel room. I climbed back into bed with my latte and cookie, listening to Dan's soft snores. Every two or three minutes his arm would twitch. A sign of deep sleep for him. I sat there thinking about all we have endured and tears came. Tears fell with every thought. I thought about the three of us having the best time at "Mommy and Daddy's party!", that is how Ryan referred to our wedding day. And it was a party. I let myself think 'what if'. Which is this slippery slope and it gets me into trouble mostly. Because I'll sit and think of impossible 'what ifs' and make myself sick with sadness.
But really, what if Ryan was still here?
Then I stopped, and thought come on. You are here now, eat your damn cookie and relax. And in that moment a sense of sweet calm washed over me and my brain began to think about all that we will encounter, rather than what we have endured thus far.
All we will encounter together. There is something extremely beautiful about our situation and even in the depths of darkness it can be seen. Our life and all the greatness we will encounter can be seen. Not specifics, no, those are still being worked out by God and Ryan. Those two are diligently planning our great path. So, ok sorry, I guess it can be felt rather than seen at this point. Yes, because I can feel it. I can feel that there is great coming for us. We can feel it.
When Dan wakes up there is this unspoken "I know this is painful, but we can at least celebrate us today" in the air. There were lots of hugs and kisses. Happy Anniversary whispered back and forth. We know Ryan is jumping all around us. We feel that too. And then it was as if Ryan was speaking through Dan as he said "I have a gift for you...but first lets find donuts!"
And my heart swelled because here I am feeling all these feelings of sad and yet I feel like I won the jackpot at the same time.
In the end, one year does a difference make. And that difference has sent us on a journey we didn't want to take. However, here we are falling in love all over again, with more strength than you can imagine. More strength than we even knew about.
We stayed at the Ace in Downtown Los Angeles. The coffee and black and white cookies were the best. Although the rooftop pool and bar were also the best. It was the perfect place for our quick stay.
The Rockefeller in Manhattan Beach is beyond delicious. If you are ever in the area...eat there.
Go for the donuts...
After donuts went to the beach. Took two naps and one swim in between.
We had big plans to head out for a fancy steakhouse dinner. But that second wave of energy never hit. Plus we are creatures of habit and were more starving than wanting romance. Dinner was a big feast at PF Changs. We both had wet hair and sand between our toes.
Cheers To One Year