As many of you already know, my mom died of cancer on my wedding anniversary, May 22nd, 2007. There wasn't any warning to what we were about to encounter after their last visit to our house during Thanksgiving 2006.
I covered this some in my letter that I wrote to my mom and submitted to Lisa (a.k.a. The Widow Lady) back in March when she had a month of postings by her readers of letters to their loved ones that had crossed over. I didn't really know if she would, could, or wanted to use it, but I made it available to her anyway. For whatever reason, this year mom's birthday (March 22nd) was particularly hard for me to cope with, and in order for me to get through it there was no choice, but for me to write it all out of my head.
If you didn't get a chance to read it, please feel free. You can find the post here. However, I will warn you, I was told that it made people cry, so if you are sappy, like me, feel free to arm yourself with Kleenex before you click the link.
That, aside, in the letter I discussed that one of the things that I regretted most about the family pictures that were taken during Thanksgiving 2006 was that none of us thought to have mom and I sit for a picture of the 2 of us together. After she died, I was consumed with a need to have a good picture of just mom and I. I scoured every single picture that came in front of me. I didn't want the ones from when I was a kid. I didn't want the ones where they had come to visit us in Las Vegas and she and I were standing out in gale force desert winds. I wanted a good picture. This is the only picture that I could find after searching, literally, through hundreds of pictures.
This one picture satisfied something in me that was missing.
This year our anniversary was coming up, and both of us kept asking the other "What do you want for our anniversary." Neither of us had a clue. We are the type that if we want or need something we just get it, so that doesn't leave much on our wish lists when special occasions come around. Well this year, apparently, the husband him had an epiphany. He kept saying that I was going to love my anniversary present, but that he didn't know which size I would want. Well, I don't either. I don't know what it is. So he kept taunting me, or trying to, with the fact that I was going to loooooooooooooove this present. Ok. Whatever. Tell me what it is or shut the fuck up about it already! Damn!
Of course, in the midst of this self imposed insanity we had to work, and the husband him needs business cards. I went to the online source that I used for his last batch and looked at the various designs that they had. I picked a few to show him. Nothing. Crickets. I couldn't get him to commit on anything that I picked out. *insert irritated huff here*
One day, on the way to lunch in a neighboring town, he brought up the idea that real estate agents and the like have their portraits on their business cards. Ok. Yeah? He suggested that we go to the photographer that had done our family portraits to see what it would cost. Weird, but whatever.
So, in we go, and the photographer was in front. The photographer said something, and the husband him said something in return that I was going to correct him on. I thought he had misheard what the photographer had said. The photographer agrees, and goes in back. The husband him only says 4 words, "you and your mom". Then it hit me, the dim lightbulb that I am. The whole business card thing was a rouse, and he was going to make me do the REALLY fucking ugly cry in public.
I immediately started tearing up, but I tried to suck it back on the off chance that what I "thought" was going to happen wasn't really what was happening.
The photographer came out with one of those little 8x10 cardboard folders that pictures are slid into. He opened it up and handed this to me....
I. Fucking. Lost. It. There in front of me was my mom and I. As if we had sat together for a picture back in 2006.
Still typing this and seeing the picture makes me bawl like a baby. I hate crying, but that day it was a full on splotchy apple red face, eye puffing, full on river of snot, butt ass fucking ugly cry. I was so overwhelmed that there was no stopping me from the bawling. From hugging the husband him. Even hugging the photographer.
There were no words, and there still aren't. There's nothing that can come close to what it means to have that picture. Even though it's not "real". There's no words that could mean enough to say thank you to either of them. From that day forward, there never can be a present that means more than this one.
My husband is frequently "jealous" because I'm always getting awards on my blog, and he's always teasing me about my "popularity". While he doesn't blog, he deserves an award of his own. It was a class move. Not to mention the most heartfelt gift he could have, and probably ever will, give me.
I love you honey. I hope this award works for you.
Jewell =) xo