St. Patrick’s Day 2015 will go down as a watershed day on my journey.
Much to my dismay I could not find anything green or Irish to wear this morning. As I frantically searched, I fondly remembered that my late wife Jean used to order me a snappy green boutonniere every March 17th when I was working at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
As I reflected, a deep joy came over me as I remembered that typically sweet, loving gesture Jean made every year. It was vintage Jean. It was kind, imaginative and full of love. Jean always heard a different drummer and came up with cute, unique expressions of affection for everyone in the family. Her creativity made loving her a special adventure
It was a wonderfully delightful memory that I savored for several minutes.
And, that’s the watershed part.
That delightful memory triggered deep love, gratitude and affection instead of the grief it would have provoked just a few months ago. This time I savored. I didn’t sob. I didn’t tear up. The memory wasn’t full of regret and sadness.
I celebrated. Nine months after Jean’s death I have reached a point where memories are sweet celebrations of love and not debilitating moments of grief and sorrow.
I immediately went to the florist to buy a green boutonniere. Unsurprisingly, you had to have the foresight to order it in advance as Jean always did so thoughtfully.
So if you see me today you will not see a green boutonniere on my lapel, but I assure you it’s there on my heart. And, I am smiling, not crying. The journey goes on.
Tim J McGuire is the author of “Some People Even Take Them Home” A Disabled Dad, A Down Syndrome Son and Our Journey To Acceptance