Friday, September 14th, 2018 would have been Kris and my fifth wedding anniversary. We were married for four and a half years when he died, together for seven and a half years. We knew each other for eight years.
This is one of the hardest days to get past. I’ve been thinking about Kris all week, more than normal, about our wedding, and how we celebrated our anniversary the last four years.
I found myself missing him extra hard, the heartache from the initial shock of his death creeping back over me. It’s not a bad thing, it’s what I need to feel to heal, part of the grief. I grieve for the loss of Kris’s life, but also for the forty to fifty anniversaries that we didn’t get to have together, for what could have been….
Last year, we rafted the South Fork of the Salmon River on our anniversary. It was the trip with just paddles, no oar set up. I was thinking about the panic I felt when Kris fell out of the raft and I was alone in the raft by myself, with only one paddle and really no control. Kris fell out three times and I panicked every single time. I panicked because I was alone and because I was freaked out that he would get hurt. I didn’t want to be in the raft without him, didn’t want anything to happen to him.
And now, I am going through life without him.
We went to Sun Valley for our first and third anniversaries. Kris and I got married in Garden Valley on September 14th, 2013 and then took a “mini-moon” to Sun Valley for a few days. So going to Sun Valley was kind of our thing.
Our second anniversary was at Charlie and Melanie’s wedding and we shared a cabin with Alex and Matty…. Don’t worry, I think we still went out for a nice dinner when we got back to Boise.
This year, I’m in McCall with Kendra.
Kris’s gravestone marker finally got placed. It took about two months from when I ordered it. Of course it happened right before our anniversary, the timing almost cruel, like it’s my five year anniversary present. I took him lavender from the garden, Maddie and I went and sat on his grave. What a strange sentence to write….
At first I was thinking that I’d write about marriage, what I learned about marriage…..but I don’t have that much to say. For me, what it comes down to, is that Kris taught me to let the little things go, to relax, to not be so serious.
We had a beautiful marriage, a partnership, but each of us still our own person. We got along great, and we enjoyed each other’s company. Kris and I laughed a lot. We supported each other.
I really liked being married. Marriage is one of life’s most important events, if not the biggest event of our lives. We put a lot of time and effort into finding the right person.
Just like birthdays, I think every anniversary should be a big deal. Because you never know if it’ll be your last. Celebrate every year of marriage. Appreciate each other. Kris and I made a New Year’s resolution together to have date nights twice a month, to get dressed up and go out to dinner, put the cell phones away. Because most nights we sat on the couch and watched TV while we ate dinner…..
I don’t know… I don’t exactly feel like I can give out marriage advice. I just know that if you’re with the right person, marriage is easy. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes effort and lots of communication, but you want to put the effort in. I guess the effort comes easy if you’re with the right person.