Friday would have been our 16th wedding anniversary and it’s the 2nd one he’s missed. The last two years I have intentionally been away from home on St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, the kids and I went to Florida to visit my parents. This year we spent a long weekend in the Ozarks with some friends. The idea of waking up alone in our bedroom, on a day we should be celebrating – well it sounds terrible. The day is hard enough, so I try and surround myself with good people. I also avoid social media, I do not want to see everyone enjoying green beer, shamrocks, and the luck of the Irish. So, I turn it off.
I hope to one day enjoy the revelry of it all, but that is wound too deep for the now.
Although, this year felt a little easier than the first one. I was thankful to not wake up and find tears immediately springing from my eyes. I took a deep breath and started my day.
As we sat and had coffee, my friends had each gotten me a card. One had a fart joke on it, so you can’t really go wrong there. After the coffee kicked in, we made all the kids’ breakfast, and I went to get dressed for the day. I put on a shamrock shirt underneath my sweatshirt. No one else knew it was there, but I felt like I was carrying a little bit of Tony with me. We spent most of the day outside.
My kids have never been to the Ozarks in the off season to see it when the water is so low you can practically walk to the dock on land. We also took them on a walk around the bend of the circle drive. Then I spent a good couple of hours just helping to burn brush and limbs that my friend had cut down. I broke down branches, adjusted the burning logs, and kept the fire fed. For some reason, I decided I was going to tend to that fire. I think I took the task on because it allowed me to stay outside and any frustrations I felt, I could quite literally set them on fire.
For dinner, I had prepared the traditional meal of corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage. Tony and I didn’t always make it on St. Patrick’s Day exactly, but we always prepared it close to the day. I felt like I was sharing a little bit of our love with our friends. I will never stop missing him on our anniversary. If I’m honest with myself, I am sure the years will swing on a pendulum for a while of which ones feels easier and harder. But I hope it trends towards getting a little easier over the years.
Right now, I cannot imagine ever going to another St. Patrick’s Day parade ever again – but never say never.