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I’ve always thought the autumnal equinox was so romantic; the merging of two beautiful seasons for a brief moment. A quick kiss from summer to fall.

The first day of fall generally occurs anytime between September 21st and the 24th.  This year it is Wednesday, September 23rd.

On September 21, 2002, the fall equinox became even more romantic to me, as it marked the day I married Garry and the festivities surrounding the ceremony.

Thirteen years ago today, Garry and I were imagining what our future would hold: where we would live; how many children we would have; and we embarked on what still ranks as our number one vacation, our honeymoon. I was so glad to have a partner for life. Someone with whom at the end, I could look back and reminisce about a lifetime of memories. But, as many of you know, that was not meant to be. I lost Garry to stomach cancer in 2014. So, today was an anniversary without any celebration. It joins the new anniversaries marked in my mind’s calendar; the day of diagnosis, the day we learned of the cancer’s return, the day he died.

It makes me angry that such a beautiful day is now observed with such solemnness. I don’t want everything to be so sad anymore! I want to feel joy. But, as you can imagine, it’s hard not to cry over lost love.

I strongly believe that when tragedy strikes, we need to find something positive to keep us out of the darkness. It’s one of the things that has kept me strong. I face the sadness and then look for some light.

Today, it was hard to meet that mentality. On my anniversary, when one boy has etched a new milestone of entering first grade, and the other keeps telling me he wants to be a daddy when he grows up, I couldn’t find any reason for celebration.

Luckily, someone knew just what to say. Early this morning, before the day really began, I received a wonderful message from my mother-in-law. She told me she thinks of today as the day I joined her family. And there it was, the positive side. And, you know what, it is so true. My two sisters-in-law also sent me thoughtful messages, and my father-in-law sent flower. I love Garry’s family. They are my family. I’ve known them since I was 22-years-old. We’ve spent many great times together. I love Garry’s parents, his siblings, their spouses, and their children. I love all of Garry’s friends, many of who I still see regularly. They’ve enriched my life and if I never met Garry, I would never have met them.

Besides becoming a Hennessy, the most wonderful cause for celebration are Rhett and Vincent, our two boys. Our marriage gave me two very special gifts, two boisterous, but special gifts. I’ve learned more about myself since becoming a mother and have felt a love I never knew was possible.

I don’t know what the future will bring. But, just like in 2002, I can visualize what might be. I see two healthy boys, growing, secure with who they are. I see myself, still surrounded by wonderful friends and family. Maybe, eventually, there will even be a second chance for love.

Besides imagining what might be, I do know that every September 21st, I will feel love. I will think fondly of Garry and the 17 years he was part of my life. I will appreciate the greater gifts our marriage gave me. And, because I want to see the beauty in life, I will continue to love to imagine the kiss between summer and fall.

Bench

Thanks for reading,

Jess

You can find copies of our featured artwork, the world famous “The Kiss,” by Gustav Klimt here.

 We hope this Widow’s Column provides hope, support and a sounding board for anyone who has lost a spouse. We know we’re not alone. We want to hear from you. Share your experiences and comments and maybe we can learn, grow, and heal together.

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