One definition of milestone according to Webster’s is a significant event in a person’s life. I’m not sure that all of what gives me pause and makes me take notice necessarily qualifies as significant and given the size of my family I guess I have more of these moments than most but I seem acutely aware of them all. Some are nothing more than numerical footnotes. At one hundred days without Renee, I was still thinking I wouldn’t survive the year and my thoughts were focused on how and who would take care of my children. At two hundred days I was thinking I just might make it but do I really want to? Three hundred days found me having serious discussions about my future with a woman who makes me happy and seems to be able to handle the responsibility and baggage of a widower with 9 kids. Unknown to all but anal number-crunchers like me, November 29th was the 1000th day since a sub-human piece of shit stole my wife and my children’s mother from us. Time does indeed march on.
Along the way so many more traditional milestones arrive it seems every other week I have cause to stop and reflect. Yesterday, February 25th was the 27th anniversary of Renee and my wedding and the third one I have been without her. Shortly after Renee’s death, a pragmatic but not so poetic friend said “what really sucks about this is, you two were the only people I knew who really liked being married.” I don’t know about everybody else, but he was right about us, we truly did. Death was the only thing that would do us part, just like the new age preacher said. Renee found him to marry us so many years ago when we learned that the justice of the peace had a waiting list.
The miserable cycle starts over again on March 4th. That will be three years to the day when the hideous, evil, monster who so casually changed our lives forever ended it all for Renee. This year my kids will start celebrating their fourth round of birthdays without their beloved mother. Lots will go unsaid, but there is no forgetting. While I don’t have a lot of time to dwell on the pain, it doesn’t go away. I don’t really think acceptance describes it either, I guess you just survive. Still hard for me to believe one such as Renee could really be gone, but she is. Despite all the tears, I’ve never once said, “why me?” when I think of what happened but I sure as hell say “why her?” a bunch and “why them?” when I think of the pain my children have gone through. There are no answers; all the theologians together can’t answer why such bad things happen to such good people. I’ll never know. Why is the wretch who killed her and the slime who abetted him still alive and her dead? Again, no answers. I do know Renee would want me focusing my time and energy on the living which is what I try to do; the result is I don’t write on here near as often as I should. I remain grateful for my years with Renee and of all her suitors she chose me. Humbled beyond words is how I feel.
For those who still follow this, there are some legal updates forthcoming. Three years into the journey of life without Renee finds some bright spots to balance the pain. Penny has worked her butt off to bring order and joy back into our home and keep us focusing on the here and now rather than remaining mired in the past. If there is an afterlife I can almost picture Renee smiling at the new woman in my world with a twinkle in her eye saying, “I dealt with him for 30 years, now it is your turn.”