Last year on this day I was eagerly awaiting the surprise I had planned for your 40th birthday, a spirited evening among dear friends celebrating you, while looking forward to spending the next 40+ years with you by my side. Never could I have fathomed that just two months later, you would leave me so suddenly and that the life that we had planned would be forever altered.
When I first lost you, I wore a necklace with your fingerprint. It hung around my neck, resting above my heart, the place that was home to your heart for all those years. It brought me such comfort to have it there, to touch it, to feel your presence with me…
There are many days that I don’t wear it now. At first it happened occasionally because the rush of the morning pulled me away before I had the time to fasten it around my neck. There were days that I ran back to grab it and put it in my purse, intending to put it on but ensuring that it was with me, always. Then came the realization that you truly are always with me. Not in the way that I want you to be, but still here forever…in the way that Cooper’s eyes light up when he tells me a story, in Lucia’s giggle, which fills my heart with limitless joy, in Cecilia’s voice, which beckons you to kiss the moon for her. You still walk with me, Mark. You always guide me. You still elevate me. The weight of your love will always rest gently on my heart.
On this day that you were born, my love, I celebrate you. And I will live the rest of my life honoring you, by doing what I truly believe is right in my heart, even when it’s the hardest thing to do. Always.