This date has held such mixed feelings over the years.
I remember March 25th 2006 with happiness. The joy of making a life long commitment to an amazing man and taking his last name.
March 25th, 2011 was tainted with fear as we faced a cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and uncertainty.
March 25th, 2014 was full of excitement as we anticipated the arrival of our daughter.
Then March 25th 2015 came with deep grief as I faced what would have been our 9 year anniversary alone with our 8 month old.
This year is different yet again. As I expected it to be because grief is a journey not a destination.
March 25th, 2017 came with less dreadful anticipation. Less fear. Less ache.
Today I feel more grateful then sad.
That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt at all. Of course it still does because love does not die with the body. It lives on in legacy and memories. Forever.
However, this year I can focus on the fond memories I've collected from all the years we lived out our vows, not the despair of the life stolen from me through death.
I am in a good place these days. It's refreshing to be able to say that finally and consistently. When deep in grief it feels like it will never be any other way.
But God has redeemed my life yet again. As He has done over and over. He has given me many new roles in my life and a new sense of purpose. I have been renewed not destroyed.
It has taken time and hard work, but would it be any other way?
As I visited Brandon's grave this morning tears fell of course, and my (sometimes) sweet girl wiped them from my cheeks. Unlike the past 2 years, those may be the only tears I cry today. And that's ok. Brandon hated to see me cry.