Just a thought... Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it. [Toni Morrison]
I've lots to share with you this week - a road trip will do that - but first, what's in my heart. Namely, this guy.
Yesterday was a special day - the only one in our calendar that hasn't been dipped in blue, it seems - as Rob and I marked our 29th wedding anniversary.
Some years are bigger than others; obviously 29 isn't as momentous as, say, 25 or 50. But Rob said something on the way home from Washington state on Sunday. Since Lauren left, we've let Christmas slide without presents to each other; we don't usually mark Valentine's because it comes six days before our anniversary. Birthdays haven't felt celebratory (and you can forget about Mother's and Father's Day). But he's damned if we're going to let our special day slide - which I was ready to do.
I appreciate that sentiment more than if it had come written in a card accompanying flowers. We had a nice dinner out, having researched on Trip Advisor "best Japanese" in Victoria. The #1 pick was closed but we chose #2 and weren't disappointed.
I took the picture of my beloved Rob that you see above in the lobby of the Tacoma theater where Amy Sky, Olivia Newton-John and Beth Nielsen Chapman performed almost the entire, beautiful LIV ON album (plus a few of each singer's own hits). It was an unforgettable night and I can only hope they bring their show to Toronto. Fingers are crossed!
Later, we had a chance to chat with our friend Amy and her friends Liv and Beth. And a true "bucket list" moment came true for Rob as he hugged Olivia, a genuine, sweet woman in the moments we shared with her. We laughed as I told her I'd had him for 29 years, and would give him up for her to have, if she wanted. "Well broken in" is the term I think we were laughing over.
So, what did he say after getting to hug and pose with a woman for whom he held a torch all those years ago? First, Rob thanked her for her kind words of condolence. Then he said these words: "You smell nice." (Something like oranges, Rob says.) We all laughed again. She was so lovely; Beth was kind and grounded - we talked grandsons - and Amy was her usual spectacular, warm self.
All in all, it was a beautiful night, even though at one point about three-quarters through the show, I was fraught with nerves. The house lights came up and I was called upon to talk about our own journey with grief and recovery, having been mentioned at the beginning of the concert after "My Heart Goes Out To You" (a song the trio wrote the morning Amy heard of Lauren's passing).
I was quite literally shaking as the microphone was passed along the row to me; I managed to relate a few lessons I'd learned in sharing, in vulnerability, in gaining strength through the stories and support of total strangers.
What I meant to say then, and I'll say now, is this: someone told me that when you share joy it multiplies, but when you share pain...it dissipates.
I suppose, going forward, that saying sums up the story of our lives together. Rob and I shared so much joy for so very long: the happiness of finding each other, marrying our best friend, having a child who was funny and smart and so talented that we could not have been more proud, and lastly, being given the gift of a beautiful baby boy to call our grandson.
So now, 29 years in, Rob and I hold tight to each other. We lift each other up when one of us is having a "Loo Day" as we call it. We share a pain only the other one knows exactly and, in so doing, it dissipates as our love grows. Truly, truly a saving grace.
Talk to you here tomorrow.
(@erindavis on Twitter)