Time flies. I’m not really counting, but today marks the second anniversary of my wife Nancy’s passing, so I felt like marking it. It is not from the point of view of loss. She is part of me and most likely always will be. From the first day, I’ve chosen to celebrate her life, and our life together, rather than lament any kind of loss. I do miss her, but I know she isn’t far from me even now.
So, I thought I would share three photos I’ve chosen. The first shot above is one of my favorite shots of Nancy. It was taken sometime around 1989 at a Toyota dealership that she worked for in Vacaville for a short time as a fleet manager. What I like about this shot is that she is gorgeous and showing that smile that captured me the night we met, and it shows her as a sales manager at a car dealership because that was what she did when we met, except that she worked in southern CA in Van Nuys at a Chevrolet dealer, which is how we came together because she won a Chevrolet trip to Hawaii and so did I from a northern CA dealership. We did the same kind of work, so it was easy enough to talk shop with her.
The next two photos are the first photo together and the last. In between went 26 years of time. The first photo was taken at the Honolulu airport on May 1, 1987. We had only just met less than 15 hours before this photo. Nancy took her daughter, Alisa on the trip and I took one of my salesmen and friend Dallan. We were waiting for Dallan’s sister to arrive from the big island coming to visit with us for a few days since we were conveniently located in Hawaii for a week. I’m sure Dallan took the photo.
We were on the north shore of Oahu at the Turtle Bay Hilton and we met in the evening of the first day at a dinner reception. The next day we were taking our rental car and going to visit Honolulu and see the sights as well as pick up Dallan’s sister. In the lobby on the way to the car, we saw Nancy and Alisa about to get on a bus for a tour of Honolulu and suggested they might enjoy riding with us in a convertible. After some convincing by Alisa, they came along. Nancy and I, and often with Alisa too spent the rest of the time of the trip together. We decided to get married the next week.
The last photo taken together was on July 20, 2013 only 21 days before she passed. It was the wedding of Nancy’s nephew, Stewart. She looked forward to this event for several months. The photo was taken at the reception and is also a beautiful photo of Nancy’s granddaughter, Joslyn standing over us. Nancy was uncomfortable in the crowded room and her wheelchair was cumbersome, so she wanted to leave shortly after this photo was taken, but she got to see the whole wedding and the first part of the reception.
I have several hundred photos in between these first and last photos. I still have about 60 of them on display in my office, so I see Nancy every day. I find more love all the time because love grows when you allow it to prosper. It’s not about living in the past, although all of the photos are from another time. Right now they are simply a reminder of how blessed I was to have shared a substantial bit of time with Nancy and her family. In my travels, I have learned and practiced unconditional love, and Nancy encouraged my expertise at that many times. I am thankful for all of it, for that time and this.
And now, today, I am learning to celebrate myself. At another time, I might have thought this to be egotistic or selfish, but I have found that it is exactly what I need and I also know that it is a universal need and desire. As we celebrate others, and find even more joy in our time and experience with them, it is equally, if not even more important to celebrate ourselves. When we love ourselves unconditionally, loving others takes on a whole new dimension. This I am learning and I have Nancy to thank for a good deal of that.
Celebrate Someone You Love Today. Don’t Forget Yourself.
Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of your need to be right.