Anniversary

Today is our 58th wedding anniversary. Our celebrations were always low key, but they will be lower than ever today. John is missing it, because he died on Saturday, the 11th. He and grandson David spent the weekend at the train club where they rode around the tracks and enjoyed being with other train enthusiasts. They were heading home in two cars, John going first. David saw John’s car wander slowly off the small road and cross to the other side where it ran over a stump and bumped into a tree. He was unconscious. Police and an ambulance were there quickly. Hospital people couldn’t get his heart started again. This sounds like sad, heavy news, but I firmly believe God chose the best time for him to die. He had done things he loved most, and he left a little early to get home so he could go to church the next day. I already think this was the best time for me to deal with this, too. I truly believe John is in heaven, already singing and praising God with his whole being.

Our wonderful neighbors were with me immediately. Many, many people were praying – neighbors, church members, family, and friends. For the first time in my life, I truly felt uplifted by prayer. God was taking care of me, too.

This is not a eulogy. In the next few days many people will talk about what a wonderful man John was and the marvelous things he did. I couldn’t begin to list the good deeds of the last 58 years. We will be celebrating all those things, and I will hear of some I hadn’t known before. It will be a celebration of a full life filled with love and joy.

The very day after his death I was laughing with neighbors about amusing things. John had a very good sense of humor, and we were always laughing together. He wouldn’t want me to cry and be seriously sober. I can almost hear his laughter from heaven.

This morning Shawn was sitting on her front porch when I went out to walk and joined me going to the stop sign. Neighbor Cindy passed us going the other way with her dogs. We needed to rest a leg, so I suggested we sit in Cindy’s yard. Her husband was sitting on the porch, so we asked if we could use his deck chairs. He was gracious and soon left in his truck. By that time, Cindy was coming home, and she joined us in the yard. Julie, who lives near me, came to greet us with her dog. What delightful company!

As Shawn and I came home, my brother Bob called. I sat on the porch and talked a blue streak with him and Beth. They patiently let me blather on. Bob offered to come for a few days, and a few hours later he was here. There was a heart-shaped cloud that formed in the sky, perhaps a sign of all the love floating about.

Former neighbor Connie and Shawn came to visit. Connie brought a list of things she dealt with after her husband died, and I know that will be invaluable. What a thoughtful thing to bring to a brand new widow!!

Shawn, Bob, and Logan came over with anniversary gifts – a lovely bouquet of flowers and a helium balloon.. They explained part was from them and part from our children and grandchildren. There was a long story about what went wrong when Bob picked out the balloons. The person didn’t know how to blow them up, and one escaped to the high ceiling of the store. The helium ran out, as did the backup canister of helium. It was a comedy of errors interspersed with long waiting periods. Lise called from Denmark as we sat visiting, so she was in on the party, too.

Fifty-eight years ago John and I embarked on our life together, celebrating with family and friends. Today that joined life is over. We are still celebrating, though in different worlds. For all of you who have been part of our lives, thank you for your love and friendship. God bless you.

95 thoughts on “Anniversary

  1. Dear Anne, I feel shocked to hear about your sudden loss of beloved John. Your positive post is amazing
    and I admire the positivity. I know you will miss him though and my thoughts are with you this beautiful summer morning.
    Hugs 🤗
    Miriam

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  2. Oh Anne, so sorry to hear this. You have had such a good life together, with great memories. You are right, he died doing what he loved with no lingering suffering. I’m glad you have such wonderful neighbours to be with you. You are in my heart and in my prayers. I also know John is in heaven, at peace and laughing along with you. Sending huge hugs your way. ❤

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  3. Ohh my dear friend, I feel shoked to hear about your suddenly Loos of beloved John you have had sucha good life together,with great memories. Iam glad you have such helpful neighbour s with you you are in my mind and in my prayer. I also known John is in heaven . At peace and laughing along with you. What you wrote is beautifully written. God bless you! 😢😥I pray to God 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg, I’m so sorry, Anne! I said that as soon as I saw the anniversary part, before reading the post! I too am feeling shock, but you are right. God chose the perfect time to take John to heaven. I wish I could delete my first response, but I can’t. Still, I’m glad you’re enjoying beautiful memories instead of where your mind could go. Bless you and please accept my condolences 💐

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      1. I loved your first response. I could see that on the left and this comment on the right. I immediately read that you were reacting to the anniversary. We were just celebrating in a different way than usual. I know your heart, and you would never say anything hurtful to me.

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        1. I’m so relieved 😅
          I pray your family holds you close and your faith sustains you right now. In fact, I know all of the above to be true! Nothing I can say right now except you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ✝️❤️‍🩹

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        2. One other thing, I found comfort in attending grief support at church, and in the book Understanding Your Grief which can be found on Amazon along with its accompanying workbook. Very helpful ☺️

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          1. Thank you! No one has mentioned anything like that. Oh! My brother has been here a few days, and I gave him the hearing aid batteries from your dad. He appreciated it and asked me to thank you for him.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Our God is so good to us . My prayers are for all of you …especially David being witness to the passing. The title widow takes some getting use to but you have a great group around you. Continue to know how much we love you,

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    1. I’m surrounded by many wonderful people in person and through the computer. I called myself a widow in my head, and it seemed to fit well. My grandmother was a widow in her 20’s! I appreciate your love and reflect it right back to you.

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  5. Dear Anne, I am so shocked by your news that I had to read it twice. I am not confident in my feeble words to comfort you so I will leave you with a portion of scripture. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – Psalm 23:4. May John rest in peace and rise in Glory!

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  6. Oh Anne, I’m so sorry. If you have to pick an exit, he picked a good one. I’m glad David was there. I’m also glad I had a chance to meet you both. I don’t worry about you though. You have the best family and friends. If I had to pick a group, I’d pick yours. Love and hugs.

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  7. My husband commented how good it was that David was there. I am deeply saddened to learn of your loss, but rejoice with you that he went straight to God without the lingering which is so often difficult. I found myself praying for Logan as he experiences the death of one close to him. I lost a dear neighbor when I was 9 and it hit me very hard. The first time I really understood I think.

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    1. Thank you for thinking of Logan. He seemed lost the times he came over. He saw a train hat in John’s office and asked if he could have it. Of course I gave it to him and then had him pose for a photo wearing it.

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  8. This is sad news indeed Anne and so close to your anniversary date and to Father’s Day … forevermore a sad reminder associated with John’s passing. You are a strong woman and have family and friends who will buoy your spirits as well as David’s. I am truly sorry for your loss. I felt like I knew John from your posts and our occasional e-mail correspondence when I sent him some articles about choirs and trains.

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      1. I will miss John from afar. I told him I’d send the story on the grand opening of Ford Motor Company’s office building, the repurposed Michigan Central Depot Train Station. It is slated to open this time next year. John liked seeing the before pictures, once a beautiful building that had deteriorated after being empty so long. I’m glad David knows me too.

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          1. Yes, John enjoyed the vintage pictures as it was an architectural wonder years ago and Ford Motor Company is restoring it from top to bottom, just like the Ford Estate. They now are encouraging small businesses to set up shop in the community around the Old Central Depot to make a small city.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Anne, You and your family have my deepest sympathy for your loss. Your love for John shines through on your post. May having your family and friends surrounding you help you find comfort in your time of loss.

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    1. Thank you very much for commenting again. I was going to go back today to reply. For the first time since I started blogging in 2015, I accidentally hit the delete button. That’s why it disappeared. I wanted to climb into the computer screen to get it back. I really appreciate your first comment of love and support, and you went the extra mile to write again. Thank you. You are so very special.

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      1. I’ve accidently deleted comments before (more than once) I blame it on my fat fingers, but it happens quickly and is gone before you know it. I’m happy to know you got my message. You are very special to me too.

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  10. What can I say Anne at this very sad time? Although of course for you and John the sadness is tinged with the thought that your god called him at the right time. I know that with the help of family and friends you will manage to get through this sad time. With hugs and love from far away. And please don’t think you have to respond to this comment.. When my DYS died all those years ago I found that the best comfort was from those friends who sat quietly beside me and talked when I wanted to talk and otherwise kept their peace.

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    1. There are so many people who have reached out to me, and I appreciate every one. Our close family, dear friends, church members, and bloggers have been marvelous. A sad time was transformed by wonderful memories and warm thoughts. How blessed I’ve been! Thank you very much for sharing a bit of your widowhood with me. It’s wonderful to know others have gone through this and come through strong and courageous.

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      1. And I coped with my sudden loss by writing a booklet which I distributed to my clients when I was a life coach. At the same time I changed my focus of life coaching two people saddened by loss of a close person. I also ran a group that I called Together. This was a desperate group of people who were morning and who came together to meet with others. No doubt your church will have such a group or if not, there will be a group nearby. Please be assured that you are in my thoughts at this awful time

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        1. Sorry. Dictated the response and didn’t check before I posted it. It should read to not two people saddened, disparate not desperate.and mourning not morning.

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    1. I misled people by posting a picture of John and me on our wedding day. We did have a good anniversary, just in different worlds. I liked your first response, as well as the second. Thank you for praying for me. This first week was made easy by greetings and prayers from so many people.

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  11. Anne, Lifting you up to our Lord Jesus, who I know is walking every step of this path with you. There is true comfort in knowing John is in heaven with his Savior, and you are surrounded with people who love you and will continue to lift you up and support you. This life is but a speck compared to eternity, and your eyes are looking up. May the Lord shine His face upon you and give you continuing peace and rest.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear about your husband, John. What a beautiful remembrance and I admire you for your positive outlook during what is sure to be a difficult time. Bless you and your family.

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  13. I am just reading this and am in shock. I know that John is in Heaven-but still, what sorrow for the loss of such a dear man. My heart goes out to David-you -Logan-your children. I am so sorry. I read the next post before this and so searched for this one. Words fail me but I am just filled with compassion. I am thankful you have so much support. You certainly have mine. love, Michele

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  14. OMG Anne! I just saw this now, being way behind…! I’m so shocked! John always seemed so very young, vibrant and full of life, and love, for you. I can’t imagine the depth of your loss and sadness. I am so, so sorry!! Thank goodness at least you have the support of marvelous family and friends. Still there’s that heart-size void, though. 😢

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    1. John was 80 years old. He was fighting a disease similar to cancer, and the symptoms kept getting worse, despite the treatment. He hadn’t been able to walk to the creek since February, though he could make it half way. His mind was still sharp and active. Everyone will miss him.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I have been away from Word Press for a while and just now interested in starting to blog again so I am just now reading this lovely post. Please accept my heartfelt and sincere condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you and hope you are able to find comfort in all the blessings and love the two of you shared.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss, Anne. I am glad that you have been surrounded by so much love and support from friends and neighbours and family – and even a heart shaped cloud to comfort you. Take care. I hope you are getting some much needed rest this week. 💞

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  17. Oh, Anne, I’m so very very sorry for the loss of your John. A peaceful way to go but it still must have been an awful shock for you. I’m so glad you have such a wide group of special friends and family to be with you at this time and always. xo

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