By Bethany Armstrong
The last Tuesday of February marked the date of my parent’s wedding anniversary. If my Mom were alive, this year would have been their 30th wedding anniversary. 30 years of marriage, struggle, love, children, marriages, grandchildren- so many family memories missed and remembered.
I never know how to remember or celebrate, so I write a Facebook status; which seems like an empty way to mark something of such significance, but this is what I wrote:
“30 years ago, the best man and best woman I’ve ever known got married. She wore a dress covered in lace, with puff sleeves, made by her grandmother. He wore a simple suit and tried to tame his unruly hair. They had no idea how much this date in history would change their lives and the lives of their 8 kids. Dad, thank you for exemplifying honor, living out your vows, and showing us what your love meant in a tangible way. Today, we remember and we celebrate.”
My dad later told me it encouraged him, and for me it was heartfelt and just. However, I felt sad, nothing could take away my pain or loss. I missed my mom. Usually, that feeling is a passing moment- it comes, I embrace it, and it passes. But, this time, I was upset because I was missing out on celebrating a huge milestone in their marriage. I am sure my mom would have celebrated with family, friends, food, and probably a trip with my dad (his treat, of course) for just the two of them. It would have been an over the top celebration.
Instead, there was only a Facebook status.
It is moments like this, I realize that despite how far I may have come through my grief, I will still miss my mom, so much so, that I will at times ache and be sad. This is a welcoming realization, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are things that should have been, that aren’t….like an elaborate anniversary celebration for 30 years of faithfulness.
Grief is a journey and the people that we love and miss, we will always love and miss. It’s a beautiful, if bittersweet reality, but we move forward with courage one day at a time.
By Bethany Armstrong