Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Two Years

This coming Thanksgiving Day will be the second anniversary of the death of my wife, Ruth Decker Tabarez. We were together for 23 years, and were married for 21 of those years. I would say were were pretty happy overall and we laughed a lot during those 21 years. 

Now it's almost exactly two years since she has been gone. It has not been easy but I have struggled to endure. It really knocks the wind out of you when you realize that the perfect one, who you loved more than anything is not coming back, ever. You just don't know what to do, so you find things to do. You try and glorify the memory of that person. You reach down and pull something out of that bag of love that was filled over all those years.

I know that Ruth would laugh at the idea of me leading children's tours at the museum but I also know she would be proud. I know that she is there with me and that she guided me to the museum somehow. I don't really believe that very much, or I never believed it before, but I guess I believe it now. Two years ago when she left I wanted to die too. 

Now I know there is so much to live for, so much work still to do, and so many lives to touch. I forget about that sometimes. I forget that I have been given blessings all through my life and I continue to get them every day. Ruth and I met in law school and one day they talked about "wrongful death lawsuits," and someone pondered why there were no "wrongful life," lawsuits. Here's the reason why those lawsuits don't exist.

It's because life, any life, is better than no life, that is a fact. I have been sad but if I had missed these past two years it would have been a shame, in addition to being sad. So I continue, I persevere, because I have life, a heart, and a mind, and I also know one thing for sure, even if I don't believe in ghosts and guideposts.

She would just be so upset if I wasted the rest of my days, so I cannot and will not. I am overjoyed that my little sister has found love again and it has touched her heart. I wish I could tell her that but all I can do is cry right now. For joy and for sorrow. It's unfortunate but to really know one you have to take hold of the other one, but again you survive.

So for everyone who is hurting, I hurt for you. I stood under the Eiffel Tower on my 24th birthday, and I thought about the freedom that had brought me to Europe as a soldier, and it made me have a better understanding of what that freedom really means. It's not free, it never was, and never will be. Blood has to be shed in order for freedom to continue. I just wish it could be different but it cannot.

So I will continue to sit here by the ocean, watch the water move back and forth to Hawaii, and keep on going. It's all we can do really. I will smile at my neighbors and roll on the floor at the museum to make the kids laugh, and I will feel as though I have turned a corner in some way. Two years. Amazing. It's like she has never been gone from my heart, not even for a second.
Ruth, Doris, & Esther