Wrote this letter to my wife, Teresa, almost a year after she died, at the height of my depression...
My Wonderful Wife,
The year is going by so fast! The Christmas season has just ended and we’re gearing up for a long winter. I actually am looking forward to the overcast days and snow, though I know you liked it better in the warm sunshine, unless it was snowing and school was cancelled!
Melody is still the center of our lives. She is growing so fast, and can do so many things. She is such a sweet, friendly, smart, strong-willed little girl. She reads her books everyday, and knows so many words. I can’t wait until she can talk instead of babble in that language only she understands, so that I can understand her. She seems to have a lot to say. Yesterday, she pulled herself up onto the ottoman and started using the TIVO remote to fast-forward through the parts of Sesame Street she doesn’t like in order to watch what she does like: Elmo’s World. She has more toys than she knows what to do with. Between her first birthday and Christmas, she now has enough to fill five rooms: her bedroom, the living room, the rec room, Mom & Dad’s family room, and your parent’s living room. She is the most beautiful baby in the world. Fortunately, she gets her looks from you!
The Pittsburgh Steelers are having one of the best seasons in the history of the NFL. It’s very exciting to see them finish the season at 15-1, with their new rookie QB, Big Ben Roethlisberger, undefeated in 13 starts. I think they’re Super Bowl bound. Your Redskins, unfortunately, didn’t have a great season, despite the return of Joe Gibbs. Maybe next year will be better. The Maryland Terps football team struggled, too, but I’m hopeful that the basketball team will do well in the highly competitive ACC, despite a blowout loss to the Tar Heels over the weekend. Ward Burton, our favorite NASCAR driver, had a disappointing season in the Netzero car and was unceremoniously let go. He doesn’t have a new ride yet, and I don’t have that same feeling of excitement as the new season approaches next month without him.
I continue to struggle with things. Life is not the same. I find myself just sort of sleepwalking through my days. Work is stressful at times. Being a supervisor is not as much fun as cartography, but at least everyone is fun to work with. I actually have found that I look forward to coming to work again, sometimes, so that’s good. I’m dealing with a few health issues that have me scared, though I know everything will be fine. Everything was easier when we went through these things together. I trust that God will continue to take care of me, and us.
Mom & Dad, your parents, and Angie continue to help me care for Melody, and Lauren is continuing as Melody’s nanny. I’m so blessed to have them in my life. I pray continuously for your parents, knowing how much they’ve lost, but I’m so thankful that they are involved in my and Melody’s lives. Your friends, Kristen and Elizabeth, come by weekly to visit. Cherish, Jennifer, Cherice, Melissa, Addie, Nancy, Carol, Irene, and Michelle check in with me often, as well, and I appreciate all that they do for us. Many friends from my past have re-entered my life and I enjoy opportunities to get together with them: Tucker, Darrell, Kirk & Jim.
I went to the cemetery last week for the first time since they placed the monument on your gravesite. The monument is very nice, as is the location. While I was there, it was cold, overcast and rainy, which kind of fit my mood that day. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and re-live the happy moments of our time together. I know that’s impossible, but I’m glad to have so much video tape and pictures, and all of our emails to each other over the five + years we were together, to remember you.
This past weekend was the annual Ya-ya Christmas party. You were greatly missed, but we had a good time. It’s not the same without you, though. Your friends are so wonderful to me, and to Melody. Kristen, Elizabeth, Cherish, Jennifer & Rob (and newborn Alana) overloaded us both with gifts. I appreciate them, and their friendship, so much. I’ve noticed just how important it is to have them in my life, since they help me remember you. They tell me stories about you from before we met. And they aren’t just your friends anymore. They are mine, too.
As much as I enjoy spending time with all of these people, I still have a huge void in my life. I miss you so much! Ours was such a perfect marriage. Even if I wanted to, I’m reluctant to pursue other relationships because of my feelings for you. It’s hard for me to imagine starting all over again with a new relationship. But I don’t like being alone, and I don’t like that Melody doesn’t have a Mom now. I miss being able to do “couple” things. I miss dining out with you, and going out to the movies with you, and taking trips together. None of these things are fun to do alone. It’s so hard seeing so many happy couples everywhere. And I don’t like being a single father. Our time together was just too short. I will trust the Lord to guide me and help me through this. I know, through Him, everything will be fine.
Thank you for making me so happy, my Dear. God allowed us to experience His love for us in the love we shared as husband and wife. Through that love, you helped me to be a better man, husband, and father. As Melody’s Mom, you shaped the foundation of her development into the smart, wonderful little girl she is, and we have tried to carry forward with her as you taught us. We will love you forever, my dear!