Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Honoring Mommy

Still going through old files and came across this little essay I wrote describing how Melody and I spent the four-year anniversary of my wife's death by honoring her memory on a trip through her history.  Written on April 19, 2008:

Today, four years after Teresa's home-going, Melody and I spent the day honoring Teresa's memory by traveling and visiting places of significance to her life.

We started the day by driving to Reservoir High School, where Teresa taught from 2002 until her passing. The memorial garden was filled with blooming flowers and Melody ran around enjoying the beautiful weather.

Next, we stopped by Howard County General Hospital, where I explained to Melody that this was where she was born (it was also where Teresa was taken the night she passed). We didn't go any further than the lobby, and before she could start asking too many questions about the whole birthing thing, we headed out to our next location.

Next, we went to Rocky Run, the location of several of Teresa's birthday celebrations. Melody and I enjoyed lunch, then we went to the store to get some sunscreen (we were starting to get a little too much sun with the top down on the car -- the weather was warm and beautiful!).

Next, we went to Mt. Hebron High School, which is where Teresa began teaching. Following her death, the students there planted a tree in her memory, however the tree has apparently been removed. Unfortunately, Melody fell asleep and took a nap during the next part of our journey.

Melody awoke as we approached our next destination, Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens, where Teresa's body was laid to rest. Melody asked lots of questions about death, and why Teresa's body was here, and how could she be in Heaven, too? It was a pleasant, though sad time, and Melody gave me a long hug as we said our goodbyes to "Mommy."

We enjoyed the next part of our drive, down Rt. 97 towards Rockville. We drove by Montrose Baptist Church, where Teresa and I were married. There appeared to be a service going on, so Melody and I were not able to go into the church. Melody was disappointed about that, but after explaining where we were going next, she got excited.

We then headed over to the University of Maryland, in College Park, where Teresa and I both attended (at different times, and we didn't know each other until several years later). We parked near the Student Union and Melody & I visited the Jim Henson memorial, which is a statue of Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog. After we walked around the Union, we went over to McKeldin Mall and Melody and I stopped by the statue of Testudo, the Terrapin. I explained to Melody about the tradition of rubbing Testudo's nose for good luck. Then we walked down to the ODK fountain, which has Teresa's name engraved on it. Next, Cole Field House, but there was a cheerleading competition going on, so we couldn't go in (at least, without paying $20). We walked around Cole to see Byrd Stadium (though Melody tripped on a curb and didn't feel like walking around anymore). We continued our tour by car, and we drove around campus, checking out the dorms Teresa lived in while she was a student, and stopping by Comcast Center, where the Terps basketball teams play. We parked again near Rt. 1 and got some ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery. After we ate, we headed north on Rt. 1 to Laurel.

We made one last stop at Crestleigh, the apartment complex where Teresa lived with Kristen after she graduated from U of MD, and before Teresa and I were married. Then we stopped at Ledo's for a pizza before heading home.

We miss Mommy so much, and wish we could have had more time with her. We understand God had other plans, and we are content with the knowledge that we will see her again. We're also thankful for all of the wonderful memories and pictures we have of Teresa and her life with us. It's hard to believe it's been four years already. But we will never forget the significance of today, and we want to honor Teresa's memory by celebrating her life. Today was just such a celebration.

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