Its funny the way life works out sometimes. Erin was always begging me to come visit her in Virginia, but I never did make it over there. I was on the West coast and she was soooo far away. I always swore I'd make it there someday, I just didn't think it would be to visit the grave of an old lover.
So here I am, one year after she passed away, just 2 short hours from the town she grew up in. Two short hours from all the history she shared with me, both as a blogger on JS, and then later as my lover.
I finally made that trip to Stephens City, Virginia. Last weekend, on a perfectly beautiful Sunday, I made the two hour drive to Refuge Church Cemetery to leave a framed note on Erin's final resting place.
On Sunday it was exactly a year now. Today I’m remembering your beautiful smile. Not the one you often flashed to dazzle your friends, but the one that was always behind your eyes in the moments you were at peace. I always loved when THAT smile found it’s way to your lips. There was so much passion in every expression you gave. It’s your passion that I miss the most.
I remember the last camping trip we took to Mt. Saint Helens in the fall. You often told me it was one of the best weekends of your life. Our last night there, the crew had all gone to bed early, but you and I bundled up against the cold and went to keep the fire company under the stars. You had your camera with you (as always) and were telling me why you love fire so much as you snapped picture after picture of the dwindling flames. At one point you stopped and asked me what I was thinking. I told you that I was thinking of one of my favorite poems. I began reciting it and you chimed in with a grin after the very first line. When we were done, you had THAT smile on your face and I closed my eyes and just let the moment wash over me.
There are times when I still struggle with understanding why you left this life you loved SO much, so early. In those times my heart waivers between feelings of anger, joy and greif. I always try to let the joy shine through, and along with it, the many fond memories we shrared. In these times, I close my eyes and think about that poem we recited next to a campfire in the woods so many years ago, and that beautiful, perfect, peaceful smile of yours flows down through the hevens and carries me to a place where I am finally able to find some measure of peace with your passing.
You have always been, and will always be, one of the brightest lights in my life.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I hope you know how much I loved you. I hope you know how much I love you still.