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Tuesday Update: 10/06/09

This past weekend was the annual Cruise to the Woods cruise and car show up near Fort Dodge. I’ve written about the cruise in years past…it is something that Matt and I always looked forward to and enjoyed for many years. Trying to think on it, I’m pretty sure we’ve never missed it since the first year we were dating…aside from the year Matt was in the hospital. I remember sitting beside him in the hospital that year and gazing at the fall colors out the window…wishing we were able to take the TA on the cruise. I know Matt has no memory of that day, and I’m glad. It was difficult for me…knowing the plans he’d had for the car that year and how much he was looking forward to it. It has been a somewhat bittersweet event each year since then. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle between wanting to go and check out the cars as usual and then just missing the TA…and driving it…and all that it represented to us.
It may seem weird to be emotional about a car…but undoubtedly we will always miss it. I pulled out the car cover we had for the TA when we were going through things for the garage sale a while back…I couldn’t help but bring it close to me and sniff. Matt asked me what it smelled like…the car, I replied. I held it out to him, but he waved it away not wanting to be reminded…it was too hard for him.
It’s stuff like that that gets to me. Forces me to deal with how different things are for us. Reminds us of what we’ve lost. I think for the most part, day to day, we get through the tough times knowing that we still have much to be thankful for. But every now and then something will pop up and a little bubble of sorrow will begin to come to the surface. Watching the cars cruise through the park last Sunday I found myself a little stunned to watch a TA just like ours drive by…and I had to swallow hard to keep that lump in my throat from turning into tears. I took a picture of it…and looking at it now I remember the year we took the TA on the cruise. I remember sitting in that passenger seat, beaming with pride and giddy with excitement as we slowly made our way through the park…looking at Matt driving the car with that grin on his face…that one he had when he was so happy and all was right…and he didn’t have a care in the world. I’d snap a picture or two and he’d roll his eyes…rev the engine a bit for the onlookers, and smile. Sometimes I think I might burst with longing for those days again.
It’s weird because the days go by and we just go on living life, not really aware of how much our lives have changed…and then bam…a very REAL reminder. That’s when it gets tough.

But just last night…laying in bed…Matt turns to me and says how looking back on our recent trips to Minnesota and Illinois, even though they were tough at the time, both emotionally and physically, that they were good…and worth it. He spoke about how easy it would be to feel sorry for himself…and there are times when he struggles with those nagging questions which have no answers…why did this happen to me? Why not someone else? What did I do? But ultimately he resists that thinking…he realizes there is a choice…and he chooses to believe that there is a bigger plan in action here for him. He chooses to move on with his life. He chooses to try his very best to make the very most of the life he has been given. It isn’t easy – and I know there will be times when we’ll take turns crumbling…but then we’ll have each other to lean on…and our faith to stand on…and our families to rely on…and ultimately we’ll be ok. And there are times when we’ll be more than ok…we’ll be good, great even. Times like Saturday, lounging on our couch watching football together…times that are spent making memories with friends and family. Life just goes on…and we will do our best to make the most of it.

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