So I was laying in my bed this morning hours before dawn was even a thought and I started thinking. Now, normally, this is never a particularly good thing. I don’t do well with a lot of alone time and an active mind not focused on a particular thing. However this morning I was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out.

Now, for those of you who are unaware, my Naomi and I’s anniversary was the 20th of November, which I am sure the mathletes in the room can figure out is just two weeks from tomorrow. I have got a tattoo the last three years on this day, but this year that is not going to happen. I refuse to get wasted at 3 P.M. on a Tuesday, at least when I have to get up the next morning with the boys, and I don’t feel like laying in bed all day moping. I will be housebound that week, so going anywhere isn’t even an option.

“But Bear..” I hear all of you shout in unison. “..You said that this was a pleasant surprise and you look like you’re heading down that not so happy path.”

Fear not Gentle Readers, I will now pull back on the throttle and make everything all better.

As I thought of the things I wouldn’t be doing, I began to thumb through my phone and went to the very special place I keep pictures of Naomi I can get to when I want and I smiled at them. I have got a lot better about looking at pictures of her, but I am still very hesitant to most days.

This morning though, I sat and looked at hundreds of them with a smile on my face as I remembered. Elder Duck’s first day of Kindergarten, my first day in Canada, her first day in Kansas. Over and over and over. Memory after memory and not a single sob, tear, whimper or sigh. I love her just as much now as I did then. I love her with all my heart and that makes everything worthwhile. When I can look at a single picture that has all of my closest friends in it, my Naomi and so much food you could sink a damn boat and laugh because I remember all the things, then you know life is moving the way I should.

It isn’t an ending to grief and bad days, panic attacks and all of the other horror show things that happen sometimes, but it is a good day. One that I can look back to, straighten my back and say “That is the way I want to feel today. That is what I am going to strive towards today.”

Small victories win wars.

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