Rich passed away November 18, 1997. It was only 11 days after we celebrated 27 years together. This year would have been our 40th anniversary. Even though he is gone, the day is still the most special day of my life.
This year, instead of struggling with the sadness that this season has brought since his death, I decided to celebrate the day! On November 4, my daughters, Angela and Amy, joined me for an Anniversary Day celebration trip to San Diego. I invite you to enjoy the picture album “40th Anniversary Day Celebration Weekend” here on my website.
We stayed in a hotel with a private beach located on a cove of Mission Bay. Our room was filled with the fragrance of three exquisite gardenias each in a glass bowl ~ one for each of us. These were special reminders of Rich’s custom of giving me a gardenia on special occasions knowing them to be my favorite flower.
We spent three days relaxing in perfect weather, enjoying the company of one another, laughing, reminiscing, telling stories, and eating decadent and delicious foods. We were treated to so many wonders created by God ~ sea creatures, birds, the sea and amazing sunsets. The weekend culminated in a Sunday Brunch Cruise on San Diego Bay where Rich and I had celebrated our 25th anniversary fifteen years earlier.
Some may think it strange that after 13 years alone I would still be celebrating; perhaps they feel that I’m living in the past and not moving on with my life. How wrong they are! Instead I choose to take this year to honor a man who changed my life completely ~ a man who loved me unconditionally and loved me as Christ loved the Church. In loving me in this way, God used him to save my life, our marriage and our family! I am blessed that forty-one years ago God whispered to Rich’s heart, “This one will be the mother of your children.”
I have moved on…but I will never forget! The past 13 years have been filled with many changes and a host of adventures. I don’t know what the future will hold from this time on, but I do know the One who is holding my future just as He holds my present and has held my past. I trust Him completely, and I will be forever grateful to Him for gracing my life with Rich Downing!
Janie \o/Share on Facebook