Twenty Million Moments

Today is my sweet husband’s birthday. For the past 38 years, we have celebrated his birthdays together, but this year he will be celebrating in Heaven. As I reflected on these birthdays, these years, I discovered that we had been together for more than 20 million minutes.

Sometimes, these 20 million minutes seem like forever and at other times they seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. I am grateful for every single moment. It was during these moments that my husband gave me many treasured and precious gifts.

The first of these was the gift of unconditional love. My husband was a considerably large man with a heart to match. He was unselfish, compassionate and empathetic. He loved helping others and would strive to do or give whatever was needed to do so. He showed me and others how it felt to be loved unconditionally.

The second gift was the gift of friendship. My husband’s huge heart and tremendous capacity to love made him a treasured friend. He did his best to make people feel important and valued. He was an extraordinary friend to many and my best friend.

The third gift that my husband gave me was the gift of embracing imperfection. He knew that we are all human and we all make mistakes, but when he made a mistake, he always apologized sincerely and immediately. He knew he was not perfect, he knew that I was not perfect, but he loved me, imperfections and all.

One of the most important gifts that my husband gave me was understanding the value of hard work. My husband was extremely intelligent and exceptionally strong. He used both his mind and muscles and worked very hard to support his family and serve others.

My husband also gave me the gift of finding joy in the journey. While he worked very hard, my husband also understood the importance of enjoying life. He loved celebrating holidays, special occasions and people. He enjoyed being spontaneous. He liked going to midnight movies on the spur of the moment, grocery shopping at 2 AM and dancing in the kitchen on an ordinary Tuesday night.

The final gift my husband gave me was the gift of gratitude. He taught me to be grateful and to never take things for granted. During the past months, I have thought back upon thousands of the more than twenty million moments I spent with my husband. Even the most trivial of moments seem so exceedingly important to me now. I regret the moments when I passed up opportunities to create even more memories and those moments I took for granted.

I know that we will be together again and we will spend the eternities making more memories. Until then, I will celebrate his birthday by doing my best to incorporate all of his gifts into my daily life. I will try to be the best person I can be and share these gifts with others until we can celebrate together again…

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