WARRIORS ARE REQUIRED NOT TO HIDE FROM PAINFUL ANNIVERSARIES...
Warriors my heart is crushed as I write this. At this time a year ago I still had him. At this time he was still walking and talking and breathing...I could reach out my hand and I could touch him. I could hear his breath, see the tiny hairs on his arms, feel the scruff of his stubble, hug him, kiss him, hold his hand and smile into his eyes as he brushed hair away from my face. A year later I do not have the privilege of any of those things. How can that be?
I'm going to tell you something I'm a little embarrassed to say. I have never unpacked my husband's bags from last year's Hall of Fame/ Wrestlemania weekend. They sit in a far nook of my house I walk by often. Every single time I see his red and black bags I tell myself I should pull off the bandaid and put his things away....but I cannot. If I unpack those bags he will never be here to repack them. He will never again choose the essentials to place in each case. His hands will never zip the zippers, his strong arms will never carry them to the car and he will really and finally be irrevocably gone.
Warriors, I know this is irrational but I will always tell you the truth and the truth is sometimes I think those suitcases will need to stay packed forever just so I don't have to let him go...at least not all the way.
The single hardest thing I had to do this entire year might surprise you. WWE needed me to get his ring gear together for AXXESS which I am so glad that I did now and was entirely delighted to do when they asked..until I began the process. I would start out strong then end up in a puddle because the smell of him was in every fiber of those pieces along with his spirit. I cannot explain why I felt him most strongly digging into those boxes but the tears that dripped off my face and onto the his ring gear fabric were so much wetter and more painful than I could aptly describe. There was nothing that went with those monster tears, no sound, no hiccups, no sniffles, just the splash of rain puddle tears that felt as though they would never ever stop..but eventually, like every storm, they did. I touched the fabric, held his strings, ran my hand over his jackets and actually put my little feet into his giant boots. I cried thinking I could put my feet in these epic boots but I could never fill his shoes. There will ever only be one Warrior...and he was ULTIMATE!
You warriors out there give me so much credit for being strong but I fear that is not always true. This morning I do not feel strong. I feel sad and cheated. I wanted happily ever after with my husband...he was my guy and I loved him ferociously. I, of course, would not trade the beautiful years we had, even knowing the crushing pain that follows the loss. Still, perhaps I'm greedy, but today especially, I want more. We fought a lot of hard battles. We had a lot of tough things to face. I was looking forward to that time we slowed down just a stitch and soaked in the beauty of what we fought so hard to achieve. My goodness, I am so sad that will never be.
I will pick myself up and dust myself off and put on a brave face for my warrior girls today and we will celebrate his life today in a place he loved more than anyplace else but I'll need your power and help. I never once spent a day lying in bed after we lost him because he would have abhorred that. My girls saw that and I think the proudest I've felt since our loss was when Indy mentioned that fact when she was being interviewed for the DVD. I had never thought of it but when she said something to the effect,"my mommy never once crawled into bed and gave up, she got up every day as positively as possible and carried our lives forward.." I sat taller knowing for all my mistakes I had done my job. For all the pain they felt. For all the sadness and uncertainty they were not afraid I would not steer the ship. For that I must thank Warrior for steeling my spine with twenty years of don't be a cry baby training! I thank the grace of God, my dearest friends, my Auntie and Uncle, and ALL YOU WARRIORS who put on the face paint (metaphorically) and carried we three warrior girls on your mighty shoulders through this turbulent year.
I believe in observing anniversaries, even ugly, awful ones. I believe in facing hard days standing straight and upright not hiding in bed supine. I believe that we all have a choice when life hands you the worst case scenario and you'll never regret making the choice to be brave. I believe we all have a divine plan and destiny and it is our job to show up, do the work and strive to realize what we are here to achieve....What I believe most, with everything I am is this..
This world was made better by a man brave enough to carry the name WARRIOR. This amazing and wonderfully generous man believed with every cell in his body that we are all uniquely created to be our OWN warriors and he would expect us to make that happen, each day, every day, especially today..and... ALWAYS!!
Rest in Peace beloved husband I will never let you down.