Tuesday May 8th was a beautiful day. It was a day for remembering. It was a day to reflect on life and what we actually did agree to.
My friend was murdered just over a year ago. This day, May 8th 2012, was a day to remember him. And much to my dismay and heartache, many, many more men and women.
I went to Salem, OR with my friend Becky. She and I have been friends for quite some time and we both knew Chris. We took this trip together. To be there and support each other and to support Chris's wife and our friend Kristie. This was a memorial to honor fallen police officers. Officers killed in the line of duty, doing a thankless job that many people would never do in a million years.
I stood outside of the memorial, a memorial that should never have been created, and looked in awe at the sheer number of names written on it. There were 172 names. My friend and two other officers were remembered that day. Their names added to the wall. Like I said, too many names.
I looked at the families of the survivors who were gathered there to remember their loved ones. Not just my friends family but others too. Too many others. They were all their to celebrate the lives of the ones they lost too soon, ripped from their lives.
Remembering Chris that beautiful sunny day in Salem I couldn't help but think of my husband and children. I couldn't help but think of what my life would be like if my husband were murdered and take from me. From my sons. I hope I have just an ounce of the strength and courage Kristie does.
Kristie is a remarkable woman and she gives me the strength to know I too could carry on with the same grace and dignity she does. I cannot imagine her pain. I cannot imagine what she has been through this year. I cannot imagine what her children, who miss their father immensely, have and are going through.
This day gave me... love. Gave me... pain. Gave me... relief. Seeing the sheer number of people that gathered to celebrate my friends gave me peace. To be honest what they say is true. With the passage of time it is easier. It's still just as painful but remembering him is easier.
This is why we agree to life. It has it's ups and downs but thankfully more ups then downs.