Thirty-five years ago today (April 30, 1981) I married Kelly in the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple. He was twenty-three and I was nineteen. We were young, yes. But I knew without doubt, that he was the man I wanted to marry. This is my twelfth anniversary without him, and instead of celebrating our anniversary by taking the weekend and going to a bed and breakfast for a romantic getaway, I am spending most of the day working on building a bed and breakfast, The Book Nook Inn.
Today I have been working on The Secret Garden Room. The floor is almost finished, except in order to finish it, I need to finish painting the ceiling, and in order to finish painting the ceiling, I need to remove some glow-in-the-dark stars. The thing is, I haven’t yet been able to do it. Physically, I am certainly capable, but they say, I ♡ U, and I put them up there, over the bed, when that room was our bedroom, for a Valentine’s Day surprise for Kelly, in 2004. He died the following November, and my message has been there ever since, through my renovation and painting after Kelly died, during my move to Idaho, while there were renters in my house, and it’s still there now.
Whenever I look at it, it reminds me of Kelly, of him playing his guitar, and of the song, Starry, Starry Night by Don McLean which is about Vincent Van Gogh. And I need to take it down to paint. I know I could put it back up again, but it’s the actual act of taking them down, that I am struggling with. I’ve been putting it off for days. But I need to do it. Perhaps today is the day, in honor of our 35th anniversary, I will move them to my current bedroom, where once again I can see the message every night before I go to sleep, yes, Kelly, I ♡ U, and I suppose I always will.
It’s kind of funny, I was thinking about what brought me to doing this project in the first place (apart from the carpet stain in the stairs), and it’s reading. I love to read, and have ever since I can remember. When I was a little girl and I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always a mother, and I wanted six kids.(And that part of my wishes happened!) I’m not sure why it was six, but it always was that number.
When I got a little older, and fell in love with reading, I wanted to own a bookstore or be a librarian. By the time I got to junior high, I decided I wanted to be a writer. The first time I stayed at a bed and breakfast, I thought it would be fun to own one. (But, I never pursued it, because let’s face it, I’m not a morning person, and being up bright and early to make breakfast for a crowd isn’t my strong suite — but do not fear, there will be breakfast available at my Airbnb, it will just be a self-serve breakfast, with me, when the mood strikes, making crepes for my guests on the weekends, for brunch.) But I digress, I was talking about my anniversary. But, perhaps, this is about my anniversary.
We had twenty-three years together. He was twenty-three when we married. I once told his mother, Nanette, that she got him for the first twenty-three years, and I got him for the next twenty-three years. And now, God has him, in safekeeping, for eternity. Perhaps, in another twenty-three years or so, I will get to see him once more. We crammed a lot of living in twenty-three years. We had a lot of ups downs. We rejoiced in good times, we sometimes argued, and fought, and many tears were shed. We forgave and moved on. We loved. Oh, how Kelly loved me. He wasn’t a romantic, but he always wanted to please me and make me happy. I loved when he brought me a bouquet of flowers, just because, or when he took me to a bookstore for a date night, or said, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.” Life was so busy, what with work, six kids’ activities to keep up with, church callings, and always so much going on, it was sometimes hard to find time to spend together. I wish we would have made more time for each other. He worked long hours to provide for our family. And he came home and helped me out — a lot. It was by no means a perfect life, but we loved each other, and that was what really mattered.
And I sometimes miss that life. I miss him. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I sometimes wonder what he thinks of who I’ve become. I’m pretty sure my life has taken a very different turn than it would have, were he still here with me. I hope he would be pleased with who I am now, what I’ve accomplished, how I’ve raised the kids, how I endeavor to be a grandmother. He so would have loved having more grandchildren. He would be proud of how David and Dillan have grown up, and what good kids they all are, I tell them about him sometimes, like I went to my granddaughters soccer game the other day, and I mentioned to her that Grandpa Kelly used to play soccer. I wish they could have known him.
I wish he were still here with me. But that’s not possible, and life goes on. I move forward, albeit with glancing over my shoulder often, to remember our life together, but forward never-the-less. Some day, I’ll see him again, I will hear him sing to me again, I will hold him in my arms again, I know that. But until then, I will live my life. Life is busy. Life is good.