At this Christmas season, the first since my husband Mark's passing last spring, I am grateful for a video that my very talented daughter, Rachel, made and gave to Mark and me for Christmas two years ago (it seems like ten). As I watch it now, my heart is filled with gratitude for all that he and I and our children shared, for the family that we built from the wreckage of my divorce, and for the love than imbued our life together.
This video captures a golden period in the time that Mark and I had. Though he had been diagnosed (with inoperable prostate cancer) for over 18 months, Mark was still healthy and vigorous. We had just returned from a memorable cycling trip to Europe. Less than a month after that Christmas of 2014, however, the pain that would become an increasingly strident presence in our lives appeared in Mark's hip. From that point onward, the inevitable grew ever closer.
I have never shared this video publicly, but I do so now - at this special time of year - in tribute to Mark, to the life and family we had together (and still do, in memory and in the heart), to love, to authenticity, and to life.