Grocery store parking lot - Florida 

I’m buckling the girls into their car seats. We’re headed home from the grocery store. Your favorite place. Not really. But you enjoyed going more than I did. You could always find some random person worth talking to. Me, I just wanted to get in and get out. That hasn’t changed, by the way. 

It drove me crazy. I know you’d see me, rolling my eyes as I waited for you to finish your conversation. Now that you’re gone, though, I realize it was one of the things I loved—and miss—most about you. Your kindness. Your joy. The ease with which you moved through life, even when life wasn’t easy. The ease with which you loved everyone—me, most of all—even when I didn’t make it easy. 

That’s how I knew you loved me. You never gave up on me. Even when we argued a lot during our first year together. It’s because of those arguments that we figured out how to communicate. That’s when our relationship grew, and suddenly, it wasn’t just easy, it was amazing. It was everything that fairy tales are made of. 

Whoever said “opposites attract” probably came up with it after watching us work an interview room together at the sheriff’s office. We were good cop/bad cop. You were just fine sitting there and talking to the suspect about the weather, while I preferred to get to the point. We definitely did not have the same interview techniques, but we always got the job done. 

After we got together, you stepped up and helped me raise my boys—our boys. You taught them life lessons, like how to drive and how to tie a tie. And our girls. Oh how they adored their father. You were and will always be their hero. Our family was so complete. It was everything I could have ever wished for. It never mattered that our house was old, or that we didn’t always have the nicest things. But ours was a home of love and laughter. And that was everything.

There was never a doubt in my mind that you loved me, just as there was never a doubt in my mind that I loved you. We would have done absolutely anything for each other. 

You were the funniest person I’ve ever known. Every memory I have of us, every video of you and the kids…you’re always laughing or singing or dancing. I watched one the other day of you and Lincoln fixing the plumbing under the sink. Well, you were fixing it. Lincoln was being Lincoln. I’ll admit, I both hate and love those videos. Because as much as I love you in them, I hate that you’re not here. 

She has a piece of you now. We all do. I sent a portion of your ashes to Eterneva to grow each of us a diamond. Reagan and I have black (honestly, is there any other color for Reagan); Lincoln and your sister both chose green. Each stone is stunning, filled with your light and love.

I had mine set in a rose-gold ring, surrounded by six colorless diamonds to represent the kids and me. Your diamond is at the center of course, just as you were always the center of our world. This ring is simple, elegant, timeless, and beautiful. I will wear it and cherish it for the rest of my life as a way to honor you and have you with me.

That’s something about you I’ll always remember, how you told everyone you loved them. I’m trying to do more of that, to live out your legacy of love and laughter. I’m taking things one day at a time. 

You were larger than life, Chris. The light of my life. My rock. My beloved husband. You were one of the good ones, simply the best.

I love you most,