Day 358
Hiya Darlin’,

As a tribute and memorial for you your family has decided to write letters and share memories
of the short but powerful life you had. You know me I’ve written so many letters to you in my
head searching for the right words to say....and it wasn’t until today that I found the strength
to sit and write.

Today a year ago was the last day I saw you. The last day I was in your arms. The last day I
heard your voice. I miss you so much...I’ve drafted this memorial letter so many times to tell
you everything and still keep our moments ours. Perhaps the words I spoke at your service
are the most appropriate:

‘I don’t believe there are enough words to honor him. To show his greatness and spirit. If you
knew him you should count yourself lucky. A better man you’d be hard pressed to find. He
was one of the greatest men I ever met. He was goofy and could make you laugh and be silly
and in the same breath he would be your greatest support. His loyalty and giving nature was
a quality found in a precious few. He’d sacrifice anything to help, care, and support the ones
he loved. I am so honored that he chose to love me. I love him with every fiber of my being.
For those of you who know me, when I graduated I had no real direction. I had no idea of
what I wanted to be when I grew up and believed I’d never find love or prince charming. Then
I meet Daniel and the pieces I was missing were found. With him I found direction, support,
trust, caring, and so much more. Often people didn’t understand us and I think that was
because he and I lived in our own reality, in a love that few people could understand or
comprehend. We had found something in each other that few people are blessed to find. In
this world many things can be taken from you but love...true love never dies. I’m not sure what
to do without you but Darlin’ I love you. You are the love of my life. I will miss you always. I will
love you all the days of my life.’

And still it doesn’t seem enough. There isn’t a day that goes by that thoughts of you don’t fill
my head and heart. I am surrounded by remembrances; remembrances of the life we once
had, the life we should have had, and the beauty of the life force you were. How blessed I was
- I am - to know you. And that you chose to love me. I pray you know how much I love you.

Most of the past year was a blur. In the last few months so much has changed and it’s only
recently that I am beginning to remember the moments and months that followed your
passing. As I began the new school year so much of me hoped/ fantasized that you would just
appear at my door at the start of the term the way you did a year ago. I’ll never be able to
explain what it felt like that day to have you home. As we are approaching a year I’ve tried to
focus on the amazingly joyful moments you and I shared. To keep close to me the comfort of
the support and care you executed for everyone around you. Truthfully, it’s because I’m so
afraid of the days that are to come; it’s so hard to think back to the day we lost you. I don’t
understand it. Even now I don’t understand what happened. How did this happen? I’ve read
the articles, the letters from the army, and heard people utter explanations of the events of
the day but I don’t understand. Like so many people in your life I spent the time after your
death begging for things to be different, hoping it wasn’t true, pray the army made one of
their stupid mistakes...and part of me wouldn’t believe it. When they finally brought you home
we weren’t allowed to see you. And I held on to the possibility that it wasn’t you for so long
after. I knew it was stupid, I knew what happened because I felt it in me before anyone ever
told me, but it wasn’t until Memorial weekend that I let go of that hope. On Memorial week
your family and I were invited to Hood to a dedication of a statue for all the fallen in your
company. It was there that I found time to speak to Arreola and his confirmation was my break
to reality. Ironic that the weekend that used to be the anniversary of our engagement was
now the day that I was forced to accept you where no longer...

It was such a privilege to know you, to share love and life with you, to walk with you on a path
that took us in so many directions. You are my soulmate. The great love of my life. Somehow,
out of all the twists and turns our lives took, and out of all the chances we might have missed,
it almost seems like we were meant to be moment in time to get to know one another and to
set the stage for a unique togetherness. I still mourn for the life we never had. When we were
together I knew I was in the presence of someone who made my life complete. I turned to you
for trust and you gave it openly.  I looked to you for inspiration, for answers, for
encouragement and not only did you never let me down but you lifted my spirits and took my
thought to places where my troubles seemed so far way and my euphoria felt like it would
stay in my life forever. I pray that I was able to give you everything that you brought into my
life. Know that my world was reassured by you, my tomorrow’s will always be guided by you,
my yesterday’s were bettered by you. A greater man you’d be hard pressed to find. I miss you.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

Cledus sends his love and we are very proud of you. Be at peace Baby.