I catch my lip with my teeth,
looking at my man:
my robust, physical husband.
My heart pumps faster as I gaze
at this fine specimen of masculinity
strong arms, big-chested,
gazing down at me.
It seems like yesterday
not two decades ago
that life together began.
Those eyes, so very blue.
They crinkled with warmth and love;
they narrowed in anger,
they closed with trust and intimacy.
Even now I look around our home
and those eyes gaze back at me
from almost everywhere.
I recall adventures so numerous,
often two-up on a motorcycle
across great swaths of the country,
into Canada and the last frontier.
Whatever sparked his curiosity:
engaging people, being outdoors
hiking, kayaking and biking.
Love given and received.
Intimate banter between spouses.
The skip in my heart when he
turned those blue eyes on me.
A wide grin, hug and kiss, followed
by his pledge to always love me.
Surgeries, cancer, treatments.
Seeking the best medical care
south, north and even west.
His first words upon waking up
from a seven-hour surgery:
“I told you everything would be OK.”
Just as he said, everything was fine
. . . for three years more.
We both thought he had it beat.
We traveled, made new friends.
Enjoyed time with family.
Built a new home, moved to Florida.
But cancer rose once again.
Bloodied, weary, resilient still,
he fought with every ounce of strength.
Just one year ago today
his heart beat no more.