Going from Us and We to I and Me

Fourteen years ago today, Tony and I got married on the beach in Naples, Florida.  Long time readers will know that Hannah was my maid of honor and my step-son Joe was our best man.  Tony’s parents and my Mom were the only other ones in attendance, and that’s exactly the way I wanted it.  Small.  Intimate.  Although my twin sister will give a dig every once in a while and say “it was really nice being invited to your wedding!”  But that would have opened up a whole other layer of people, and I didn’t want it to be a 100 person event. 

Tony and his son spent the night before our wedding with his Dad, Hannah, my Mom, my MIL Bonnie and I spent the night at their other property.  The day was busy – I had a manicure, pedicure, had my hair and makeup done.  Pretty much the best way to tell me and my sister apart was that I normally don’t wear any makeup and she doesn’t leave the house without it.  I remember looking at myself when it was all done, and I thought “I look like Jennifer!”

The wedding didn’t take place until 5:30 on the beach, and I just couldn’t wait until it was time to see him.  I always told him that I didn’t care if we lived in a card board box, all I wanted was to be with him.  Finally it’s time to head to the beach, and I wasn’t nervous or anything – I just couldn’t get to him fast enough.  He hugged me, gave me a kiss and said “your face smells like pancakes.”

I would have thought we’d have 40+ years together.  From Thanksgiving week until today, it’s just been so surreal.  I’ve been looking back at pictures I’ve taken in the last couple months of Tony, and now that I know, it looks as if he had been slowly dying and I didn’t either want to see it, or just thought that this was another medical hurdle we’d jump over and move on.   We’d look back and say “can you believe you were sick during another holiday?!”  That always seems to be the case with him.

Since Tony’s sister and her family are coming over for Christmas, I finally decided to decorate a bit.  I was alone on Saturday night.  I love our pre-lit Christmas tree.  It snaps together in three pieces, you put all the plugs together and bam!   Of course you know I have a lot of snowmen ornaments.  But once I put this ornament up on the tree, the tears started to flow and they just wouldn’t stop.

12.20 weekend 030

The tears suddenly turned into full blown sobbing as it does from time to time.  I just wanted to go back.  Go back to 2007 when the kids were littler and I’d have seven more years with Tony.  All of a sudden I heard a noise in the bathroom.  Huh.  I was the only one home.  I walked in, turned on the light, and . . .the toilet seat was up!  Now I’d been the only one home for a couple days, Hannah’s boyfriend or any man for that matter hadn’t been here to leave it up.  I suddenly thought “that’s Tony!”  He always said he was going to haunt me and my tears and sobbing stopped and I smiled.  It made me feel better.  The tears have a long ways before they subside.  I am still strong to people around me because if I wasn’t, I’d just be a basket case all day and not want to get out of bed.

PicMonkey Collage 1

PicMonkey Collage 2

tennessee kissing

This is the last picture we have together – the selfie I did at the hospital on November 12.   I would have never guessed that three weeks later I’d be saying goodbye forever.

our last selfie

All I know is that I miss his hugs, kisses and . . . that smile.  Happy 14th Anniversary babe!  I miss you more than you’ll ever know.  I just have to move on from WE to ME.  And it breaks my heart.

i love that smile

You Might Also Like

  • Bonnie
    December 22, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Enjoy those precious memories today!


  • Renee
    December 22, 2014 at 7:44 am

    You have every right to want 7 more years. May your pictures and memories bring some small semblance of peace to you today. No doubt that he flipped that seat up;)

  • SuziCate
    December 22, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I can’t even imagine your pain and grief. Hold on to those beautiful memories. I know Tony’s watching over you on this day that would have been so special for you two. Big hugs!

  • Errign
    December 22, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Hugs!!!! ❤️❤️

  • Kimberly
    December 22, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Thank you so much for sharing those pictures and memories. So touching. I have no doubt that lid was lifted by Tony! On Saturday my family learned some devastating news. My beautiful sister has brain cancer. She is one tough cookie but this journey will have a lot of challenges. I hope to be strong for her.Your honesty and strength have encouraged me.

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    December 22, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Thinking of you every day and sending you a big hug today.

  • Helen
    December 22, 2014 at 8:28 am

    This is a lovely tribute Biz. Happy anniversary.

  • Heather
    December 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Thank you once again for sharing your love and your pain…I am just glad that you’ve got your very own village to help you stand once again and dry those tears. Whatever you need…we’ve got you…And I think the toilet lid totally captures his sense of humor….looooool……xoxo

  • Diana
    December 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for sharing those great pictures of the two of you! Everyday you are in my thoughts…hugs!!

  • Thekitchwitch
    December 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Big hugs to you, sweetie. It must be a hard day. xo

  • Georgette Helton
    December 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Bless your Heart…I’m still praying for you all..My first husband died , I know how hard it is..You are so strong..lots of friends and family to help you and love you.Merry Christmas..It will be sad but just hang on to the memories for now…

  • natalie
    December 22, 2014 at 8:47 am

    i puffy heart you <3

  • Judy
    December 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Right after I read your blog, I read the blog of another widow. Her husband died 4 years ago today. She shared this poem and I thought perhaps it might give you comfort too.

    “My angel’s right beside me,
    wherever I may go,
    keeping close watch over me,
    he’s my husband don’t you know.
    God took him away from me,
    four years ago today,
    but he promised he’d never leave me,
    dear lord I miss him so.
    But I know he’s right beside me,
    wherever I may go,
    for he’s my guardian angel,
    my love, my life, my soul. ”

    hugs from me

  • Joyce
    December 22, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Passing through the different seasons of life can be so hard as we transition to a new season. I am over 60 and I always wanted to experience it all……the good, the bad and the ugly and painful, and there have been lots of all of it. Many ask me how I survived for I had a first bad marriage and lots of betrayals over the years. But I always said that I would not have wanted to miss a moment of ANY of it. It is just woven into the pattern of my life that went on to make up “me!” Letting go is the hardest and most agonizing thing I have had to do. I NEVER give up on anyone and when they do on me…….OUCH! And I don’t “die: gracefully to relationships. I hurt!! Through it all I found a faith in God, and that was worth everything.

    But sweet Biz, there are great days ahead for you yet. You will grieve and never really lose Tony in your heart, but new people will enter your life, new experiences to go through…some good and some not. But in the end life is precious, each moment. I know you know all this but I just wanted to share that you really will heal, and I cannot wait to see where life leads you.

    Thanks for allowing us to be just a small part of it! Thanks for sharing all your heart and memories with us. Many of us are your Cyber friends…..nevertheless we are here for you, you are in our hearts and prayers…..always.

  • Melanie
    December 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Ha! I knew Tony–who never believed in ghosts–would be back to visit. My family has always been very attuned to these ‘passing visits’ so after you wrote that ghost post way back, I was just waiting for you to write this one about Tony.

    Today will always be your anniversary, no matter where life takes you. Do something special today in memory of Tony. In the Romanian culture we call it Pomana and it’s a specially prepared meal in honor of the dead. Usually, their favorite foods accompanied by a prayer in their honor. It’s a great tradition, no matter one’s heritage.

    It’s going to be hard for a long while and Tony’s dying will be the first thing you think of every morning, but one day, it will be the second. In the meantime, throw yourself into your cooking for I know of nothing more healing than to lose oneself in the rhythm of the kitchen.

  • Erica
    December 22, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I think of you every day. My heart is with you. The pancake comment totally cracks me up. I know he will be with you always!

  • Lori
    December 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I just wish I was there to give a hug or help in any way. In the midst of it all…I couldn’t help but giggle…it’s so Tony to let you know he’s there by lifting the toilet seat. <3

  • Sherry Werth
    December 22, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I don’t get to comment as often but I read every post & my heart goes out to you each & every time. Although we’re only cyber friends & may never get to meet – I probably know more about you than I do most of my relatives! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your world!
    I have a strong feeling there will be more “Tony” visits to come. It’s just his way of letting you know he’s watching over you. 🙂

  • Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple
    December 22, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Happy anniversary. I’m glad Tony came back to visit.

  • Joce
    December 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

    What a great group of photos! The holidays are the hardest the first year and you’re getting so many with your anniversary, Christmas, New Years all at once. Thank you for sharing your feelings (and your wonderful Hills’ humor) with the world – you never know how many out in cyber land will benefit from your thoughts. Love you!

  • Shelley B
    December 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Happy Anniversary – I know it’s bittersweet and I’m sure, surreal. Big hugs to you.

  • Larry K
    December 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I think of you and what you are going through. Thank You for giving us just a little glimps with your memeories and funny storing. Some of them are very heartwarming, Like you smell like cake. We are all here for you Biz!!
    HUGGSS from NY!!

  • Jan
    December 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

    You guys are such a cute couple. May the coming year bring you some peace just knowing that Tony is in a place that is serene and he is no longer feeling lousy.
    Hang in there Biz!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all going to rock 2015!

  • Randi
    December 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Happy Anniversary. I too think about you almost every day. I hope all these memories you are sharing will bring you some comfort. Tony is watching you, I know it.

  • Melissa patris
    December 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I have been following your blog lurker-style. I am sorry for your loss. Tony looks like a slightly larger version of Chris Noth to me so just turn on the Enetwork & take off glasses. He is right there on TV all the time. Happy holidays

  • Amanda
    December 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

    These are wonderful memories Biz. I know it’s hard now. It will never be “easy” but it will be a bit easier. And years from now you will look at those memories and just smile and laugh and remember all of the good things about him and you guys together. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a nice time celebrating Tony and Christmas with the ones that love you and him both!

    • Amanda
      December 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

      And happy anniversary! Love you!

  • bluvsu
    December 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Those are winks from God. Letting you know Tony is ok. They come when you least expect them.

  • Bonnie
    December 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    We remembered your anniversary the first thing this morning and had another good cry. I love the toilet seat story – and Carl remembered the bird. Jeff is with you and that gives us some joy. Love you!

  • LaLa
    December 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Today is going to be a sad day Beth along with many days to come, but it will get easier each day, but never forgotten. You have many beautiful memories to hold on to. God is with you, along with all your family, friends, and Tony will show up when you lease expect it. You know that if you ever need a laugh, or pick me up, call your brother!!

  • Roz@weightingfor50
    December 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    OMG…crying at my desk! (don’t look anyone, don’t look. At my tears, or my screen because I’m reading my friend’s blog instead of populating a spreadsheet and approving a couple of expenses….) I 100% believe the toilet seat was Tony. This is a beautiful tribute to him, to you as a couple, and to your strength! Sending lots of love Vat!

  • Rowie
    December 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Hugs Hugs Hugs

  • sippitysup
    December 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Wow. I stopped by to say ‘thanks for dropping in my blog’. But now all I really want to do is give you a hug. GREG

  • Christine
    December 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing those pictures, Biz. Such wonderful memories – something to hold on to!

  • Lori
    December 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Happy anniversary. You will always have the memories. Those are forever.

  • M.J. Jacobsen
    December 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Tony’s sense of humor was the bomb! So many fine, funny memories for you, it’s got to be so hard. Hugs and love to you honey.

  • Jenn@slim-shoppin
    December 22, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Love you B. Maybe now I won’t give you a hard time not being invited to your wedding… LOL

    Hugs to you!

  • Fran
    December 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Happy anniversary sweetheart, what a lovely tribute to a lovely man from a lovely woman. I’m sure he misses you too where ever he may be now.

  • Jacky
    December 23, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Happy anniversary, love all the photos. A lifetime of memories packed into a too short timeframe.

  • Kym
    December 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

    (Heavy sigh) What a lovely set of photos. Happy anniversary. It makes me think I really should start taking more photos. I have so few of me in any of them. I hate having my photo taken but you never know what twist life will throw at you. The toilet seat story made me smile. I can only imagine what other surprises await.

  • Karli
    December 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    What a beautiful collection of photos. Look at all the happiness!! Let those happy memories fill your heart…xoxo

  • Erin
    December 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Happy Anniversary Biz. I’m in tears again. Love ya!

  • Kim
    December 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    HUGS!!! I hope you keep sharing your stories here – I know that Tony (Jeff) will always be part of your life and it is nice to be able to write about him and post the pictures!!!