It was eight months ago today that Mark died.
Looking back on the last month, I can see that for me, something shifted and I'm feeling more at peace than I have in a long time. After a long winter spent in a fog of grief, with too much time inside my head, I feel a bit like a flower trying to push through the soil in spring. I can feel the warmth growing and am looking forward to facing whatever might be coming my way.
I feel stronger and happier than I have in a long time. I'm starting to realize how much Mark's illness, and not just his death, affected me. Going back 4 years to when he was first diagnosed with colon cancer, I started to live my life in fear. I was desperately afraid that he was going to die. Every time he would have surgery, I was terrified that he wouldn't make it through. Funny thing is, he was never afraid of the surgery (one of the benefits of getting to sleep through it we would joke), he dreaded the treatments and I know his own personal idea of hell was a long lingering, painful illness. I continue to be grateful that he didn't have to endure something like that.
Over the past couple of days, I had the chance to spend time with some of my wonderful friends, people I haven't seen a lot of recently. It was nice for me to be able to laugh with them, cry a little at times, and just feel reconnected to the world outside of my own four walls.
In addition to it being 8 months since Mark died, today is also Mimi's birthday. Before there was a Mark and Peggy, there was Mark and Mimi. As difficult as it was for Mark, I will be forever grateful to Mimi for leaving him. If they had remained happily married, I would have never had the opportunity to meet him. For many years, Mark and Mimi "slung hash" side by side at "Mimi's." She passed away suddenly in July 2010. It was a total shock to learn of her passing. She was only 54. Today, Mimi would have been 60 and I know that for the people who loved her, in particular her life-long bestie Elaine, it's a difficult day to get through. On April 16, 2011, in honour of Mimi's birthday, Mark cooked up "breakfast for Mimi"
I don't know if you could even count how many breakfasts Mimi and Mark cooked over the years but I know that anyone who was ever fed by them walked away from the table very happy and satisfied. As much as Mark was a culinary adventurer, he was never happier than when he found a really good version of bacon, eggs, toast and coffee.