Last week marked eight years since my first husband, Jarronn, passed away. Each year, as the date approaches, I do a lot of reflecting. Not so much about Jarronn — I still think about him regularly, regardless of the time of year. But more so about what it was like for me to go through such an earth-shattering loss. The shock. The depths of my grief. The blurry moments of trying to pick up the pieces.
Along with all of that, I can’t help but also think about the gestures made by others that helped me walk through it all. The anniversary of Jarronn’s death marks a time of deep sadness, but it also marks a time when I experienced kindness from other people in a way I never had before.
Today I’m celebrating four years of being married to my husband Jordan. These past four years have been incredibly rewarding, both for the way they’ve filled me with joy and for the way they’ve challenged and refined my character.
To mark the day, I’m sharing both mine and Jordan’s answer to one question: What’s the biggest thing you learned in this past year of marriage?
For as much as I love getting to call Harlem, NYC home, there are times when my mind wanders to thoughts about what it might be like to live abroad for a year or two. To immerse our family in a different culture, new adventures, perhaps a new language. In my 34+ years of life, I’ve moved to different cities and states, but still never farther than a three-hour drive from where I was born. So the whole idea of packing up and moving across an ocean is hard to fathom.
And yet, lots of people do it. And I’m totally fascinated by it.
Since I don’t see an international move in my near future, I figured the next best thing was to send a barrage of questions to a friend who is doing the very thing that I find so fascinating, in part to learn something new and to also live vicariously through her.
When I think about the things in this stage of life that really bring me joy, having so much of our family living within a short drive is easily at the top of the list.
For most of my life, I lived far away from grandparents and cousins and even my brother, and I was always wishing I could see them more. So getting to see Jameson interact with his grandparents and cousins on a weekly basis warms my heart like nothing else. And the emotional support it lends me and Jordan is pretty immeasurable.
On a random night last year around this time, Jordan and I were sitting on our couch watching tv, and an email from my newly engaged cousin and her fiancé landed in our inboxes.
The subject line: “Do Us The Honor?”