“Book Ends”

I feel like our “Earthly Life” is about the tangibles that God gives us. Those “tangibles” can be anything from souvenirs, to pictures, to videos, to the “stuff” that we buy and surround ourselves with. Lindsay and I were really never ones to purchase or keep souvenirs, but pictures and videos were our thing and I am so thankful for that now.

We were always about the memories, I even have a “thing” about being behind the camera when recording memories. I almost feel like some of those memories were meant to remain just as that… a memory without being captured. When you remember something because of the way it smelled or made you feel, that to me is something worth remembering. Now time to eat my words…

Since Lindsay’s passing I have found myself trying to grasp on to the past, to our past. I have gone through boxes of photos, notes, yearbooks, and all the “things” we collected throughout our love story. Two days ago I stumbled across something that brought me to my knees. It gave me a perspective that I feel you only reach when your greatest tangible, a loved one, becomes a memory and no longer a tangible. That something was a dinner receipt, a napkin, and a movie ticket stub.

When a love story begins, it always starts with two souls spending time together and cherishing those moments when it is just the two of you. Typically you go on your dates, spend time at each other’s house getting to know one another, and things are relatively simple. As the relationship goes on, “life” happens, you have school, you have work, you have family, you eventually get married, move in together, and you truly share a life together. While this goes on you are there together, your close, but things begin to change. Its not a bad change because I think that is where intimacy comes in and where truly sharing yourself with someone steps in, its just change.

The part of the love story between two souls that seems to always cause the most change is when those two souls become three, four, and so on. Kids. Kids are the greatest blessing to a love story because those two souls have created something WITH God. It is their first and greatest tangible created by the two.

Kids also leave that memory of a love shared between two in the past. The love story is no longer about dates, experiences shared between the two souls, or anything you knew up to that point. You now share your life, soul, your everything with your creation.

Prior to mine and Lindsay’s love story becoming a memory, I told her she will always come first. No matter what, I will love the kids, but she is their mother, my wife, and my best friend. She comes first (God), second. I felt like I kept my promise, but then again… life happens. You find a love like you have never felt for your children. My love for Lindsay even changed. She was now the mother of our children.

Our dates fell few and far between, traveling ended, our quiet moments just the two of us faded. We kept saying “lets go on a date”, but then life happened. Two, maybe three dates a year. I appreciate every moment spending time with Lindsay and the kids, every moment watching her be swarmed by Brody, Cash, and Rocky, every moment playing outside or taking walks with the stroller or wagon. I realize there are different chapters to a love story, but I miss the just the two of us and who says that can’t happen?

I made a promise to put her first, so where were the dates?

Lindsay and I went on our first date as a couple in the fall of 1998 to Tony Roma’s. That is a memory.

Fall (1998)

She kept this in the "Gabe Box" (1998)

Lindsay and I went on our last date as a couple in the summer of 2011 to Taco Diner, followed by a movie. That is now a memory.

Taco Diner (August 19th, 2011)

"The Napkin" Taco Diner (August 19th, 2011)

The Movie (August 19th, 2011)

Dates are not overrated. They give you that memory. They give you that time together that you found special when you began your love story. They give two souls time to enjoy each other.

I will never forget the rainy night at Tony Roma’s and I will never ever forget the first night away from both boys to allow our souls to be just the two while Lindsay took notes on a napkin over something she asked my opinion on, followed by that movie. Never did I imagine that night away from the boys would be the last time for those two souls.

Don’t put up those bookends until you’ve filled the shelf with books.

Gabe

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4 responses to ““Book Ends”

  • Brooke

    Love it. I remember when she started planning for y’alls date. She wanted to figure out what movie y’all should go to and she wanted it to be a fun, special night just for y’all. Are those her Tastefully Simple notes? 🙂 That makes me smile. After your date she was telling me how you helped her come up with all these great ideas for TS. She loved/loves you SO much Gabe.

  • Lynn Colberg

    Gabe… God has truly given you the gift of writing. Thank you for sharing that gift with me. You have touched my heart … thank you for the gift this morning.

  • Sunny J.

    Very powerful, Gabe. You’re so right! Love you.

  • Shana Batten

    Don’t think of her as gone away, her journey’s just begun
    Life holds so many facets, this earth is only one.
    Just think of her as resting,
    from the sorrows and the tears
    In a place of warmth and comfort
    Where there are no days and years.
    Think how she must be wishing, that we could know today
    how nothing but our sadness, can really pass away.
    And think of her as living, in the hearts of those she touched
    For nothing loved is ever lost
    And she was loved so much.

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