About a week ago I was going through a box that we'd brought from storage and I found a plastic bag full of letters and cards. Pulling one randomly I discovered it was my Anniversary card to Janice from the 1st of July 1995. The next day she found she had a lump in her abdomen. Four days after that she was diagnosised with ovarian cancer, and thirteen months later, ten years ago today, she died.
As I turned the card over in my hands I couldn't help but think about how much life changed in the days after she opened that card. She was the healthiest person I've ever met, and no one took better care of themselves but it seems as though nothing could change the course of events that followed. There was a short time after she died that I wondered what the point of looking after yourself was, but I know that by looking after herself she delayed the onset of the disease, allowing us to meet, fall in love, and live life large. Although we were very different, she shaped a good deal of who I am today. And while, just like Leah and I, many people didn't "get" us, we did. And that was what mattered. There hasn't been a day go by that she hasn't wandered through my thoughts.
I know that I'm a very lucky man for many people do not find great love at any time in their lives, and I've found it twice. After Janice's death I never dreamed that I would ever again find someone to make me feel that way again, and I certainly never dreamed that it would happen in Arctic Bay. Leah and Janice have both been two halves of my whole, how I deserved to find either of them is beyond me.
Ten years! I miss you Sweetie. There are some flowers coming down the river for you.