Saturday, October 3, 2009

An anniversary letter to my sweetheart

Dear Johnny,

Today would have been our 34th wedding anniversary.  I don't have the words to say to really tell you how I feel right now.  All I can do is cry.  How do you describe a hole in your heart?  How do you explain the kind of phantom pain one feels for a limb that is gone?  Where are you?  This time last year we were fighting so hard to be strong and to believe we could save you.  I would trade my life for yours if that was what it took.

Now I just lay in bed each night and stare into the darkness listening to Lucky the dog breathe instead of you.  I know you never liked her to sleep on the bed but when you left she just popped up there one night.  Now it is her new sleeping place.   I guess you can see that I lay on your side of the bed now.  Somehow it brings me comfort.  I've packed up all your things and cleaned out all the closets.  But I have kept your pillow.  Every now and then I just bury my face in it so I can smell you.

I still see the blue butterflies every day and it is wonderful but it is not enough.  I want more.  I want you to let me see you again.  I want to feel you and touch you and kiss you.  I want to hear you say you love me.  I want to feel safe again.  Are you still here?  Are you just in another dimension that I can't see?  I would give anything to hear your hearty laugh and see that twinkle in your eye.  Can't you find a way to put your arms around me one more time?

I've been to one FSU football game this year but it wasn't the same without you.  I took a new friend Helen with me - I guess by now you've met her husband Clark who got to heaven a couple months before you.  Helen and I have cried alot together over the two of you.  We both have lost our "kindred spirits."  We miss our soulmates.

Scarlett misses you too.  She needs her Daddy and I try my best to comfort her but it's like the blind leading the blind.  We both are lost.  The "three musketeers" are only two now.  We feel lopsided.

Believe it or not Mom and Dad are moving out of their house and relocating to the panhandle!  They are packing up now while Chip prepares their new house they bought but haven't seen!  They sold their house in 3 days.  I call that a God thing.  I've been running back and forth to Orlando helping them go through their stuff and weed it out.  We came across our plastic bride and groom that was on top of our wedding cake.  Mom had saved it all these years for Scarlett.

I finally decided to start fixing up our house and give it a long overdue facelift.  The fix it list gets bigger everyday.  Right now the upstairs air conditioner is pooped out.  I think God is trying to tell me something.  This was OUR dreamhouse but lately I feel like I don't belong here anymore.  It's not the same without you.

I'm trying to find my focus and new direction in life.  I now realize how you were my rudder that helped me steer through time.  You kept me reeled in when I would get off course.  Sometimes I felt hemmed in by your voice of reality and common sense.  Now I know that it was because of you that I achieved my greatest accomplishments.  I hope you can hear me say "thank you."

You were my great teacher.  I will try to live the rest of my life making you proud.  I still plan on writing the book you wanted me to that I never did about the South.  As God is my witness!  I will keep my promise to you and share the beauty and pride you felt for your home and your heritage.  If you can give me any heavenly help I would appreciate a bolt of inspiration!

Right now I am going to finish something more immediate.  I am going to write an introduction to our blog "Johnny's Journey To Victory" and an ending and try to get it published.  I listened to the interview I did on the "Journeys With Christ" local radio show and realized that our experience could help alot of people in need of hope.  I want to believe that there was good that came from it.  I want to know there was a divine purpose in your suffering.  I want to understand God's will in it all.

I have not been able to read the blog for a long time until now.  But the last few days I picked it up again.  I saw God's hand in it.  I see how He was working through us and with us to refine us and bring us closer to Him.  I saw our faith become strong together and separately.  I saw you roar like a mighty lion in your spirit even though your body became weaker and weaker.  You taught me alot about raw courage.

So cheers to you darling wherever you are.  I believe in heaven on earth,  so I like to think that the  heavenly realm is just a heartbeat away and you are right beside me every moment for eternity.  I don't know what my future brings.  I go for my cancer check up in a few weeks and I always get nervous around this time.  But I know that no matter what I will not be afraid.  I will live my life looking for joy and blue butterflies always.  I will meet you in my dreams.

Happy Anniversary Darling,

Your "baby" Rene


  1. That was beautiful, Rene. Thank you for sharing.

  2. That was beautiful. Indeed. Your words never cease to amaze me. You're in my prayers sweet Rene! I love you!

    Xo- Annie

  3. Well my seet Rene,my strong and beautiful sisterlaw,That was beautiful letter to my brother Johnny,he loved you and scarlett so,the loves of his life,He is fine now and healthy in the Lords hands,with Mama and Daddy,and my son who went to be with the Lord in the year of 1992,Shane i bethe is tallking Johnnys ears off up there,and knowing my sweet Shane he is,Your letter bought tears to my eyes and happiness to my soul,Love you and Scarlett and more.Patsy Skipper

  4. Well,I did something wrong,with my picture,pat

  5. Rene,
    Your outlook continues to be an inspiration. I have to admit this did bring a tear to the eye. I don't really know what to say other than I hope you find a little bit of happiness and a little bit of joy in each and every day. I always felt like although I never met Johnny, I knew him though the two of you. I hope this finds you well and happy.
    Wishing you peace,

  6. Rene,

    I found you through Connie and Angie. Your post tonight has made me hug my husband a little bit tighter. I dread thinking about our time ending here. May you dream about your Johnny tonight and feel his arms around you.

    When we all get to Heaven, I look forward to being introduced.