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Disciplined Remembering

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today, I choose to remember all things good. I choose to remember the love, not the loss. I choose to remember the sound of his laughter and the look of his smile…..

The way he could tell a joke

The way he always opened the door for me

The way he stepped aside, placed his hand on my lower back, then guided me first

The way he handed me my morning coffee with a kiss

The way he would tenderly say to me, “Babe”, when I was feeling low
(I would love to hear him say that right now)

The way he sang, “When Somethin’ is Wrong with My Baby, Somethin’
is Wrong with Me” at our wedding reception, while holding my hand

The way he would hug me at my waist and shrug his shoulders up and down
with happiness, while moving my waist around and wrinkling his nose
with a smile then would tell me , “Ooh, you are just so beautiful to me!” ,
followed by, “Babe, what am I going to do with you!”

The way he looked at me, no matter where we were, no matter who was in the room
…no matter how long we had been married

The way he took the art of gift giving to a whole new, beautiful level
….extravagant love

The way he loved to plan huge surprises and how it tickled him to see the response

The way he cared about details, like running out to buy church shoes for our
children on a Saturday if they had suddenly outgrown them
or making sure that there was an oversized piece of candy to stick out of their
stocking on Christmas morning

The way Christmas excited him

The way he treated people
….all people

The way he honored his mother and father

The way he would speak in a funny dialect on the phone with his sisters
and a few very close friends

The way he loved to take a moment to enjoy the outdoors in our garden at the end
of a day with a glass of wine and “stroll through the yard”
….”Babe, why don’t you come out and join me?”

The way he enjoyed the process of grilling a meal outside
….the wine, the music, the fellowship, the celebration of life, the smell, the fresh
air, the time to contemplate life, the occasional cigar, the time in the garden, and
staring at me in the kitchen through the window…with a look of satisfaction

The way he was constantly ready to learn and improve himself

The way he always…always….put the needs of others first
(He would have been the absolute last one on the Titanic)

The way he worshipped God

The way he sang

The way he crooned ‘Happy Birthday to you” with his chin in the air, then laugh

The way he whispered prayers and praise into my ear while I was in labor
…..while kissing my ear and saying, “You are so amazing!”

The way he would happily say, “Come on, Nip!" to Michael Anthony when he
had an idea for a great adventure for the two of them

The way he would hug Mia and say in a sweet voice, “Hey, angel!”

The way he told countless bedtime stories while laying down next to Julia in bed
…..all made up on the spot and worthy of a children’s book

The way he was disappointed when the girls got bunk beds
and he could no longer lay by Julia to tell stories

The way he continually hugged all three children with a kiss on the forehead
….no matter how much of a teenager they had become

The way he cared about details for our dogs
….play time, walks, grooming, food, physical touch, toys

The way he never forgot to bless the food and thank God for it

The way he loved a good meal
….”MMMmmmm! Oh, Babe! This is fantastic!”

The way he talked to me in quiet tones on the phone
….as if our conversation was always private

The way he carefully planned a trip of a lifetime for us, the children, and his parents
to go to Italy and Sicily for two weeks

The way he would cook grilled salmon, angel hair pasta, and a salad on the nights
I would return from being out of town so we could relax and decompress

The way he quickly asked for forgiveness and quickly forgave...

I choose to remember the way he did everything. I choose to remember all things good. What a beautiful creature God created when He created Michael Barranco.


Anonymous Says:
February 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Awesome remembrances. Even if you had not been writing, I would have remembered today marks a year. Though I'm sure very long for you, it is another reminder to me as to how short years really are and how quickly we will all experience what Michael has been reveling in for over a year now. How amazing and stunning the things "on the other side" must be. The limitless and boundless glory is all part of him. Wow! My prayers for you and your family continue as you continue on your journey, however long or brief on this earth that may be. I still pray God in His mercy will give you glimpes of the eternal from time to time as you march on. Peace, blessings, strength.....

Anonymous Says:
February 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief
The physical experience of grief can be especially intense. Sometimes there is a longing, an ache, a pain in the heart that is mirrored by pain in the body. You may feel tightness in the chest, a knot in your belly, a pain that doubles you over. Grief is also exhausting work, which explains why you may be exceptionally fatigued. Over time, the physical symptoms should start to lessen in intensity . . . or at least spread out in frequency. Be gentle with your body.
** I read this today and thought of you... I continue to pray for God's grace to be ever so present to you and your children..

Steve Mouzon Says:
February 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Oh, wow, so hard to believe it's been a year, Jené! I still can't bear to take Michael's name off the list of New Urban Guild members... to me, he's still alive. And in truth, he is. "HE is not a God of the dead, but of the living!" If we don't have hope of life beyond this one, what do we have?

You necessarily and justly view Michael's life from a personal viewpoint, as you were his soulmate, and his closest confidante. But many others of us view him in a broader sense... he made differences in architecture and planning that might never have happened without him. Things would be so very different if Michael had never lived, or had chosen a different path. Michael should be celebrated for both, IMO.

Another thing... you have no idea how I hope that this unspeakable experience does good things for you. My grandmother lost my grandfather in a crash before I was born. I wrote this for her many years later:

Grandma's Song (to the tune of Hymns Old & New #239)

LORD, we thank you for the pictures, 
That you give to us each day,

Little glimpses of the pattern,
 Of your grand eternal way
Dim and faded, dark and shaded,
 Are the best these eyes can see,
So I’m waiting for that morning,
 When you show it clear to me.

I remember as a young child, 
When she told me how he died,

How he left one cloudy morning,
 How so many years she cried.
Human love can’t last forever,
 Only ‘til death do us part,

So she could have chose another,
 But that’s not what filled her heart.

Through the years she was the picture,
 Of the bride who faithful stands,

True to bridegroom, long departed,
 To the great immortal lands,
He was cut off in his young years, 
By the cruel hand of men,

But his bride stands firm, believing, 
In the day he’ll come again.

So while mortal pictures never
 Paint the full eternal view,

Still I thank her for the memories,
 How she loved him, ever true.
But far greater thanks are due for 
Showing us a greater love,

For the one we trust to take us,
 Onward to his home above.

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