Ten Years Ago Today

December 28, 2005

Like most couples, Michele and I had a number of dates each year that were anniversaries of one kind or another. Certainly big ones like birthdays, or our wedding anniversary. But also smaller ones like buying our first house, or the first time we met face to face, or when I asked her to marry me. The very first important date we shared was today.

December 28, 1995 Michele and I met in a chat room on America Online on a Thursday in late December 1995. At the time I was heavily into the martial arts, and Thursday was a workout night for me. I was rarely online that day of the week. Thursday that year feel between Christmas and New Year's, so the dojo was closed and I was at home. Our chance meeting resulting in the best ten years of my life, and, even though she has moved on to a level of existence that I can't access, I don't regret any part of our time together.

At her memorial service in October one of our friends said that she had opened my heart, looking back I see that he is correct. I often told Michele that she took my black and white world and added color to it. The colors are muted and changing now, but they are still present. She gave so much of herself for me, and ultimately (I think in her mind) laid down her life so I could have mine. I cannot imagine a greater gift, my goal is to not squander it; although I do not know what that means yet.

I do know that December 28th will always be special to me. In a very real sense it was the first day of the rest of my life.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.