I continued my 31 days of gratitude tonight by writing that I am thankful for love. But as this day comes to a close, I want to expand on that a bit more.

Today was the 5th anniversary of Sam’s death. As I write in my memoir, the fifth anniversary scared me — it seems like another huge milestone. I admit to dreading it for days, maybe weeks. As I awoke this morning, after a night of horrible dreams, all I could feel was the dread and the heavy, heavy weight of the grief.

Then our phones buzzed, and they buzzed all day long. Friends and family texted, called and messaged us from around the country, to tell us they care, to tell us how much they miss Sam. Voices broke with emotion, a lot of tears were shed, but through it all was this incredible love.

After planting Sam’s garlic, we visited the cemetery to bring a hot pepper and a head of garlic, then we took a long drive through the mountains, talking, listening to music, and smiling each time another message arrived.

Sam was and is love. He loved the people in his life with pure, unwavering, loud, unflinching love. The really amazing thing is, that love has just grown and grown, and how lucky we are to have it in our lives.

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