From the Editor: Moving forward

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest.

When Gideon and I got married on New Yearís

Eve last year, I was convinced weíd beat those

odds. I was determined to have the best first year

of marriage anybody has ever had. Famous last

words, right?

To be fair, 2016 was a pretty great year for us.

We got engaged, I got promoted, Gideon started

graduate school and we became friends with Melody

Rust, who worked at Lovely County Citizen

with me. It didnít take long for Melody and me to

become very close. We clicked in a way you canít

describe. It was rare.

Iíve got this problem where I love people too

hard. I make friends for life, and it doesnít matter

if they feel the same way. Often that means I suffocate

people or push them away. But Melody loved

me with the exact same intensity I loved her. She

cared deeply for her loved ones, and I knew weíd

be friends forever from the first time she hugged

me. So when we lost her on Thanksgiving, I lost a

bit of myself.

It didnít help that Gideon and I have been running

ragged over the past year. Heís been taking

graduate school courses online, working fulltime

and student teaching at Eureka Springs High

School. Iíve been working as hard as I usually do,

which is probably more than I should. I canít help

it. I put all this pressure on myself. Burning out is

a real fear, but it doesnít slow me down. In fact, I

didnít slow down until Melody left us. That was

out of necessity. I was dying inside.

Over the past few weeks, Gideon has finished up

school for the semester and Iím winding down at

the paper. Weíre getting ready to spend a week on

the beach in Alabama, on the week that happens to

coincide with our one-year wedding anniversary.

This past year has been very hard for us, so Iím

happy to start the new year with our family overlooking

the ocean. Iím happy to travel and explore.

Itís an adventure, the kind Melody would have

loved. She once told me she dreamed of buying an

RV and traveling the country, stopping at all the

national parks and visiting

places sheíd never been.

Her spirit encourages me

to keep seeing life as an

adventure, even if that

means living without her,

one of the few people who

kept a piece of my heart.

Gideon and I have to

move forward. We have

to keep living. Next year,

heíll finish up his masterís

degree and will hopefully begin teaching at a local

high school. I remember telling Melody when he

finished up his first year of graduate school in May.

She smiled so big. She was so proud of him, almost

as proud as I was. I know sheíd be just as proud

today if I could tell her how close he is to getting

his degree.

Life doesnít stop moving for anyone or anything.

Thatís become painfully clear to me over

the past month. My knee-jerk reaction is to isolate

myself, to marinate in sadness until thatís all I can

feel. I wonít do that, though. I canít do that. I want

to see the good in the world the way Melody did,

and Iím going to start now.

In 2018 and every year from now on, I vow to

tell those I love exactly how I feel about them, go

on adventures regularly and laugh as much as I

can. Iíll do that because itís what Melody did. If I

have to live without her, I can at least live to honor