From the Editor: Moving forward
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
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
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