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Happy Memorial Day - First holiday without Teri

"The main thing to remember during your first holiday after losing a loved one is to be kind to yourself. Don’t try and force yourself to feel or act a certain way. Simply prioritize looking after yourself and find your own way to get through the holidays"

I'm thankful for this quote and the reminder I need to take care of myself. Today is Memorial Day, a day that holds a new meaning for me due to my recent loss. First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to all the courageous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us honor and remember those who gave their lives for our country, a country I am deeply thankful to be a part of.

I'll try to keep this post brief as I'm quite exhausted from a long day. I want to share a little about my morning and how it relates to Teri with a few stories, especially since it is my first holiday without her. I managed to get through the day, although it wasn't easy, filled with a lot of emotions. Towards the end, I had to prioritize myself and head home earlier than planned. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with my friends and family.

My morning started with a plan: succumbing to peer pressure from church friends and participate in the "Murph" workout at Crossfit Sympatheia.

Thankfully I survived. We all had a good time, even though I'll probably be pretty sore tomorrow. I didn't want to do this and ended up signing up online a few hours before we started. I am thankful for my friend Greg, who encouraged me to do this workout in honor of Lieutenant Michael Murphy at his gym. Despite my previous hesitations, I decided to show up this time and had a great experience. It was also an opportunity to meet more members from my church, and I hope to foster deeper connections with them in the future.

Story 1 - My Wedding Ring

As I write about my morning, a couple of unexpected moments stood out to me. Firstly, I took off my wedding ring for the first time in public since Teri's passing for a very practical reason, the workout involved 100 pull-ups. It was a departure from my usual habit of always wearing it, and seeing others at the gym wearing their rings made me regret my decision.

I know this is not a big deal, but it did remind me that being practical isn't always the goal. Teri helped me understand this since most of our arguments was about me wanting the practical solution and she having a different perspective.

To be honest, I'd still rather not wear the ring because of practical reasons like above, and I'm not a jewelry person. Why do I still wear the ring? Well, aside from it being a beautiful and affordable ring chosen by Teri, it serves as a visible reminder for me to focus on grieving during this period.

Story 2 - Doug Fields & Marriage Matters

Secondly, I had the chance to meet Doug Fields, someone we both admired. Today, he joined the workout and I had the opportunity to speak with him. I shared the news of Teri's passing, and he took a few moments to ask about how I was doing. I appreciate his authenticity and presence talking to me for a few minutes despite all the noise. Seeing him reminded me of the February 2023 Marriage Matters event when we had to skip it last minute to go to the ER and then learned about her recurrent cancer. It's hard to believe that was less than four months ago, considering all that has transpired since then.

Story 3 - Getting out of the Friend Zone

Lastly, the Crossfit event brought back memories of how Teri's perception of me shifted from a friend to something more. After our initial date, where I left my credit card at the restaurant and couldn't check into my hotel, she kindly offered me a place to stay. She later shared that she felt safe around me and didn't see more than just friendship potential. Throughout the week we still had a lot of fun. We played tennis at "Best Friend Park." Perhaps because there was really no pressure and I guess I saw her to just be a friend as well, even though she was really cute. It was during a Crossfit competition in Atlanta I signed up for that Teri began to see me differently. She said that seeing me compete was literally the turning point since I wore a tank top during the competition and said "I didn't know you had muscles." Come to think of it, that's pretty superficial but it got the job done and glad we got married. Without planning, I ended up wearing the same tank top today. It reads "I LIFT slices of pizza" and coincidentally had pizza for lunch (only 2 slices). Anyways, this story is also a good reminder for me to get back in shape and stay healthy. What an interesting journey.

That concludes today's post, which was just about my morning but worth sharing with you all here. I look forward to the week ahead and the opportunity to continue sharing more stories about Teri with those who are interested. I hope to post most of them here eventually. Thank you for taking the time to read, and if you'd like to connect in person, please feel free to reach out. I would be glad to schedule a meeting.

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