I don’t know if it’s prudent to put this here (in fact, it probably isn't), but the right thing to do is not always the prudent thing to do, and I really think I need to say this publicly. It has more meaning that way…
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find my center again, and did a lot of things along the way in the hopes of reaching that point.
I trained until I collapsed practically every day for a year. That didn’t work. It just made me tired. Granted, it improved my stamina, but mostly it just made me tired.
I taught duello style fencing for several years. The workout at least got me out of the labs and let me sleep a little at night.
I spent some time learning blacksmithing. There was some quiet to be found there because of the focus required to create pieces and not hurt yourself in the process. In addition, it caused me to put on a little more muscle.
I played with the local black belts from various disciplines. They looked forward to it because of how much they learned. I looked forward to it because it gave me something to focus on.
I threw myself into my work. I regularly spent the night in the labs, frequently until 2 or 3 in the morning. Despite that, I still found it hard to concentrate.
I spent a lot of time at the lake, looking out over the water. It was quiet there. I think you would have liked it.
I took a lot of road trips. I learned that miles on the odometer can’t distance you from some problems.
I took a lot of walks. Some of them lasted multiple days.
I gave private kenjutsu lessons to a couple of people.
I’ve done many other things – too many to list here.
I’ve done, seen and learned many things – some of them good and some of them bad. I am, in many ways, a different person. In some ways I am stronger. In others, I am weaker. In yet others, I am simply changed. Yet, despite it all, I remain myself for that is all I can be, flaws and all.
The one thing that has never changed is my love for you.
On the path I’ve walked, I’ve never forgotten. In fact, you’ve never been far from my thoughts during the entire journey. I’ve learned that the only thing I can do is live my life day by day the best that I can and try to keep hope.
Every year, I celebrate this day as a reminder of you.
I love you very much and I miss you every day.