“ … But you know you’re going to make it when the image of your dad, your husband, your friend, crosses your mind, and a smile comes to your lip before a tear to your eye. That’s when you know, and I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know, that day will come. That day will come.” – Joe Biden

I heard this song yesterday and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. I have so many memories of Duane dancing around the kitchen while he cooked us dinner, and then of us drinking wine on our front porch sitting on our bench or in the hammock. The memories have been flooding back and the smiles and happy tears have been endless – we really had an amazing life. 

Most people already know this but when Duane I first met I had no idea how to cook, NO IDEA. Tuna quesadilla and rock hard birthday cake were some of my specialties that first year. He laughed and refused to eat them – didn’t even pretend to! hahahaha! We were at a fishing tournament and like normal I got up to make everyone’s lunch for them, they wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I just stared at Duane when he told me that was what they wanted. A few minutes later he came back into the motorhome and asked why they weren’t done… I don’t know how to make them. EVERYONE stared and then started laughing! hahahaha (In my defense my parents and I are from England and that is not common there – I had never had it before.) In between the bouts of laughter I learned there was no right side to put either thing on and no certain ratio. So in those early days Duane always cooked when he was home – and when he wasn’t I ate at the fire station – a lot. But when he was home, he would be in the kitchen and I would be in the hallway, leaning against the door frame – my favorite sitting spot, drinking wine and watching him cook while we talked about our days. Those, to this day, are some of my favorite memories. So simple and easy and normal. 

Often times after dinner we would sit outside on the porch, whether we were at home, in the motorhome, camping … we sat outside, drank our wine and watched Gracie or Buddy play. When we were at fishing tournaments people always knew they could come by the motorhome for a beer, a bait or just to talk – Duane LOVED to talk! We didn’t have cable or real internet so we really spent our time talking or outside working on something. 

These are the days, when I feel good and happy again. While Duane was healthy he gave me the best life possible and while he was sick I gave him the best life possible. We were a team to the end. I am so happy that simple things can trigger the happiest of memories.

– xoxo Victoria

P.S. I learned how to cook and I ended up being pretty good. I learned to really cook on a stove with two burners and a hot plate. Once we had a real kitchen again – the possibilities were endless! hahahaha 


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