It's another passage of time. That's one way to look at six years gone following Leroy's death.
Early on, in the first couple of years without him, I didn't think about where I'd been or where I was going, but now, I look back down that long road of grief and loss and I can see where the peaks and valleys have marked the passage of time.
I can think about the Leroy stories I've told over the years and how I've smiled and laughed at some of his remarkable adventures. There were some funny times mixed into the scary wars and close calls with young vigilantes carrying weapons older than they were and pointing them at a 6foot-5inch American journalist who was the biggest target in the crowd.
I think about the things I miss telling him. I miss the "life" moments he should have been here to share with me. I think about the days sitting alone on the beaches he loved and how many beautiful sunsets we've missed, sharing a glass of wine and his favorite Silton blue cheese. It was a favorite sunset picnic.
I still get emails this time every year, from young, talented journalists, their lives changed because of Leroy's guidance. He saw the potential in them and he helped to fine-tune their skills. They remember him with such admiration and appreciation. So many of them tell me when they get stuck making a decision, they sit back and wonder "What would Leroy do?" before they make a move.
That's what I call "impact."
This community has the gift of "impact" too. Your amazing messages over this past weekend lifted me up and away from the threat of dropping into one of those valleys. "Leroy sad" was not a place I wanted to hang out on Friday. I admit, I stopped by there for a while, visited my usual places, but I also managed to remember him with love and understanding as well as a few tears too.
August 15th will never be just another day.
My heartbeat changed at 11:15 pm that night.
But I'm healing and I have hope and a little bit more peace as each year passes.
I think that's progress!