Was it only two years ago that I gave you a Hercules figurine? It was a little joke, a play on words, that your opponent in an election had called you a demigod when he meant demagogue. I loved the idea of giving you something funny that was also a symbol of strength. You so understood and appreciated the nuance in the gift.

I believe, this three months after you left us, that this is supposed to be your legacy in my life.  Awareness of my strength. You always saw me as strong, even when I felt far from it. I so adored how I looked in your eyes.

Strong. Smart. Beautiful.

Your words.

An artisan excelling at her craft.

More of your words.

Amazing. High Priestess.

Strong. Strong. Strong.

Your words, reverberating.

Lately I have been in situations that have me revisiting my past and I am reminded of the part that strength has played in my story again and again. I am strong. I am.

I would do well to remember it. If I am to celebrate your life somehow on this day, perhaps it is to own what you saw so clearly. When you knew I had my sights set on something, you said “Go get it” in a way that was loaded with faith and admiration. It helped me see my own strength.

Strong. Reverberating.

I am using it, the strength, to make sense of your sudden departure from this life.

Your spirit, your presence, they remain strong, too.

I miss you, Herc. I sure hope they’re throwing you a nice party over there.