Category Archives: relying on God

When remembering kicks you in the gut and makes you want to scream… But that sounds negative, so how about this; Remembering; even when it’s difficult there is good to be found…

This came up in my time hop today…  

Soooo..IMG_1169

Looks like my hubby’s cancer has returned.         We don’t know the details. We have an appointment Thursday with his doctor.                                        (She has his results from his pet scan)

I’m not sure how I feel.

I’m trusting God.
He’s trusting God.
Because he’s trustworthy….
He’s faithful, he’s good; He is our Father.

No.  Matter.  What.

We need lots of prayers.
Our kids need them…
This is when it gets real y’all.
That whole walking with Christ thing.

Put up or shut up faith.
He’s my Father. I trust him.
Trusting him with my beloved’s life.

Praying for 40 more years with my best friend;  but I’ll take whatever he gives me…Thanks for praying…

He was gone three months later…    

Fast forward almost four years later…

I remember this….
I remember feeling just heartbroken over it…
IMG_0475I remember asking Robert how I would survive without him…
I remember him looking at me and telling me that I would be okay…
I remember not believing him…

I remember telling him that I was angry with him because he had promised me that he would never leave me and yet he was…

He smiled at me and said, “You know I can’t help leaving woman; it’s not my decision.”  I remember him gently wiping the tears from my eyes, even as he lay in his hospital bed that now resided in our bedroom, as the quiet hum of his oxygen tank silently mocked me…

This just couldn’t be happening to him; to me; to us…                                                                                 But sadly, it was… 

It will be four years in August since he died.

Four years of living each day without him…
Four years without the love of my life and best friend.
The person who believed in me when no one else did.

The person who God used to pick up the broken pieces of my life and turn it into something more amazingly beautiful than I could ever have imagined.

If I’d had it my way, I would have remained single and childless.
My life would not resemble anything near what it does today.
Because even in the pain and loss,
there is immense joy and happiness.

God did that.
I didn’t know.
I had no plans to love him.
To be a mom.
To be a wife.
But God knew.

So though my heart still aches for him;
I’m thankful to God for the opportunity that he gave me to love him.

To be loved by him.
To grow through him.
To understand and experience what love really is and means…

I remember how I felt on our wedding day…
How nervous I was.
My shaking hands and his sweaty palms…

I remember how he accepted this single mom and her 8 month old son with no reservations at all…20140215-163211.jpg  I remember how happy he was when he found out a year later that we were pregnant with our first child together; little Robert…  How thrilled he was with each addition to our family…

I remember being embarrassed when he would introduce me to others as his “Beautiful wife Gretchen,” because though I didn’t feel beautiful, he seemed to think I was….

I remember so many things…

But perhaps the thing I remember most is how much he loved Jesus.  And because of that,  he knew how to love me.

I remember…

I’ll always remember…  

How will people remember you?  

I pray that you’re living a life that is full of amazing memories.

In the end, that’s really all you leave behind for those that love you…
Leave some good ones friend…
Some really, really, good ones…

Be blessed.

P.S. If this has spoken to your heart, please share with those that you know and love.

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Thinking out loud aka Random thoughts from a widow…

I share alot.
Rob always thought I shared a bit too much.
He may have been right in his assumption, I process things by discussing them. img_1789
Since I no longer have my husband to talk to and hash things out, I have a few close friends who have the honor of hearing all of my “stuff…”
Like all the time.
Lol. (Thanks friends)

None the less, I still share here because, well, I’m me…
It’s kind of what I do.

So here are a few things on my mind…
While I am still grieving, I am not drowning or wallowing in my grief.

I have a wonderful life.
I’m extremely blessed.
But the fact of the matter is, I will likely never stop missing my husband.
He was my best friend and the love of my life.
I’m sure this will cause problems in future relationships, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I will probably always talk about him or post about him on significant days, but I’m not pining for him.
I know where he is.
He was a strong believer who loved God immensely.

But lest you feel sorry for me, know that I’m ok.
I just still miss him and love him.
I don’t know what the Lord is going to do with me, but I trust him.
I don’t know if I’ll remain single or end up married again and honestly, I’m not worried about it.  I’ve always been okay being on my own.
I was before Robert and though I miss him, I’m not going to die being single.

I’ve been single for three years.
I’m waiting on the right man if there is such a thing; and no not a perfect man or a replicated Robert, but someone who loves Jesus and likes Star Wars and the Avengers and hopefully likes to read.

(I know, I’m deep like that)

Life is short.
I plan on living whatever time the Lord allows in the best way possible.
So my plan is to be thankful.
Thankful for my family.
My children.
My mother who is still alive and sows into me still.
My friends who love me and support me.
My Dad Jimmy who blesses the socks off of me.
My oldest sons who drive me crazy and make me laugh so hard until I cry.
My littles, who still enjoy the little things and make me smile daily.
My ten year old who challenges me daily and warms my heart in the very next moment.
The sweet and tender memories I have of my husband.
Our fights, our laughter, our tears and our joys.

All of it.
Everything.

Folks, my life changed in a most horrible way so many years ago. It started with a mysterious stomach ache and led us to live in hospitals and deal with teaching our children an ugly lesson about the word cancer.

Things change so quickly and often without warning.

Because of it, today, I am a different person.
I’m just not the same and that’s okay as well.

The difference in the old me and the me of today, is that I truly realize that it’s not each day that is a gift; it’s each moment.

Seize each moment.
Each boring, mundane, exciting, tumultuous and crazy moment this life offers up to you. Take a picture of it in your mind.
Breathe it in and breathe it out.
Thank God for it, because the moments don’t last forever.

Even the hard stuff. That passes as well, thankfully.

Above all, Remember that He’s always there with you.
Through everything. Every. Thing. Always.
He said he would never leave us nor forsake us, and God is the only one who has never lied to me as far as I know.

Ok.
I’m done now.
You read a lot.
You deserve a treat.
Go grab some coffee or chocolate and then throw some glitter in the air.
It makes everything better!

I don’t want to get over him…

imageI’ve come to realize over the past few weeks, that I don’t want to get over my husband.

While I realize that my statement may alarm my family and friends, stick with me for a minute.

You see, I was of the mind that the only way I would ever get over my husband was by meeting someone new. A new relationship would allow me to get over him, and enable me to move on with my life.

Recently, I’ve come to a new understanding.

I loved my husband. We were best friends. He was everything to me. I still love my husband despite the fact that he’s been gone for three years. I never entered into our marriage with the idea that I wouldn’t love him for the rest of my life.

I understand that he’s gone, I know that he died and that he’s not coming back, but does that magically mean that I’m supposed to tell my heart to stop feeling?

His absence from my life has no bearing on the way that I feel about him.

I don’t want to get over my husband because what we had was real.

We were friends. We respected each other. We loved each other. We genuinely cared for one another. He protected my very fragile heart and provided a safe place for me to rest in his arms.

We were passionate and silly…                    We laughed until we cried. We argued and fussed and made up and cuddled and talked about a future that involved our grandchildren… We dreamed together, and in the end, we mourned that we would not be allowed to finish this life together.

I’m not holding onto the past; I’m simply saying that it’s ok for me to still love my husband and not be interested in dating or starting a new relationship. Yes I’m human, and I get lonely from time to time.

However, to be honest, I’m lonely for Robert.  I’m lonely for my husband.

I miss his deep voice, and the way he called me “girl,” as if he failed to see the gray wisps of hair that had begun to pop up in my head… I miss the way he would complain about giving me foot rubs, but would massage my feet anyway.

I miss a thousand things about my husband.

The way he would get up in the middle of the night and say, “You need to come to be woman, you know I can’t sleep without you.” (I’ve always been a night owl.)  I miss his laughter that always made me smile and laugh and his amazingly beautiful smile that lit up his entire face and reminded me of how much I loved him. We truly enjoyed each other.

I miss my man. He was such a good guy. So yeah, I don’t want to get over him.  I just want to live my life in a way that would make him proud.

I hear him telling me I can do this, as he so often told me when I doubted myself. I imagine his smile when our children say or do something funny…  I hear him telling me to stay close to God and to continue seeking Him.  Until his death, I hadn’t realized how much I learned from my husband. How much my broken heart healed in loving him.

Lest you be dismayed, if God brought someone in my life, I would listen to Him and give someone a chance. But to be real with you, my priority is and will always be raising my children. They come first and I would be okay in choosing to live a life alone.

I have had the kind of love that people write about. The kind of love that movies depict and people dream of…. It was ordained by God and blessed by Him.

Why would I want to ever get over a love like that?  I don’t. And you know what? That’s ok.

Be blessed friends…  IMG_0296

 

I hate my life, which is a weird title, and hate is a strong word, so how about “I’m generally unsatisfied with my current life status…” (Is that better?) 


This looks weird. I know… 

But it’s how I’ve been feeling lately. As if I’m walking through life with my eyes closed… Afraid to look at what’s happening around me, paralyzed and unable to really participate in my own life. 

The truth is, I know I’m very blessed. Like really really blessed. But there are moments when it all just seems like too much. Its not just being a single mom, it’s all of it. All of life.  More succinctly, all of life without Robert. 

It’s been almost three years since my husband died and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. I feel like I’m walking in the dark without him. I’m playing at life without really being a part of my own life. 

I feel like I’m almost sleepwalking through life. 

I’ll be honest with you… I don’t like my life…  I realize that sounds bad.  Let me clarify… I don’t like my life without Robert. It just doesn’t seem right with him not here. 

He was my best friend. He was my person.  He was the person that I shared everything with. Every thought, every emotion, every pain and every joy. 

I miss that. A lot. 

I envy people who are married… I envy those whose husbands come home at the end of the day… 

I miss my five o’clock kisses in the kitchen. His deep voice asking me about my day. His texts to say that he loved me just because. I miss us laughing together and our long deep conversations.  I miss our long talks after church discussing the sermon of the day. 

I miss him. 

My best friend, my husband, my heart, my boy, my man…

My everything rolled up into one person. 

I don’t like my life without him at all. I’m just being transparent here.  I wish I could magically change the past and make the last five years disappear. However, I know I can’t do that. 

So here’s what I’ve decided to do… 

While I don’t like my life without Robert, I’m going to trust that God knows what He’s doing despite my feelings.  

I’m going to create a life that I love.  

I’m going to raise my kids and enjoy them. I’m going to dance in my kitchen and laugh at myself…  

I’m going to go on long walks and stay up late on the weekends and camp out in my backyard with my kids…  I’m going to have the life with my children that Robert and I talked about for so many years. 

I don’t like my life… But I’m going to learn how to love it anyway. 

I know that’s what my husband would want me to do.  I know that’s what God wants me to do. 

I know that’s what I need to do. 

So excuse my weird picture…  And my ramblings. Here’s to walking through life with opened eyes… Here’s to creating a life that you love even if you don’t like your circumstances… We can do this… God says we can, and he like; knows stuff.   

I double dog dare you to love your life.  😘😉

Be blessed… 

What does love look like? 

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It’s February, and sometime right after Christmas little hearts and red heart shaped boxes full of chocolates and goodies started popping up everywhere. It’s close to Valentine’s Day and restaurants everywhere will be chock full of lovers set out to celebrate their love soon.

I suppose that’s what made me start thinking about it.

What is love really? Is it demonstrated by cards and letters and gifts proudly passed through the hands of those who declare their love? Or is it something more?

I think we’d all agree it’s definitely more.

When my husband lay on his death bed weakened and unable to communicate with me, I sat by his bedside and prayed…  I wiped the sweat from his brow and read him scriptures that I knew brought him comfort.

His body, once strong and healthy, was left weakened and frail. He was never a small man by any means of the word, but he had lost so much weight that he didn’t resemble the strong muscular army private I had married.

I was losing him. Each day, I lost a little more and my heart broke just a little more with each passing moment…

In those private moments that no one else saw, I discovered after almost 16 years of marriage what love was.

I was washing his body in the bathtub as he sat on a shower chair when he could no longer stand, him apologizing to me, and me telling him I’d punch him in the face if he apologized again. Because, “This is what we do hon, we take care of each other. You’d do it for me. Now stop apologizing.”

You see, he felt bad that I had to help him. He was a proud man. He didn’t like asking for help. The thing is, I wanted to be the one who was there for him.

I loved him, and while he was no longer healthy and had little to offer me (his words not mine) and things were really really hard; I promised him when we were married that I would be there for him always. I was going to keep my word to my beloved.

In the weeks to follow Robert lost the ability to talk. I didn’t think I could mourn losing him before he died, but there it was. My heart was slowly crumbling and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the heartache of losing my very best friend in the whole world.

One day in particular when he was bedridden, there was a mix up with the  nurse who was supposed to come and bathe him. I was aggravated at the nurse, and I was worn out from little to no sleep. I had taken to sleeping on an air mattress at the end of his hospital bed so that I could be close to him if he needed me.

I asked him if it was okay if I bathed him, knowing how he must feel at not being able to do anything for himself. He nodded with what little strength he had.  I gathered my supplies, a bowl of warm water, soap, a wash cloth and towel, and I began to gently wipe his broken body.

In that moment, as tears streamed down my face, I felt the Lord very clearly say to my heart, “This Gretchen. This is what love is. You have loved him well.” I don’t know why God chose that moment to explain to me what love was, but I’ve never forgotten it.

Love is not always something that is shiny or glittery or easy. Sometimes it’s hard and ugly…. I could have walked away from my husband. People do it all the time when there are situations that are too hard to face. I chose to walk closer to him.

Watching my husband die was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do… (And I’ve experienced some hard things in my life) However, I know that despite the difficulty of seeing my husband in immense pain, he knew that I loved him. He knew that I was hurting as well, but I never allowed that to interefere with my care for him.

I’ll be honest. There were times when I wanted to run away, hide from cancer and the world and everything. But the thing is, I wanted to take him with me.  Leaving without him was never an option.

Love is ultimately a choice.

We choose who we love, how we love and if we love each other well. Selfishness is the opposite of love. Loving a person means that you put them before yourself or your own feelings and hopefully they do the same for you.

In my marriage that was the case. We were never this perfect couple who did everything right, but we worked through our issues and chose to allow our difficulties to strengthen our marriage.

It’s been almost three years since my husband passed away. There’s not a day that I don’t think about him… The blessing of that is that I’m not filled with regret.

I served him well, we loved each other well, and I am honored to have cared for him until he took his last breath. While it was difficult, I chose to focus on him and not myself. My needs could wait, because he needed me. I have no regrets aside from wanting more time with him.

Because we chose to love to God first, we were able to love each other.  I am thankful and honored that God allowed me to love him and be loved by him. Choosing to love my husband was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Love is a choice.  Choose well.

Surviving when Life kicks you in the buttocks…

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I know that my title is strange, but my husband always used the term buttocks, so it seemed fitting.  And really, that’s what it has felt like for the past four years.  Like life kicked us in the buttocks.

Like really hard… 

You’ve heard of sucker punches?

Well if there’s a sucker punch for the behind, that’s what it has felt like for quite some time.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I have to tell you a little more about my husband first.  Then maybe the title will make just a little more sense to you and you won’t think that I’m weird or inappropriate.  Or maybe you will; it could go either way.

 He was my best friend.

Someone I could talk to and share my heart with.

He was literally my only guy friend at the time

that didn’t try to push for something more than friendship.

I felt safe with him.

He knew my heart and he got me.

I never imagined that one day that he would become my husband.

But he did. 

It was like a fairy tale.

We never dated.

We never kissed.

                              He was my very best friend and one day he asked me to become his wife.

And I did.

One practice kiss before the ceremony, and a few hours later he was mine.

I was his.

And it was beautiful.

We shared our life and the children came and glued us together. Jobs came and went and a few gray hairs popped up here and there but his beautiful smile still melted my heart, and I seemed to melt his…

He encouraged me, he pointed me to Christ, he loved me, he believed in me; and we were happy.

Happier than I’d ever been before….

Life was good.

We were good.

The kids were getting older, and we grew even closer…

We dreamed together of our future…

A house in the country…

A huge front porch where we would watch our future grandchildren play

as we sipped sweet tea in our matching rocking chairs…

And then he got sick…

A stomach ache…

Which turned out to be colon cancer…

And I got scared.

And he told me to trust God.

So we prayed.

And we believed.

And he died.

For fifteen years, eight months, twenty-nine days,

two hours and fifty-two minutes I was his wife and he was my beloved.

I thought that in the end, our story would be our testimony of God’s goodness.

Instead; it is my testimony of his goodness and faithfulness.

It’s been almost two years since my husband passed away.

Two years.

Two years without hearing his voice, or feeling his arms around me.

Two years without his advice or encouragement.

Two years of being alone without my best friend.

If you’re married; close your eyes right now and imagine that for a few minutes…

Really think of how that would feel.

It’s not a good feeling, I can assure you…

I’m not sure how I’ve survived aside from the grace of God.

You see, He (God) was front and center in our relationship. He was the entire basis of what we were as a couple. He sustained us through a two year battle with cancer that ultimately took my husband home to be with the Lord.

Our five children were part of the equation that got me out of bed each day…

The other part of equation was that still quiet voice that spoke to my heart in the depths of my grief.

People kept telling me that I was strong…

That I was “amazing…”

I felt anything but those things.

I wasn’t strong at all.

I wanted to scream and cry and just disappear from my life.

I wanted to hide from the pain of living without my husband.

How was I supposed to live without the love of my life and my best friend in the whole world?

I’ll be honest… I didn’t want to.

I didn’t want to live without him.

It just hurt too much.

The pain was unlike any pain I’d felt in my entire life and I was no stranger to pain.

It was hard.

There were lots of tears during that first year…

And I’ll be honest when I say that I wasn’t always up to wiping their tears when I felt empty and broken inside, myself. But I pushed myself, encouraged their hearts and often cried along with them.

I remember one day while I was cooking, I just broke down in the kitchen… The pain was just too great to bear… This was not supposed to be how things turned out. He should have been walking through the door soon and greeting me in the kitchen with a kiss hello as he did every day since we’d been married. I broke down into tears and slid to the floor… I was no longer the person watching an emotional scene on television; somehow I had become that person…

Because surely this was a movie and not my life…

It couldn’t be…

This couldn’t be real.

And yet there I was, in a crumpled mess on the floor in my kitchen living out every melodramatic crying scene I’d ever watched on tv. Except this was real. There were no commercial breaks or actors involved.

This was my life.

And I was falling apart.

I couldn’t hide my tears anymore and

I couldn’t pretend to be brave any longer…

It wasn’t very long when I felt several sets of arms encircling me… “It’s ok Mommy…. We’re going to see him again.” “Don’t be sad Mamma,” another voice said. “We love you Mom,” yet another much deeper voice urged. “We can get through this together Mamma,” my little one added. I opened my eyes and saw that my children had encircled me… They were repeating all of the things that I’d been telling them. They had listened and they were now encouraging me. They all sat around me on the kitchen floor and we all began to weep. It had been about six months since we’d lost him and the pain was still very fresh.

It was then that I made my decision to live.

I was still here and God obviously had something for me to do.

I had to make that decision to live. I had to decide what kind of life I wanted to live. Was I going to be bitter and angry or live in a constant state of depression? I didn’t want to do either. My children had already lost their father, I didn’t want them to lose me as well.

It hasn’t been easy, but God has been faithful. He has surrounded me with friends who have supported me and my parents who have been there for us as well. He has provided for us financially and emotionally. He is the reason that I get out of bed each day.

I have to be honest.

I wouldn’t have chosen this life.

I still miss my husband. He was and is still the love of my life. But I know that I can survive without him because I know who God is. He has given me the strength to go back to school and work on attaining my Master’s Degree in Counseling. He has given me the wisdom to love these five kiddo’s through their own grief while working my way through mine.

I’m a widow.

It’s still an ugly word to me.

I don’t like it at all.

But I’m also an overcomer. (Thank you Ms. Mandisa) I’m a child of God. I’m a mother. A student. I’m a teacher. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I am so much more than the word widow allows for… I was his wife and now I’m not.  But I’m also so much more now.  I am a person who knows that people die and bad things happen.  I am a person who knows that life isn’t always fair and that you don’t always get that happy ending that you see in the movies.  But I’m also the person that knows that even though all of that is true that it does not take away from who God is, or what he is capable of…  He is still good, and true and real and merciful.  Because of what I have experienced in losing my husband I am a person who loves harder, feels more, believes more and trusts in God more.

I have survived because I refuse to let my husband’s death be in vain.

God had a purpose in it.

He has a purpose in all that he does.

He has a purpose for me and my children

and his death has birthed some things in us that we didn’t realize existed prior to his death.

How do you survive tragedy?

One day at a time.

Moment by moment…

Each moment; hanging onto God for dear life.

Because no matter what it looks like, he’s always in control. As my husband told me when he was diagnosed with cancer, “Baby, this didn’t catch God by surprise.” “It’s not like he was up in Heaven saying, ‘Oops! Robert has cancer! What am I gonna do?’” “The bottom line babe; is that He knows everything and he doesn’t make mistakes. I trust him. You have to trust him too.”

I don’t think he could have imagined how much I would think back on that conversation.  It has sustained me through some very difficult times.

Whatever it is that you’re dealing with;

good, bad, or ugly;

it hasn’t caught God by surprise.

The reality is that we put God in a box and look at him through our own failings and shortcomings.

Today, almost two years later, I can smile without crying…

Look at his pictures without crying….

And almost begin to dream again.

It’s still not the life I wanted or planned for, but I’m trusting that God knows what he’s doing… Life may have taken me by surprise, but I’m happy to know that God isn’t IMG_6357surprised by any of it.  So while Life may have kicked us both in the buttocks, I’d like to think I’m kicking back now, and that God is here with me, guiding my foot. 🙂

Be blessed friends…

God doesn’t need my help and other general realities…

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It’s been almost two years… Can you believe that?  Two years that my husband has been gone, and yet it still seems so new to me.  It seems like last month, not almost two years ago.  Time has passed, and the seasons have changed (as much as they can in Texas) and yet, here I find myself still grieving.  It’s changed, morphed if you will, into something different, but it’s grief none the less.  It’s a realization that  unlike what some of my friends may have thought, I have no interest in pursuing a relationship with someone simply because I should be over my husband by now.  Believe it or not, I am still very much in love with Robert.  I don’t know if that means we had an amazing love for each other or if I’m just obsessed.  I don’t think I am.  I think I was just loved very well by him, and while I am lonely at times, it is not simply for some random guy, but for my husband.

Tonight, as I tucked my twelve-year-old daughter in, (yes, I still tuck her in per her request) she began to cry, saying that she missed Daddy.  (I’ll be honest, I was worn out from working with little sleep and then going to a school planning meeting after work and I just wanted to goto bed)  My initial thought was, couldn’t you have missed him earlier?  I know.  Mother of the year award here.  I’m just being real with you.  I’m tired.  I’m just honestly kind of exhausted.  Grieving is draining.  I’ve dealt with some other emotional issues this past week as well that I won’t go into, but it brought up a great deal of pain.

So, she was missing Daddy, and her brown eyes were just brimming with tears, her nose was red, and she began to sniffle.  I knelt down and hugged her.  I told her that I missed him too.  That he was such a good Dad, that it was impossible not to miss him.

Bear started to cry…

Then I started to cry…

Then we all cried…

I felt an arm go around me and saw that Bobby D. had come into the room to console us and he had tears in his eyes.  Thankfully little boy was already asleep in the other room…

And so the four of us cried.  And then we cried some more.

And then Bear said she needed some tissue because she “had snot,”

and Bobby D. got her some tissue, and yes, we cried some more…

I talked to them all, I recited scripture, and I prayed over each of us.  I thanked the Lord for our time with him and I asked him to strengthen us…  To be the Father to my children that I couldn’t possibly be…

It’s hard y’all.

The hardest part of Robert’s cancer was seeing him in pain.  I could deal with anything but that.  When I saw him shed tears for the first time in our fifteen years of marriage, something inside me broke.  I prayed for God to heal him and take me as if God was in the business of making deals…  I could be strong, I could fight cancer and death and anything at all; but Lord; to see my husband in pain killed me.

I think that has been the hardest thing to see with my children.

Much like with Robert, I can’t take their pain away.  

There is no magic wand that will magically make everything better.  They are well-adjusted for the most part, and they are surrounded by their friends who walked with them during Robert’s cancer and subsequent passing, but there are those moments like tonight that come unexpectedly every so often like an unwelcome guest in your home.

I’m trying so hard to be a good mother to them. To find ways to say yes, to nurture them, to love them, to encourage them and to be their biggest cheerleader.

But I won’t lie and say it’s easy.

It’s hard.

Especially when there are days when I’m just wishing Jesus would come back already and take us all home.  There are days that I don’t want to get out of bed.  Days when I wake up not remembering that he’s gone.  Days when I’m asleep and dreaming of him and awaken only to be reminded of the cruel truth.  Days when I’m just plain exhausted.

But….

There are also the days when we laugh so hard we cry.  Days when I really get how blessed we truly are and how things could be much worse…  Days when a friend reminds me of what fun is…  Days when I remember how life used to be before cancer…  It’s not all bad.  It’s not all good.  It just is…

This is our life.

I was reminded tonight as I prayed for my sweet kiddo’s that I can’t possibly do this alone.

I’m a single mom who is in graduate school, leads a home school support group, leads my daughter’s bible/girls group, teaches classes in my home, teaches classes in my home school co-op, sells various things for extra income including jewelry and also has a part-time job to boot.  Oh, and I home school my children.

And yet, while I said that I can’t do it alone, that’s exactly what I’ve been attempting to do. Because I’m self-sufficient and I’m able. (at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself)

Except that I’m not.
At.  All.

I serve a mighty God, who is more able than I will ever be on any given day to raise my children. I serve a God who can take care of all of my needs. I serve a God who knows exactly what my children and I need at any given moment.

So why do I act like I have to have all of the answers?

(Because I don’t; and I don’t have to…)

A few days before my husband passed away, he sat us all down and talked to us about what could possibly happen to him, and he gave us some instructions on what to do in the event that he should pass away.

He said, “I want you to remember that no matter what happens, that God loves you.  I don’t want you to be angry with him, because he knows what’s best, and we have to trust him. He can heal me, but he may choose not to, and if he doesn’t that’s ok. I trust him, and I need you to trust him as well.  We may never understand what he’s doing on this side of heaven, but he has a perfect plan for all of us.  He’s going to take care of you and Mamma.  Y’all need to stick together and stay close to God, and remember that he’s in control, no matter what it may look like.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day.

It was the worst and best day. It was the worst, because I never wanted to think of living without him. It was the best because I fell in love with him just a little more… He had such faith. He was the one. My one. My person. And he was telling me to let him go and trust God.

He knew me like no one had ever known me in my life, and because he knew me, he made me promise to keep homeschooling the children.

(It was his idea originally; I thought he had gone crazy)

He also made me promise to finish my Master’s Degree that I had just started.

(because he knew I’d want to quit; which I did about ten times last semester)

Like I said; he knew me well.

I guess if I want you to take anything away from this, it’s that it’s still hard at times. I loved my husband. I really liked my husband. We talked everyday, about everything. We shared everything. We finished each other’s sentences. We were one; and I’m still trying to figure out how to live with a piece of myself missing. It’s as if someone came and tore a limb from my body. Of course, there are bandages in place, and the bleeding has stopped, but the arm is still missing. It’s healing slowly, but much like an amputee, I’m having to learn still, how to live and function without that limb.
The passage of time couldn’t possibly make the arm grow back, though it’s not as gory and messy as before. It’s still missing. And there are the pains associated with that limb no longer being there.

That’s the best analogy that I can think of to express how it feels to lose a husband.

My kiddo’s miss him quite a bit of course. Bear was two when he became ill and four when he died. At six, as she grows, she now realizes just what she’s missing in not having her Dad here. Little boy, who is nine has a hard time not having his Dad around and gets very emotional when he sees his friends with their Dads. Big girl, well, I honestly worry about her a lot, because she’s much like her Dad and holds it all inside. She has cried four times in two years. Bobby D. has his moments and wishes he could talk to his Dad about “guy stuff” and sports, as he’s quite the sports fanatic now. My oldest son, just has a sad look in his eyes when we mention Robert… I know he feels like he missed out on a lot because he didn’t live with us when Robert became ill.

We’re all trying… Trying to make a life without him.  I’m still trying to figure it all out.  We had an argument once and I remember telling him that I didn’t “need him” but that I wanted him.  I can survive without my husband; I just don’t want to.  He was kind of awesome really.  He was annoying too, lest I give the impression that he was perfect.  (He wasn’t)

He was just perfect for me.  He said the same about me. 🙂  

That’s the update….

I’m doing too much, on my own, when I need to rely on God.

That’s about the gist of it.

There’s no grand theme here, except that you know as I do

that God can do things way better than we can.

So if you’re struggling with letting go and letting God handle whatever it is in your life, I think we both know that we both, all of us really, have to let it go and rely on God.

If you’re still doubtful, google the Grand Canyon.

Can you do that?

Didn’t think so.

I told you so, he can do it better.

He sooooo doesn’t need our help.

Be blessed friends.  

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