The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
July 10, 2013
Five weeks ago tonight…That thought caught me by
surprise.Five weeks is kind of a long
time.Why doesn’t it seem like that long
of time has passed?It feels like it’s
been maybe only a few days.But it’s
been five weeks.
Earlier this week I had a few nights where I was waking up
cold in the morning.I could not figure
that out.I have the exact same blankets
on my bed as we have always had in the summertime and the ceiling fan is on the
exact same speed it always is this time of year.Then it dawned on me…body heat.
I got another blanket out of the linen cupboard.
Nights have been rough this week, especially – lots of tears
and the pain of loss gripping my insides so tightly I can’t catch my
breath.But I’ve had several – at least
three – friends message me different nights to tell me that they are especially
burdened for me right then. They want me
to know they are praying.In my darkest
moments, He is carrying me.
I’ve had a vision of an hourglass in my head lately – you know,
the old fashioned ones with sand running through them.My kids still get little plastic versions
from their dentist at every visit.The
colored sand is supposed to show them how long they are to brush their
teeth.I don’t think they’ve ever been
used for that purpose, though.They just
like playing with them and then the gadgets invariably end up at the bottom of the
toy box or rolled to the nether regions of the mini-van.A lot of times I throw them away in
frustration after I’ve looked at one stuck underneath the cupboards for a
week.Anyway, I’ve been envisioning this
hourglass that represents Paul’s life.More than that, though, it symbolizes the life that used to be mine.
As a new bride it was full, the pieces of sand slipping
slowly into the bottom of the glass.Forever
stretched in front of us.
Death touched us halfway through our marriage with the loss
of our fourth child – miscarriage.For
the first time, Heaven seemed closer.But death for us was a long way off. The grains continued to fall.
Sam was born.Paul
cried in the delivery room.The sand
fell faster.But we didn’t know it.A new baby had just been born, which meant
that a daddy had years.After all, he
has to be there to throw a football and show a boy how to hold a hammer.He has to talk to him about girls and teach
him about driving.He has to be there to
counsel him about college.He has to
teach the baby about God.Daddies can’t
die until they’ve done all those things.
We felt God’s nudge about adoption.Paul urged me to act quickly and conquer my
fears.Doors flew open, two scared
little sisters arrived, and the grains fell faster and faster.
A frenetic period of activity arrived while we counted down
the months to our first graduation party.There was a house to get ready, a kitchen to remodel, a porch to rebuild…the
hour glass grew warmer and warmer.
A 20th anniversary arrived in the winter.We hopped on a plane and flew to Colorado
with no children – our first big “adventure.”We healed from a rough patch, we loved, we explored, we held hands and
vowed we’d never fall away from eachother again.We laughed – oh, how we laughed.We snapped picture after picture of the
mountains, of little towns, of eachother.We decided this trip was better than our honeymoon two decades before
and declared we would, henceforth, travel every year on our
anniversary.The sand moved faster and
The big day arrived.We walked across the aisle and handed our firstborn his high school
diploma.The house was perfect, the food
was ready, the scrapbooks detailing Will’s life laid out for guests to
peruse.Paul told me he didn’t like my
scrapbooks.Mystified, I asked why.Then, I looked at him closer.Tears brimmed in his eyes.My scrapbooks had made him cry.Only a few grains of sand remained in our
hourglass, but we didn’t know.
The summer stretched out before us, we thought.We bid our last guest good-bye late that
night, stretched out in bed together, and exclaimed, “We did it!”We talked about the rest of season.I reminded Paul that there would be NO more
construction work until wintertime – no projects, no drywalling, no digging, no
roofing.It was to be a summer of
relaxation.The boys would go to camp,
Paul would counsel for one of the weeks (he was excited and wistful at the same
time because it would be Will’s finalyear of camping), the adoption would take place.We discussed
some dates for our upcoming trip to South Dakota
in August.We fell asleep, not knowing
that the hourglass now burned red from the heat of the falling sand, running
more and more quickly through the glass.The grains tumbled over eachother, barely able to keep up with the quick
Five weeks ago tonight arrived.The last grain slid down the tiny chute.And then, the hourglass broke, shattering
hearts and lives.
Ahh, but there’s another analogy at work now.I’ve written about my broken and bleeding
heart numerous times.This week my
sister-in-law sent me a word picture.She asked me to visualize God holding my injured heart.Slowly – oh so slowly – God is taking a
needle and with fine, delicate, stitches He is mending that heart.I can’t see it right now, I can’t feel it
right now because my heart is still so battered and wounded. But bit by bit the master Craftsman intends to
repair that broken organ.It’s going to
take a long time and it will forever bear the scars of its great injury. But just the same, one day it will beat
again, healthy and whole.