Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 467

Sept. 13, 2014

Day 467

Dear Paul,

Fifteen months...and I'm still hurting.  Some nights, like tonight, it feels like you just left instead of it being more than a year ago.  Of course, it doesn't help when I crawl on YouTube looking for songs about death and loss.  Music has been huge for me since you've died, but sometimes it stirs up sadness that quickly becomes overwhelming.  You know what songs I like best, though?  The ones about Heaven and the ones that give reminders that of how happy you are and how much the kids and I are being held - still.

I have a new picture on my desk right here by the computer.  Actually, it's an old picture.  It's the one I should have used for the funeral brochure but I was in such a daze I didn't even think of it at the time.  It doesn't matter.  It's the picture taken of us at that Murder Mystery theater we visited in Denver three months before you died.  Remember that night?  It was so much fun.  We both laughed a lot that night.  Before the evening was over you asked the neighbors to our left to snap our picture and she caught our happiness on the camera.  That's the picture that's on our gravestone now.  I've had it in a little 4X6 sitting on one of the shelves you made above the sink for the past year.  I've probably looked at it a thousand times.  I was given a beautiful 5X7 frame by some on-line friends after your death and I finally had that same picture enlarged and now it's right here.  Every time I look at it, I'm startled to see your smiling face looking at me. I suppose in time I'll get used to it being here on my desk and not think anything of it so much. We both look so relaxed in the picture.  What a special trip that was...

Life is moving along.  You know how busy it was before you died - it seems even busier now.  Today was one of those perfect fall Saturdays.  The Hawkeyes were playing (they lost - you probably already know that, but if you didn't, I know you're not surprised by the news), the air was crisp and cool, and Will came home.  He stayed here all day.  I told him I loved having "all my chicks under one roof" but then I immediately felt sad because I was reminded that, for the rest of my life, there will always be someone missing.

I'm moving along, too.  I'm giving a lot of thought to my future these days, trying to figure out if I should go back to college or not and thinking about  when the right time to pursue gaining some employment would be.  Sometimes I'm resentful that I have to consider these things.  I wasn't supposed to have to worry about supporting our kids.  That was your job.  Mine was just to manage the money and take care of the house and kids.  Now I have to do it all.  Sometimes I almost feel mad about that, but mostly, I'm just sad.  I know you would have never wanted this for me - back when your perspective was purely human.  Now, I have a feeling that you have the ability to see the good things that this type of hardship is creating in me, even if I only see the difficulty of it.

I'm changing, though - mostly in good ways, I think.  Yesterday Marcia was here and she commented that she has seen growth in me since your death.  I know that's a good thing, and it's nice to hear,  but I would have preferred growth to come in a different way.  I'm pretty sure we don't get to choose what grows us, though!  I know we don't.

I find myself thinking sometimes more frequently now about marrying again someday.  A long, long time from now...I know you'd be the first to tell me to go for it.  And I probably will if I can find anyone that will want me...someone who measures up to what you were to me.  All that will come in good time and in God's timing so I'm honestly not in any hurry.  I have a feeling I've got some growing to do first as I learn to be more independent. But I know that even if the day does come that I'm able to love again, you will always lay claim to a chunk of my heart.

I didn't hop on my computer tonight to tell you all this, anyway.  I just wanted to tell you that I still miss you.  Some days it's more of a familiar, far-away ache and then there are times, like tonight, when it's sharper.  I miss hearing you clear your throat, I miss the low, tenor drumbeat sound of hearing you talk on your phone in the back room (which, by the way, doesn't exist anymore - it's all one big open space, just the way you'd planned it).  I miss seeing the relief in your eyes when you'd step into the house, dirty and dog-tired, but your eyes would light up as if to say, "Finally - I'm home!"  I miss the sound of your shaver in the morning and the sight of your workboots on the kitchen floor.  I miss the warmth of your body in our bed.  I still sleep with your pillow, every single night.  I wrap my arms around it and sometimes I can almost pretend it's you I'm holding.

I also miss being able to threaten the kids during the day, "Do you want me to have to call your dad?"  But that's a complaint for another time!  On that, all I can say is that God, apparently, has more confidence in me than I do.  Parenting alone is, by far, the hardest task I've ever taken on.  We thought things were tough when we were given a special needs baby - piece of cake.  And when the girls came we exclaimed to eachother, "This is SO hard!"  It was, but there are even more difficult tasks, I've found.  I can hear you whispering, "Philippians 4:13" in my ear right now...

I miss you - so much.  I'm healing, though.  I really am.  A year ago, I was a shattered mess.  I still feel pretty broken, but there's a strength behind that brokenness that is growing a little bit every day.  I have a feeling you're probably proud of me, but more than that, I think you're mostly filled with awe and love toward our God Who is enabling me to do what I never imagined I could.  Because I couldn't  - not without His strength flowing through his scarred, loving hands.

I know there's probably some moments you are face-palming yourself, too as you watch some of my more dumb moments as I blunder along this journey.  Hopefully, God is reserving your glimpses of earth for more of my stellar moments and keeping those times of my idiocy to Himself!

Oh, Paul...we never imagined this, did we?  But here we are separated by this temporary veil.  One day, soon, I hope this will all be over and we'll be reunited on Heaven's shores.  Until then,

I'm missing you, loving you, and appreciating you far more than I did when you were alive.











































































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