Saturday, December 6, 2014

Eighteen Months

December 6, 2014

Eighteen Months

One and a half years, exactly, today.  Compared to the many, many probable years that I have yet to live without Paul, eighteen months is merely a dribble in time, a drop in the bucket.  But right now - it's big. 

I've had a year and a half of living with a broken, bleeding heart.  For 18 months I've stumbled out of bed every day, determined to do what must be done, but without any real desire to do anything at all.  I've floundered in the darkness of my soul wondering at times just how it is I can be so broken, but yet, so capable - I still mother, I still cook, I clean, I educate children,  I pay bills, I write, I run a small city.  I guess you just do what you have to do.

Babies born about the time Paul died are now toddling about, babbling, drooling, and getting into things they shouldn't.  Maybe they have siblings on the way already.  My new life started eighteen months, ago, too.  But I don't think I have changed and developed as quickly as little humans do in the same period of time.  My growth - there, I know - has seemed incredibly slow and marked by many backward steps and falls.

But yes, I am growing.  I am changing.  I am not the same person I was 18 months ago today.  I wanted to keep her.  She had a somewhat comfortable life and I would have never chosen this rocky road I've been traversing for a year and a half.

But we don't get to always choose our roads.  I guess we can sit down and just cry and refuse to  move on our chosen path.  But where's the good in that?  Our road is our road.  We don't get to choose another. 

We only get to choose our response.

I haven't been any sort of heroine, though, the last year and a half.  There are still times I'm mad.  I'm sad.  I'm frustrated.  I'm ungrateful.  I'm envious of others.  I feel sorry for myself.  It's all there, mixed in with the better sides of new, personal,  development.

And slowly, with great irregularity, I am sensing  newer developments.

Last night I was in a home decor store.  I found what I was looking for, which was something for my front porch.  But, because I had no children with me, and nothing immediately pressing me for my time, I wandered around. I had a vague sense of wanting to find something else, but not knowing what it was.  Finally, near the check out counter, I found it.    I picked up  a little $3 ornament.  It's a red bird wearing a whimsical stocking hat sitting on a bed of snow.  The base reads, "peace." 

This is what's developing.  A peace is beginning to envelope my soul.  A peace that recognizes that Paul is forever gone until I die, myself, someday.  Oh, I'll see flashes of him in my boys from time to time, but he, himself, is gone.  He lived out his days and they finished.  I am finding that I can be peaceful about that.  I don't necessarily like the fact, but I'm not angry about it or even as upset as I have been.

I have a peace that comes from a year and a half of being carried in a way I can only describe as supernatural.  I can talk about it and explain it to others but until a Believer has felt themselves carried over the roughest parts of their journey, they can only understand so much of what I say.

It's not a perfect peace yet, but it's growing.

I bought the ornament and then left the store.  I had found what I was looking for.  I drove towards home and as I turned into our little town, I swung through the dark cemetery.  I stopped my van, scooped up the little resin bird, and walked over to Paul's headstone.  I placed the little figurine of peace right in front of his etched name.  It made me smile.

A lot can happen in a year and a half.











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