Wednesday, October 8, 2014

One Year...

“We must be ready to allow ourselves 
to be interrupted by God.”
   ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer


OCTOBER 9, 2014- It has been one year since I last heard my husband’s voice. A year of desert and wilderness. A year of a cloud by day and a fire by night. A year of living one day at a time. A year of living dangerously close to sorrow and loneliness. A year of unceasing prayer. A year of relentless tears. A year of doubts and questions. A year of mowing grass and blowing snow on my own. A year of sleeplessness. A year of flu-like symptoms. And a year of wishing that each day before hadn’t happened. A year, a full year.
Twelve months. Three hundred and sixty-five days of mourning, missing and longing. I’m tired. I want it to end. Will it? Can it? Should it? Do you ever forget? Do you ever stop loving the one you lost? Is it ever all right? Is it ever over? Can I really circle a date on a calendar and begin again? Do I want to?
A year. Gary has been gone a year. His last words to me were, “I love you.” My last words to him were the same. God was merciful. God was there. Before his body left the house, I held Gary’s cooling hand in mine and prayed. First, I thanked God for the privilege of being his wife, and I asked God to help me live the rest of my days in a manner that would honor my husband and our life together. Then I asked God to show me how to love Him more. You see Gary loved God. He put his whole self into it. He lived it. He taught it. And I followed along. By his side, I was a better person. When my faith got shaky, Gary walked me through it until I was on firmer ground. His faith splashed over onto mine, making mine richer. I didn’t have to understand things, because Gary understood them and would explain it to me later. Gary did. So, I did. Partners truly, except he was the better. I knew this. God knew this. And, the minute Gary left me I felt the void. I felt my lacking. I was going to have to do better now, and I was going to have to it on my own.
Thankfully, my husband taught me how. He prepared me. Living by his side in his last weeks of life here, was amazing. I watched him prepare to leave as he made a video for the grandkids. He sat me down and went over budgets and insurances, and how to change the filter on the furnace. He began to withdraw a bit, but not in a sad way. In his last week, he would get very quiet and a far away look in his eyes. He was almost there. THERE. They were waiting for him and he heard Their song in the distance. Maybe he even saw Them, as They gathered around him. I was jealous as I felt Their tug on him. I knew that our bedroom had become the Holy of Holies. Where Gary lay, God stood.
During one of our last discussions Gary told me, “I think my last lesson to Oakhaven (our church family) will be to show them how a Godly man dies.” Well, mission accomplished, my love. But, make no mistake, you also taught us how a Godly man lives.
So, on this one-year anniversary, I have become the miracle. God has answered my prayer. I am living as one who was shown great love. And for the last three hundred and sixty-five days, my God has shown me how to live an interrupted life. With each teardrop, each sad moment, with each lonely night, with each tender memory, with each pass of the lawn mower, the Holy Father has made Himself known. My heart has been escorted to a place I never knew existed... and I love as never before.  
Thank you, my Darling, for the way you loved me and love me still. You are missed, but your voice is not quiet. Your song is still being heard. And, I can’t wait to sing it with you again. 

“This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

1 comment:

Cynthia Field said...

You have been on my mind and in my heart as this anniversary has neared. Soft hugs to you.