There are days that stand out as life changing.
10 years ago March 28, I watched my Daddy take his last breath. I sat on his bed along with my three sisters, my mom, my grandma, his mom, and his sisters. We prayed for him, we watched him, we held him, we loved him. A couple of days before, he was lying on his bed and I climbed up to give him a snuggle like so many other times since I was kid and I kissed him on the lips and the forehead and I told him how much I loved him and how much I would miss him. And he said, “I wish you could see what I am seeing and feel what I’m feeling. It’s going to be okay. It’s amazing.” I didn’t really know what he meant. He didn’t elaborate. But he was at peace. And that helped.
The last time my husband saw my dad, he held our hands together and told us to take care of each other, be good to each other. Amazing. And sad. Sometimes I really feel like a failure. Even though I know all that I did to try to save my marriage….ultimately I gave up. Or I accepted reality. And it WAS reality. It’s been a year that my husband has been gone. And it took me 8 months to really get it. Getting it isn’t giving up right? See what happens? Ugh, it’s a horrible cycle that plays on my brain sometimes. And I know why…because it feels like giving up. Because a part of me will always love him. And when the toilet breaks, or the kids fight, or we sit down for a meal, or I kiss the kids goodnight, or I look at or remember anything from my entire adult life – I think of him.
I remember my dad, I remember my husband. The two most important men in my life up until recently. Gone in very different ways. But gone all the same.
Yesterday my husband and I signed our final divorce settlement. I drove him. And it was odd. He was so big sitting in the passenger seat. I forgot how big he was. He tried to make small talk. But he did a horrible job of it. Before we married, he used to “set the mood” by dimming the lights and turning on Sade. “Your Love is King“, “Sweetest Taboo”. So we were sitting there at a light on the way to sign the papers. And he says, “So have you heard Sade’s latest song?” SERIOUSLY? I said, “No” incredulously. And it hit me that he has no clue. I just shut my eyes and shook my head and pushed the gas pedal when the light turned green.
How could he be so lame as to bring that up at that moment?
After we signed the papers we were walking out of the place and some guy was walking in and he was google-eying me. It was very noticeable. After we got to the car we both looked at each other like, “What was that?” and he said, “Does he know what we just did in there?…She’s free!” And I just looked at him and thought. You really have no idea how hard this is for me.
Another day to remember.
This Friday I am getting on a plane headed for England. When I walk out and see him waiting for me, I will forget my sadness. I will forget my loss. He is willing to help me work through it, knowing it has nothing to do with him. I can be sad for my past and excited for my future all at the same time. He will scoop me up in his arms and give me a big kiss. I’m blessed with someone I can talk to about anything. I don’t have to pretend to be “over it”. It will most likely take me years. I am blessed with a man who loves me in ways I probably have absolutely no concept of yet. I won’t know for 20 or 30 years just how much. But I do know without a shadow of a doubt that I have never been loved like this by anyone. I met him on November 10, 2009. A very good day to remember.
“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
– Corrie Ten Boom The Hiding Place