730 days ago at 7AM, my husband of 29 yrs went home to be with the Lord. The weather today is exactly how I remember it to be then. 65 degrees, big fluffy clouds, blue sky, cool breeze. I woke up alone in bed (just as I did that day 2 yrs ago)... I spent the day with my two children (just as I did that day). I held Yuri (my grandson) today; laughed; loved; kissed, just as I did 730 days ago. I read the Bible today, prayed today, listened to my favorite songs today (all, just as I did 730 days ago). What I didn't feel today that I felt 2 years ago was fear, pressure, worry, concern, tears, the difficulty of breathing, long silent drives, phone calls with lots of repeating answers, tough decisions to make, no songs in my head, just silence, numb feeling, grey feeling, foggy feeling and empty arms that couldn't wait to hold my 3 month old grandson Yuri.
I now have a beautiful granddaughter whom Josh never got to meet. That makes me sad; however, I believe he is watching; and I believe he has seen her. Today, me and the kids and grandkids spent the day together. Just hanging out; eating a great breakfast made by the kids; laughing, talking, reminicing, and just enjoying our time together as a family. Neither of us wanted to be alone today. I gave Zac his dad's wallet. That wasn't easy, but it was appropriate. Over the last 730 days life has marched right on by, without a single glance my way. I've learned it has no respect for grieving or sadness... it stops for no one that is left.
So Josh, here are a few changes that have taken place in our family since you've been gone:
Yuri turned 2 in Oct; Sophia was born in December; Zac started Culinary School in March; I am closer to finishing my degree and my publishing of short stories; Yuri has already been to the dentist twice (both for emergencies); Sophia is smiling, cooing and getting chunky; Zac has a girlfriend; I still live at the same address, drive the same car, have the same furniture... nothing new. I've switched cell phones a few times since you left; your laptop is still working, it is all I have, and with Jason as an awesome son-in-law & amazing with anything computer-ish, its been hanging in their. I've hurt my back a few times (nothing too serious), also my knee (not too bad). The only thing I take is Calcium and Flax Seed Oil (you'd be proud); Zac has tummy issues, but they are getting much better since he's learned to relax a little more and eat healthier. Church services have been wonderful and amazing... you would love the series Bro Aaron is on right now (starting in Genesis); worship services are terrific and powerful... so many new song. I taught the church one, "Where Would I Be...If Not For Grace"... I am sure you'd love it. Mom got a new keyboard (its beautiful and I'm just a little envious)... I still love jigsaw puzzles and have a large one going right now on the table. I don't cook much, Zac does most of that when he's here. I still enjoy baking (but man cannot live by sweets alone...so they say) Zoe has been coming to church faithfully for almost 2 yrs. Its so nice having her and the babies their every Sunday. It helps me not be so lonely. Sundays have always been difficult because church reminds me most of you. So much of our life was centered around "church". Its hard to explain, but I'm so happy to have "family" sitting with me. Now to patiently wait for Zac's turn. It'll happen I know, and I will be patient.
Your brother is getting married... yep. Sometime this Summer. I don't talk to him as often as I did that first year you were gone. I got new glasses; new hearing aids and I've lost weight. (not a whole lot, but I feel better). I took a trip to Pennsylvania last Summer and hope to do it again this Summer... Got to spend some time with old friends from NY & NJ. Other than that, not much travel. I miss it, and hope to start doing more of it as soon as my financial situation gets better under control.
Other than that, work is the same and pretty much everything else is too. I'm alone, but not as lonely as I was last year at this time. The Lord has been my strong tower, and my comfort; my friend and my everything. He's brought people into my life that has been exactly what I needed, and for that I'm grateful. There are still those really dark and sad days where I can't remember the sound of your voice, and I wish I had one of your really great hugs; yet somehow, something happens that helps me get through it. Maybe I'll stop by the g'babies to get kisses, hugs and "I love you's" from them, and it helps. And maybe I'll just stop whining about myself, and start thinking about how good you have it in heaven... that usually helps me keep things in perspective.
So for now, life is good. We all miss you terribly, but each of us knows how much fun you're having at your new home. We're looking forward to seeing you again, and we've each tried to imagine what you look like now. We all agree that you looked your very best and most fit, when we lived in St George Utah in 1998-2000. I know we're suppose to be around 18-20, but I think you were rather over-weight then! That's our theory anyway... We miss your big laugh; your corny jokes, your singing and love of black gospel choirs, and your hugs... Yuri and Sophia are going to miss having a wonderful grandfather to play ball with, build a tree house with and tell them Bible stories... for that, my heart aches. But they have me! Hopefully I can do a good job. I sure love being a grandma. I'm much better at it than I was a mom. I loved being a mom (and still do), but I didn't take the time with them that I can take with my grandbabies. Its amazingly fun, and fullfilling in a way that just kind of sets my world in place... keeps me sane; grounded; settled; and at rest.
Today was a day to remember you Josh... you are safe; you are healthy; you are happy and your challenging days are over. So just rest and rejoice; and one day soon, we'll all see you again and the story will be complete. But until then, my heart will go on singing...