Cancer · Change · Christmas · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

November 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these month memory blogs. Life has truly run away with me these past couple months, which isn’t always a bad thing. Busy can be good, but I did not want to neglect this part of the blog. So here I go.

November 2014 had some really great memories. On the first we went sat in a parking lot with my brother & my parents and watched the air show from afar. The air show up close is really awesome, everyone should do it at least once… but you can get some really cool views by just finding a spot to relax from a distance, and it’s a lot more comfortable that way. We had a great day, it was a wonderful day of family bonding & one I won’t soon forget.

One of the things we loved doing as a family that we did not get to do often enough was go see high school football games. On the 7th, we got to go do that. We watched Deer Park play the neighboring Baytown. I remember the inflatable tunnel for Baytown had deflated and it looked so funny. We joked about how that it what Baytown would look like when our boys got done with them. Football season was a bitter sweet time each year for us. When it came to college and NFL, we were on very opposing teams, but I loved when we came together and supported our home team. We have many sweet memories from those games.

On Veteran’s Day I wore one of Jeff’s Army jackets. I never thought there would be a time when I wouldn’t want to wear his Army gear, and now I can’t seem to put it on for anything. It’s little things like that which will bring a flood of emotions. Most of his stuff still very much smells like him. So went and ate at Applebees. We were always so thankful to the restaurants that would offer special deals to veterans. Aaaaaand now I’m craving ribs from Applebees, perhaps I should move on haha.

On the 13th we got the chance to take family photos by our very talented friend. To this day, they are still my favorite photos. They hang on the wall in our living room and every time I see them, they make me smile.

Thanksgiving that year was spent with his family. We went out to his brother’s lake house, we had the whole clan together and then some. It was a wonderful time with great memories, it is always a good time when we get together.

One thing Jeff had always wanted to do was to go see the Bush 43 library. He wanted to see everything about 9-11 and his presidency as 43 was the reason he joined the military. So after Thanksgiving we drove up there with his parents, brother and his family. I think that was probably one of the most memorable days of his life. He was like an excited kid who wanted to see everything. We spent part of the weekend up there before driving back home to the real world. That for sure was a holiday weekend we will never forget.

At this time in the cancer journey, Jeff was still doing well, he was still responding to chemo, there was still hope he would have many more years. I always wanted him to be hopeful and optimistic, but for me, I always had the lingering reality in the back of my mind that God may not choose to heal him on earth, that his healing might just be when he received his Heavenly body. I tried not to dwell on it, wanted to dwell on hope that he could have more years here on earth. But as I spoke to a friend the other day about it, I had to always be prepared for becoming a widow. I had to keep reality in sight so I would not be blindsided if and when it happened. I needed to make sure to enjoy each moment as if it were the last, and it is because of that mindset, I remember more moments, more events big and small which I will carry with me always. This is a major reason why I believe my heart has grieved and healed in the way it has.

So friends, don’t take life for granted, make sure to find joy in all things big and small, and honor God with all you do. 

God Bless, 

-A

 

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Cancer · Change · Christmas · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

It Just Can’t All Get Done & That’s Okay!

So obviously this is the first Christmas without Jeff, although, even though he was alive last Christmas, it was about that time he really started to take a turn for the worse, so it was a different Christmas all together. But this Christmas is the first one as a single mom, the first one to start new traditions, figure out which old ones to keep, everything is completely different this year.

It’s the little things, like not buying his  Twizzlers, not ordering his pair of matching pajamas, and then there’s the big things like not getting each other gifts, not having him put the star on the tree, etc.

But on top of all those things that are missing, even more things are missing… the things I just cant get done because there’s just not enough time, and there’s only one me, and quite frankly I don’t always have the motivation to do all the “Christmasy” things. 

So let’s talk about the things I did get done:

  • The Christmas tree went up
  • It has lights
  • Jacob’s ornaments are on it
  • The tree skirt is below it
  • The Nativities got put out
  • The Christmas villages got put out
  • Christmas presents are bought
  • We got special moments with Jeff’s parents
  • Jacob sang in the choir
  • Many Decorations went up on the wall
  • We went to Bufkin’s Christmas Wonderland
  • We went to the Alvin Christmas Train (maybe I’ll tell that in a later blog)
  • We got to enjoy the snow (what?! snow in Houston?!)
  • Christmas cookie dough got made
  • Wassail got made
  • Christmas cards went out (what?!)
  • Christmas movie favorites have been watched

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Now… the things that didn’t get done:

  • Cookies didn’t get baked (but there’s still time!)
  • The train for the tree did not get put up
  • My ornaments did not go on the tree
  • Neither has the star…
  • The Christmas card lights display did not get put up
  • The Christmas lights on the balcony didn’t go up
  • The Wreath on the door is not decorate

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

And you know what?! That’s okay that these things didn’t get done, no one would blame me for being a bahumbug this year or for not having the energy and motivation to do any of it, but I did! The most important thing of all about this Christmas… it has been centered around Christ, the joy we have from Him & the redemption we get because he came as a baby, lived a perfect life and then gave that life up for us, 3 days later he rose from the grave, came back and showed himself as the risen savior to many, ascended to Heaven, offers us salvation by acceptance of His sacrifice and one day is coming back for His kids! So if nothing got done, if no one got presents, if not a single cookie gets made and no lights ever went up, as long as Jesus was the focus… THAT’S a successful Christmas. 

So if you aren’t getting to be with loved ones, no matter the circumstances, please, no matter what keep Christ as the center of your Christmas. Not just that he was born, but because he is the risen Savior!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

-A

 

Cancer · Change · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Eight Months

Goodness, I thought October was busy! November has been just as busy & I don’t anticipate December being any different.

So the Astros won the World Series for the first time in franchise history! It was so exciting to get to watch all of the games with different family and friends. For Game 7 I was with my parents, my son, my brother, his girlfriend, her kid & my grandma. I couldn’t imagine being with a different group of people for this game. It was filled with all sorts of emotions, Jeff was a huge Astros fan, as was my Paw Paw who passed in August. They would have loved watching these games with us and would most definitely have loved to be with the family watching Game 7. In the final outs, my brother went and put on my Paw Paw’s Texas flag jacket. As the final outs were made and the Astros won the game, there was lots of cheering, shouting, hugs, high fives and tears, tears of both joy and missing our loved ones. It was a beautiful moment.

On November 3rd, mom, Jacob & I got to go to the Astros Champions parade downtown with some of our cousins. It was crazy hectic, and getting in and out of downtown was exhausting and  bit stressful, but being at the parade, seeing the hometown heroes, all the fans, the sea of orange and blue, it was quite the experience! Once in a lifetime (hopefully not, hopefully they win it all again real soon!)! This is something I will never forget and I’m so glad I got to experience it with my mom and son!!!

November 11th was the 30th anniversary of my miracle brain surgery (I will try and come back with pictures when I finish scanning them from my baby book). At 5 months old I had hydrocephalus.  In the late 80s this was not a common medical issue and only a few hundred of these brain surgeries had been performed to correct this issue. Even so, in most cases (especially as severe as mine), there weren’t many success stories and those that were successes often resulted in many physical and mental disabilities. So when Dr. Larent came out saying he had performed the best surgery he had ever done, most still believed my parents would face many challenges with me. Little did they know I would wake up a perfectly healthy baby with no side effects! There was no denying the Lord’s hand on my life. There are so many more details to this story (It filled up a 10 minute facebook live post) that I’m sure I would get a hand cramp typing up many pages! All this is to say… God is good… God is the ultimate healer… Jesus Christ is the Lord most High! I would not be here today if it were not for His hand on my life.

Most of November was a blur, a lot of cleaning up the apartment, organizing, etc. I’m still working on it, but I WILL get it done!!!

Thanksgiving weekend was busy but great! We went to the downtown parade, which after fighting millions of people for the Astros parade, this felt like no big deal! The kids had a blast, the weather was gorgeous, it was great family time! After the parade we took Grandma to Luby’s for lunch and then headed to my parents’ place. We took it easy Thursday because we decided to eat Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. So Friday we got up, enjoyed the weather and started cooking. Everything was delicious, but the best part was the together time! It’s been a very long time since my brother, my parents and I got to all be together and happy, and to share it with Jacob, my brother’s girl and her kids made it one of the best Thanksgivings! Friday night Jacob and I headed up to Jeff’s brother’s lake house, and we had a crowd there too! It was nice to relax, get rest and enjoy company. The drive back home yesterday was a bit exhausting… 2 hours back to my parents to pick up my dog and the rest of our things and then another hour and half home. But getting all the family time made it worth it!!! To finish off Thanksgiving weekend Jacob and I ate cereal, put together the Christmas tree and watched The Santa Clause (always one of the first Christmas movies I watch as its my all time favorite). I wasn’t sure how my emotions would be not having Jeff this Thanksgiving, but the Lord brought great comfort and accented the joys in the holiday. It was very enjoyable!

On the drive home I played Christmas music while Jacob played movies with his head set on. One of the songs that really struck me this year had also struck me last year, but this time different emotions. The song was Immanuel by Point of Grace. This time last year I was struggling so much with watching my husband slowly die in front of me, not knowing when would be the last day I would have with him. It was a very hard Thanksgiving and Christmas season to get through. Even though he was still with us, he wasn’t the man he used to be, and I knew I was losing him already. There was a lot of sorrow surrounding the holidays. This Thanksgiving & Christmas, while we greatly miss Jeff, knowing he is in Heaven praising the Lord has brought more comfort than I can express. I cannot explain the kind of healing the Lord has been doing in my life these last 8 months. It is truly a miracle, there’s no other way to explain it. So as the song was playing, this year instead of tears of sorrow and crying out for the comfort from Immanuel (God With Us), I was able to thank God for the comfort of Immanuel because He has already shown His presence in my life, in my spirit, in my heart. I look back on the woman I was 8, 12, 18 months ago and I’m not sure I would recognize myself. I am so so thankful to God for his peace that passes all understanding, especially in a season when no one would blame me for being depressed, yet I am able to praise and have great peace. I pray for my fellow widow and widower friends who are hurting so deeply it physically hurts, this season is a hard one & I pray they experience this kind of peace in their lives. It truly is a miracle. 

I encourage you to check out the song, here are just a few lyrics from the chorus of Immanuel:

For all the broken
Here in this moment

Immanuel
Our God is with us
Yes, He is with us still
Immanuel
He has not left us
And He never will

He has not left us and He never will. This has been the message I have been sharing from the beginning of this blog journey. No matter what you’re going through, God has not left you and He isn’t going to! Take comfort in that and let that be your focus this Christmas!!

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas!!!

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Change · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Seven Months

Wow, it’s hard to believe its been a month since my last blog. Life has honestly blown by for us this month. October is always a busy month for us, but to throw in Fall Baseball to the mix has made it insane! 3 nights a week at the ball field but I love it! Jacob is doing really well and picking up the game quickly considering he had never played before. He’s growing athletically, physically, mentally & emotionally. I’m really going to miss our time out at the field when the season is over and will look forward to Spring Baseball. 

Speaking of baseball, our house has been filled with so much excitement between Jacob’s team and the Astros going to the World Series! It reminds me so much of growing up and having our lives revolve around God, family & sports. Makes my heart happy! On Saturday, game 7 of the ALCS, Jacob also had a baseball game at the same time. We had our phones out watching feed of the Astros/ Yankees while watching Jacob’s team win! As soon as the game was over we rushed off to dinner in Whataburger (doesn’t get more Texas than that) where we kept the feed running. The moment George Springer caught the fly ball to clench the series was so awesome that everyone on their phones in Whataburger erupted in cheers! Our family even did the wave at our table even though dad thought we were goobers. This is a sight I know Jeff & my Paw Paw would have loved to have been apart of. A moment none of us will forget. 

I’ve been able to get out and make time for friends, which has been really good for the healing journey. For so long I put everyone else first and I ran myself into the ground over it many days. Learning to make time for what I need has been a huge mindset change, but I’m finding a healthy balance slowly but surely.

The 8th would have been our 6th anniversary, we got to spend it doing just what Jeff would have wanted to do… watching the Packers defeat the Cowboys surrounded by friends. We had a great time & I even cheered for the Packers... shocking I know. Being surrounded by close friends helped it to not be a ridiculously hard day and it is a testimony how God can heal hurts. It doesn’t mean I don’t still love and miss him, but life is getting easier. 

The other week, my best friend Christina came over while I sorted through crates of Jeff’s clothes and some keep-sakes. I am going to have a quilt made for Jacob of some of his old clothes. And then I went through and separated out all the Packers gear Jeff had said he wanted to go to our friends. It was very healing to process through all of it. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. 

I fully expected October to be one of the hardest months of this journey, but God is showing his grace and mercy! It has been a really great month. If you think about me, pray for me over the next 2 months as we tackle the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Jeff, pray that we find amazing blessings and joy in what could feel like a very lonely time. And pray that we keep our eyes on Jesus for comfort.

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Change · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Six Months

Six months ago today my husband passed away. I’ve noticed over the last few months that around the 24th or 25th of each month, my body revs up in preparation for the 26th. I end up with unexplained tension, stress, heightened emotions & sometimes even anxiety. With still trying to get things back on track and in a routine from after Harvey, plus the start of fall baseball, I was so busy I didn’t even realize yesterday was the 25th, and yet my body was in major tension and my emotions very sensitive.

I’ve gone through a lot of the grief process already, because as a friend and mentor pointed out to me, she saw me begin my grief when we were told Jeff’s cancer was terminal. But as another friend pointed out recently to me, you can be 11 years out and still little things will hit you like a ton of bricks.

On top of all these emotions, life has been crazy recently! Fall baseball for Jacob is in full swing (see what I did there?)! This past weekend was so much fun, but exhaustively busy! Watched Jacob’s friend play boys football, watched youth students cheer at high school football game, then Jacob had his first baseball game, lead worship for kids in 2 services, watched at home the Texans nail biter & finished the weekend off with the Astros game. Still 6 months later I’m trying to finish putting our home back together, I still find remnants from hospice from time to time. 

Dealing with a preteen coming into his hormones is a new one for me. We are learning to navigate through this, but when it comes to “man things” he begins to deal with, it is a constant reminder that my son doesn’t have a father at home anymore. I am so thankful for the men in our lives who are stepping up and helping me out when it comes to these things. He’s a strong one though, oh how I have seen him grow so much these six months, especially since getting into baseball. He’s getting stronger, stockier, braver & more ambitious. 

Through all of this, I will continue to trust that God is always with me, always sees me, always love me. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”, I believe this, not only because the Bible is inerrant, infallible & truth, but because I have seen God’s faithfulness throughout my life, my family’s lives and my friend’s lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:”, verse 4 goes on to say a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”, Today I am mourning, but there are so many other days when I laugh and dance. 

If you are going through a tough time, know that it is okay to go through it and have these emotions, but they should be for a season, so look for the brighter days too!

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Change · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Funerals, Blessings, Prosperity, Hope & Truth

So the last 10 days have been tough. On August 12th my Paw Paw went to Heaven. He has had many health issues for a while now and in his last days he had been crying out to be with Jesus.  Though it hurts to lose him, we are blessed to know he is no longer in the great pain he was in here on earth & that he is happy in the presence Jesus. Oh the glory he is seeing right now!

In preparation for the funeral, I spent many hours with my cousin and uncle going through photos, walking down memory lane, hearing stories that correlate to the photos we were seeing. Recalling the great things he did, trips he took us on with Grandma, all the fun we had … It was a sweet time of family togetherness.

The funeral was wonderfully done, it certainly represented Paw Paw well, many family & friends came. Some people that came I haven’t seen in years, even as far back as about 20 years ago! What a testimony to how big his heart was to see people from all over. My Paw Paw was certainly one of a kind. He loved his Blue Bell, Diet Mountain Dew, wanted meat & potatoes for every meal with his tea of course, he loved to read the paper, especially the comics, he loved his soap operas, playing solitaire on the computer, he loved sports, he loved his country and he loved the state of Texas, but most importantly, he loved his family & he loved Jesus more.

Even though we knew the end would be near for Paw Paw, it does not lessen the pain. I miss him every day. If you had told me a year or 2 ago I was going to lose my husband and my Paw Paw within less than 5 months of each other, I don’t think I would have believed you. 2017 has been a very rough year for my family.

On top of it all, one of my closest friends who has been there faithfully to support my family over the last year plus is moving far away. So much loss! There are many moments where I struggle with all this change & loss, it’s a lot to take in all at once. Anyone without Jesus in their heart might feel as if there was no hope for the year (or life for that matter), like things could never get better. I choose not to look on life this way, because I know my God is carrying me through these tough times & there are lessons He wants me to see. The closeness I have felt with God this year has been like no other & I cherish the time and lessons He has taught me.

Jeremiah 29:11 is an extremely popular verse, you see it all over t-shirts, signs, it is often quoted & while it is a great verse, many people tend to forget the context in which it was written, or maybe not even know it at all. Often times is used for people to comfort themselves that things will for sure get better and prosperity will come their way. Jeremiah 29:11 is apart of the letter to the Israelites in exile, verse 1 of chapter 29 addresses surviving elders of the exiles, the priests, the prophets & all the people Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.  To sum up verses 4-9; God told the Israelites in Babylon that they were to live there for a time, to make it their home, have families, not to let their numbers decrease & to wait. Their time was coming, but this wasn’t it. Can you imagine being the elders longing  to see the Promise Land? Some of them would never see it!

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 

Now we get to one of the most popular verses in all of the Bible: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This verse has a completely different meaning than I think many see it to say. This is not an “ask and you will get it now” prosperity gospel verse (prosperity gospel is a false gospel in case you didn’t know). Jeremiah 29:11 is a promise that God’s people would ONE DAY be delivered to their Promise Land, but it would not come soon. I don’t know the plans God has for me & my life, I do know my eternity in Heaven will be filled with God’s Glory, but my earthly life, I do not know what holds. This does not promise me prosperity, but does not give me a pass to let go of hope that good might come to me & this does not excuse me to have a bad attitude in the face of trials. This tells me, I must keep the faith and recognize that God is ALWAYS with me & I will ALWAYS have Him to lean on in times of trials & that one day (even if it is in Heaven), God will give me great things.

The Christian life is not about what will God give me, it is about giving EVERYTHING to God. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said to Simon Peter & Andrew:  “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”, they were called to drop everything, give up everything they owned & follow Jesus. In the modern world, with the technology we have, we do not have to give up all of our earthly possessions in order to follow Christ (although some do get that specific calling), but if we are holding on to earthly things too tightly, they become our gods. Is your heart willing to give up everything you own to follow God? Are you as Christians telling others about Christ regularly?

My Paw Paw loved the Lord & people knew it. He loved to sing the hymns & he made sure his family knew he loved & knew Jesus. There is no doubt for anyone of where he is spending his eternity. Do you know where you will spend your eternity? If you have any questions, please reach out! If not to me, to someone who you know is a follower of Christ.

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Change · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

The Various Stages of Widow’s Grief

So I had a completely different blog intended for today, but like many things in life, God spoke and changed the direction.

Today I want to talk about grief, and in particular widow’s grief. I think most people out there have heard the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

In my experience, with widow’s grief those can often times be mixed in together. And with a widow who went through a long cancer battle and long periods of hospice, the time lines are even more skewed.  

When I first started out in widowhood, I was asked (and still get asked) a lot, how I could be handling all this so well. When asked this, I told them a couple things: I have been preparing for this time since Jeff went on Hospice in September (it’s hard to believe we are less than a month away from the anniversary of the first day of hospice) & the other thing I would tell them was God has been doing miraculous things in my heart to prepare me for such a time is this.

So then as time went on I began to think that I really believe I started grieving in the summer of 2016 when Jeff started his decline and we were in and out of the hospital 9 times in 5 months.

But as I spoke with a dear friend over dinner recently, she told me she believed I started my grief when we were told it was an incurable cancer and his life would be cut very short.

So for those who don’t know, in April of 2014 when Jeff was diagnosed and we finally got to put him on chemo, the doctor informed us that there was no cure, and no true long term treatment. The first type of chemo would last at most 7 years, the next 5, and the last 3. That would still have him only surviving to about 47. Jeff never got put on the 2nd form.. After less than 2 1/2 years on chemo, his body stopped responding & expert opinions said that no other chemos we had planned to switch to would work. Talk about a huge blow. 

So back to the conversation with my friend… she told me she saw the gradual change in me and the realization that I would become a young widow, because truth is, even if he lived to full capacity of the chemos, I would still be 40 and widowed. That to me, made complete sense. 

So now, for the 5 stages… denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance… Jeff & I both went through a period with the chemo where he was doing so well for a couple years and feeling great… we thought “surely he will heal from this, it will go away“…. DENIAL. Now it’s not to say that God couldn’t or wouldn’t heal Jeff, but there was a time when we both were so convinced we would get to grow old and grey with each other, that why would God deny us of our plans?

The heart of man plans his way,  but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

I don’t know that I would say I have ever felt the need to bargain with God, but that’s possibly because growing up in a God fearing home, I know this does not work with God because we cannot earn His favor, it is given through accepting the gift of Christ.

Anger, Depression & Acceptance however, I feel as though I go through those simultaneously on a regular basis. One of the things I have learned with Widow’s grief in particular is our own stages with these 3 particular emotions. For the first 2-3 months, I felt like crying ALL THE TIME… I hid it often times, especially in work life, because let’s be real… I need to be professional and can’t be blubbering all over my bosses and our customers… and for the most part I think I’ve done fairly well around friends to not just break down all the time, but to know when and who I can break down on. Thank you by the way for those who let me do that!

This last month & a half, the grief has been more in the form of exhaustion. Now part of that is because this summer has been CRAZY busy, and we have had a completely different routine than we ever had before & in a week we will have a whole new routine to get used to! But also, the simplest things have made me just soooooo tired. Like yesterday, I intended to make eggs, bacon and biscuits for dinner… we love breakfast for dinner in our house!! I did not however get all of that done. I pulled out a can of biscuits from the fridge, popped them in, took them out, put jelly and butter on it, and that was dinner. I didn’t have the energy for eggs and bacon! Two very simple foods. That’s just how it is sometimes.

The reality of it is, I didn’t just become a single mom… I became a widow. Please don’t misunderstand me… being a single parent is hard, so hard… I’m not knocking that & I’m not saying you don’t have your own griefs you go through with being a single parent, because I know you do! I have a few friends out there who are beasting and owning their calling as a single parent. But when you simultaneously are dealing with handling everything by yourself & grieving the  death of your spouse, that is a whole other ball park folks.

I don’t say all this to gain sympathy or empathy, that’s not what this post is about. I say all this to shed a little bit more light on our situation as widows, specifically young widowed mothers. We deal with on a daily basis not knowing if we are going to break down into tears in the middle of the grocery store, we deal with going from having someone to share the workload with to doing it all for ourselves, we deal with grieving children who just wish they could hold daddy/mommy one more time & trying not to break down with them every time they get upset, we deal with having to be the good guy AND the bad guy with discipline when we were so used to sharing that role, we deal with suddenly having to be both bread winner and home maker (which being a stay at home mom until my kids were older was a big dream of mine that I had to let go of…. another loss I suffered) but probably the biggest thing of all is we deal with no longer having your biggest supporter there when you need to lean on them or to curl up with them when you’ve had a bad day. And the realization of these things only makes you more upset in those hard moments. 

I thank God all the time for my friends and family who are there for me and offer a helping hand whenever I need. I truly don’t know how I would have gotten through all these months without their help. I am especially thankful to my widow friends who I get to share in this journey with. Y’all are amazing!! And of course I thank God for being there me anytime I need Him, He is the biggest supporter of all.


I’m putting a page break here because this is not the end, but I’m going to switch directions on you. All of the above is about the grief I have gone through with this journey, but y’all, there be been some great things to come out of it!!! 

Because of my gradual grief journey over the years,  even though I’m only 4 1/2 months out, I feel way more happiness and excitement than I thought I would these days! I get to experience early, a hope that there are better earthly (as well as Heavenly) days ahead! I hope to one day, when God’s timing is revealed to find (what we call in my young widows support groups) a Chapter 2 in love. Maybe more children are in my future (oh how the Lord knows this is a great desire of my heart!)… but I can’t promise a baseball or basketball team mom & dad (haha)! I have seen many people go through depression who don’t want to go out and enjoy life with friends… this is not my case at all! In fact, I would much rather be out  (or in) hanging with friends than at home alone! I have seen God do great things through my testimony as well as through Jeff’s!!! So when someone asks me how I am able to be handling all this so well… I won’t give them this whole blog schpeel (that’s just for you lucky ones), I will keep telling them: “I’ve been going through this journey for some time now, God is good & faithful to be with me in all my circumstances, and I do still struggle, even though it may not always show, so I will always take a hug, a call or some hang time!” Just remember friends, each grief looks different, acts different, sounds different, but we all need love.

 

God Bless,

-A