Hello my love,
We set the clocks back last weekend. Push a few buttons and back it goes. If it were only that easy, to turn back time…. I’d have to go back roughly seven thousand hours to see you. At times, it feels like an eternity has passed since I last held you in my arms, and at times, it feels like it was just yesterday. I still wake up each day a little confused and largely disappointed. I wonder if that feeling will ever pass.
Fall has been tough on me. My memories of you in this house started last fall and an uncomfortable familiarity has settled in around me. The weather, the sounds, the colors, the smells. All of those precious memories now seem to have a stage to perform on.
Remember last Halloween? We had just moved in and didn’t have any decorations to put up outside. You put those beautiful eyes to work and asked me if we could go get some after school. Well, as soon as you got off the bus that afternoon, we left for the dollar store to find some cheapo decorations. We just moved, so the bank account was tapped. We were so late, there was barely any decorations left at the store. We picked though a few things and settled on about $5 worth fake spiders, cobwebs, etc. Once home, we took some time to set everything out, we stretched the fake spider webs across some bushes and around the front columns. It was a fun afternoon and I enjoyed thinking about it just now, but the only part that seems to occupy my mind is the empty promise I made, “We’ll do it better next year sweetie, I promise.” Now, every “scary” house I pass by takes that promise and throws it like a spear into my heart. When does that go away?
There’s a picture of you in a red sweater, taken at the bus stop on 10/26/2015. As much as I love that picture, it brings back the thoughts and feelings of that moment. I felt happy, proud…content. And I want to emphasize that last one. It’s a feeling that I would not associate with ANY other time in my adult life. Mid October 2015 through January 24, 2016 was the happiest I’ve ever been and the happiest I’ll ever be. I do not doubt there will opportunities to be happy again. Sissy, and this little baby mean too much to me for that to be true, but you, my love, are not here to make it (me) feel whole.
I have come to realize, I no longer seek happiness, it’s a fragile ideal and this world is full of sledgehammers. I just want peace, not world peace, although that would be nice to see, but peace for my tired heart. And there is no peace outside acceptance. Acceptance is not just coming to terms with your passing, its meaning is always changing and ever growing. It means accepting: no more hearing “I Love you Daddy”, no more hugs, empty seats at the dinner table, empty bedrooms, empty stockings, no more creating memories, no more wondering what you’ll grow up to be. It means accepting that I am “that guy” and that most will keep me at a distance to avoid their own pain. It means accepting who I was, I will never be again. It means accepting that God will take care of you, because I no longer can. I means accepting that God will take care of me, because I no longer want to.
I’ve struggled a lot with faith over the last few weeks. Did I really take some great leap of faith in choosing to believe? Or was believing in Jesus just a desperate act to convince myself that you are not gone forever? I was convinced that it wasn’t much of an act of faith at all…much like a man does not exercise much faith when he jumps from a burning building onto a giant inflatable device below. It seems like a much better option than sticking around waiting for the fire to go out, or trying to climb down himself. I had convinced myself that anyone would have done what I did. My life, my hopes, my dreams were going up in flames. I had to jump. Right? Yes, but after praying about it and thinking it over A LOT, I came to realize that God didn’t need to give me a safe place to land. I could have looked out and saw nothing. I was so focused measuring my faith that I lost sight of His saving grace. That’s what I need to focus on.
Faith doesn’t help with the pain. There is no mystical feel good energy that helps me cope with your not being here. I’m not even comfortable saying it makes it easier. But what I have found, is through the pain, heartache and suffering; it is Christ that has given me hope. He has also given me compassion for all those who suffer in this world. He has given me patience to help Mommy in her grief (and some much needed help from a few wonderful friends for her to lean on while I’m at work). He has brought me a few moments of peace in the midst of depression and despair where no peace should ever be found. He has given my life meaning, and your life meaning. He has given me the courage to tell our story. And perhaps our story will mean an eternal difference to someone, just as it has for me…
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
The Golden Rule
12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a]that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
With all my love,
Until that day….