I wrote these words several months ago, just a few days after April 23, 2022.
I have held on to them, knowing them in my heart, yet refusing to re-read them.
Then, life happening, getting in the way more than I expected.
And these words were put away in a folder on my computer.
January 24, 2023.
I read them again.
And I feel them all over again.
Yet, there is a softness in the feeling today.
And today - I will share them here.
With a cry of my heart all anew,
Refreshing tears from the very depths of my soul.
April 23, 2015.
The day that changed my life forever.
I knew that the 7th year angelversary was going to be different for me.
I felt a turning point coming.
Wasn’t sure I wanted it, either – truth be told.
But just as I could not stop the world from turning on that day 7 years ago,
neither could I stop this 7th year from coming around.
Nor could I stop the turning point – it was stronger than me.
Seems strange in a way to write that.
To think it.
To realize the truth of it.
These were the words I wrote in my prayer journal on that 7th morning:
Thank you God for just holding me while i cried at 4:30 this morning
no more leading up to this day.
my life changed drastically and forever that morning.
he was gone.
he is gone.
today i will remember those years together
today i will remember that moment that changed everything
and today, i will take a deep breath and step into that 8th year without him.
wondering how can it be?
7 years and still this does not feel like my reality
7 years and i still want to wake up from this nightmare
7 years and i do not feel any more settled, directional, or purposeful, than what i felt the moment he died.
7 years and it is still more about me comforting others than anyone taking time to comfort me –
With the realization every day more and more, deeper and deeper
- - God, YOU are my Comfort.
YOU are my Strength.
and yet, i miss skin.
am i wrong?
thank You for always being with me
thank You for bringing me to this moment with You
help me to let go -
- of the life i had planned and dreamed
- of the life i have been living, the struggling and striving so hard
- the trying so hard to not try so hard
- of the hurt
- of the worries and fears
- of the offenses
let it go.
leave it all with You
and walk on.
Those words were from the heart, from the very deepest part of my soul.
They seemed to tear out of me, almost screaming to be heard
… and yet there was a stillness and quietness about them, too.
But that contradiction seems to be following the pattern of life that I have come to know as Rick’s widow.
I was so very loved by Rick.
And I loved him so very much.
I miss him.
I miss our life together, more than words could ever say.
There are not enough words for how deeply I miss him.
Life goes on.
And that makes me afraid as a widow.
Not only do I get older than he was allowed to be
– which in a way makes me smile, because he always said he had married “an older woman”.
Told me how many times that I was “an old soul”?
But I am afraid that others will forget about him.
Forget how his voice sounded.
Forget the lessons he lived, and taught.
That he will fade from their memories and become nothing but a wandering ghost in their hearts and minds.
There is that fighting part of me that says while it may happen with others, and probably will
– it will NEVER happen with me!
Not if I have to grieve in torment alone for the rest of my days!
His life, and his legacy, are worth remembering, worth sharing, worth grieving for.
And yet, came that moment when I realized too that it was time to let go.
Time to lay down my fears and worries.
Time to move forward in my mind and in my heart.
Without doing that, I cannot move forward in my life.
It’s not a letting go to leave him behind.
It’s not a letting go to say that we never were, or that he did not exist.
It’s not a letting go to say that I no longer love him (like that could ever be!).
It’s a letting go of a past that I have regrets about.
Because I cannot do one thing to change that past.
There are no do-overs.
No 2nd chances.
It’s a letting go of a future that scares the “pee-water” out of me, as my Momma would say.
But also, a realization that God is not asking me to live today for tomorrow.
He is telling me to take up my cross TODAY.
One day at a time.
I spent that 7th day alone.
Cooking a roast – Mississippi style.
OMW it turned out wonderful!
I enjoyed it so much.
And while I was just at the RV, alone, letting the roast cook, I read.
First time in a very LONG time that I have read 2 books in one day!
But they were exactly the books I needed to read that day!
One – “The Girl from Montana”, by Grace Livingston Hill
The other – “Texas Roads” by Cathy Bryant.
I love it when a book that was written without you having anything to do with it speaks to the heart, the mind, the soul!
There is something so real, so comforting, so strengthening, about it when it happens.
These are some take-aways from these 2 books:
As I sat here Sunday morning, the first day of my 8th year as a widow, I cried out to God with these words:
God, I’m scared.
I have held on to Rick for over 35 years.
I have held to our memories for these 7 years now.
HOW do I let go?
I know it’s time.
I just don’t know HOW.
Please, help me.
His answer came thru one of these books that I read over the weekend.
As I sat there reading this book, this became my prayer:
Lord, I need to let go.
I have clung to the pain with both fists.
Afraid of releasing the only part of Rick that I have left.
Lord, I lift my hands to You, and I let them fall to my side.
Surrendering it all into Your able, and more than capable, Hands.
Where I was so at home in.
Where I feel lost, alone, afraid.
That scares me, paralyzing me in fear and with too many questions, too much 2nd guessing.
It’s all Yours.
I will no longer fear what road I am on all the time.
God, You are with me.
And You are taking me where You want me to go.
Later that day, I read a book.
It was a rainy & stormy Sunday.
So what better thing to do than to grab a book, curl up in the recliner, pray thru the storms and just read?
This book, “A Daily Rate” by Grace Livingston Hill, had a most needed and blessed message to it.
II Kings 25:27-30 was referenced to several times in the book.
After finishing the book, I read these verses.
I had read them before, but this time, I read them with fresh eyes and greater understanding.
Finding this short poem by Fr Francis Xavier Lasance confirmed what I was hearing in my heart:
“Charge not thyself with the weight of a year,
Child of the Master, faithful and dear
Choose not the cross for the coming week
For that is more than He bids thee seek.
Bend not thine arms for tomorrow’s load
Thou mayest leave that to thy gracious God.
Daily, only He says to thee,
‘Take up thy cross and follow Me.’”
A turning point.
Not sure where I go from here
Nor what will be done with, or in, or thru, my life
But – one moment at a time
One day at a time
Doing what is in front of me to be done
Trusting in the Lord with all my heart.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here