May 9th – Forward 5 Months

Sadness, it’s creeping, crawling, and slithering.
Traction often comes to a slippery stop.
Growth is stunted under the darkness.
Heart is aching and tears flowing.
Purpose is disguised as motion.
Relentless sighs in desperation.
Yearning, wanting, need.
There are racing thoughts and palpitations.
My mind is bending, stretching, overlooking and over-thinking.
I am empty, emotionless, extinguished.
I have fumbled, fallen and been weakened.

These are thoughts, fears and emotion traveling through my heart and brain over the past five months. Five months! I visit him often where his body lies but I visit with him 24 hours a day in my heart. What does one do with these feelings? I have held them; I have put them in an imaginary box neatly nestled among my other treasures. I pull them out one by one on gloomy days. On other days I may only take out one. I have been diligent in putting them back into the box before I rest. For the sleep is what brings me one day closer to him.

So this is what life looks like for me now. A dear friend sent me a daily devotional that hangs on my refrigerator.

“When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice. ~God

My faith has often faltered because my brain is noisy. I am learning as I go that I have to take time to breathe. It is as important to my soul as it is to the daily life I live. What makes me stronger? What makes me get through another day? And what will get me through the rest of my life? What brings me peace and understanding of the loss that I often feel like is an on-going nightmare? It is my faith that I always turn to. I am taking time each day not only for prayer because that is essential to my life and the promise that I keep to my friends and family, but time to shut out the thoughts. These are the times that I feel at peace with the plan of my life going forward. When I don’t panic about life and just let it happen, the good, the bad and the often-times ugly, I do best. It’s a learning process. It is not something that is going to make my life perfect by any means. But it’s a life I can live with hope for the future. My belief to see life after this death as beautiful as the life that I lived for over 20 years with my beloved is alive and well!

A young friend of mine is running her first marathon in the fall of this year. Victoria is running in honor of her mom and step-dad. Her mom, a friend of Keith and me, died a short 5 days before Keith did of the very same disease – appendix cancer. The cold hard truth is that we both have the same feelings of loss, she for her mom that she cared for throughout her illness and me for Keith. Our losses are completely different, but they are exactly the same.

So Vicky asked me what number she should associate with Keith. My daughter came up with 23, Keith’s birthday – perfect I said. So miles 23 of the marathon will be dedicated to Keith and she wants to know “the most valuable lesson he taught you, funniest memory, or anything that I can remember about him on one of the last miles of the marathon”.

I have a lot of funny memories so it’s hard to pick out just one that’s for sure.But let me give Vicky something to remember. Keith was the sort of man that liked to take care of people. I want you to think very clearly about the visit that you had with us. Your mom and I shared life moments on that day. You went to the basement with Keith. While you shared it was a great conversation, I know that he somehow, gave you “something” to carry forward with you. I want you to think about that day and what it meant to you, to your mom, to Keith and to me. I want you to run at an even pace because that is the only way to keep one foot in front of the other. I want you to remember that Keith grew to love you as another daughter and he was as concerned for you and your well-being going forward. He knew what you were going through with your mom as our children were experiencing the same feelings. He shared with you things that day openly and honestly. On mile 23 remember the man that always tried to comfort others. He loved your mom and they shared everything during their conversations. I am grateful that they had each other!  On mile 23 remember that you and he shared a beautiful embrace on August 23, 2014 at the Pub Crawl. Push yourself but let our angels help your cross that finish line.

Keith and Victoria

Happy 5 months in heaven, my love. Keep shining your beam of light as only you can do!  I love you and miss you in ways that words do not convey.

4 thoughts on “May 9th – Forward 5 Months

  1. I “liked” your post, but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing. So bittersweet. I am so proud of you, cousin, the courage you display, and your eloquent gift of words, even when there are none. I know you probably have heard all of these Bible verses, but I personally have struggled with faith all my life. While others around me seemed to come to it so easily, I always struggled. I have learned that it takes practice. That intangible thing that seemed so easy to others, as it turns out, is not even easy for them. Maybe they have been practicing longer. Anyway, most recently (since January) I have returned to church and the practice of faith, and the Word in the Bible seems to be comforting to me in times of struggle, as I know they are for you also. Even Jesus wept, over the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35). And in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Then also, Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And in Lamentations 3:31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” That is how he covers and protects you with His grace and love. His strength is unyielding and you can lean on him in times of weakness. In Revelation 21:4 it says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” That is His promise. And Peter says in I Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” And of course Psalms is full of awesomeness, the 23rd being my personal favorite, I believe, because of our Catholic upbringing and the influence of my mother, I find myself reciting it in times of my deepest pain and suffering, though I have never experienced what you are going thru. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 18:2 says “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” And Psalm 30:5 says “For his wrath lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” That one, I think, is pretty poignant. I know you already do, but I am encouraging you to keep praying, and ask for His strength when you are feeling weak, and for His comfort and restoration when you are feeling broken. I’m praying for you cousin. God Bless you.

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  2. I love you and pray for your healing pleasance. May God create for you the right kind of space for healing and happiness. Your sadness has been profound and so your joy should be as all-encompassing as your sadness has been. It is very easy for me to share the sadness as I have felt my share in life. It is the happiness that seems more fleeting and that shouldn’t be in my estimation. I look forward to sharing the unfound joys that you will experience and that only God can know he has in store for you…….and I don’t just mean at the end of your life. I mean all through your life. You have a lot more living to do and you are already starting in the right direction. Blessings, dear one!

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