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.
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.