Oh my…if someone told me one year ago what we were about to experience, I think I would have run screaming in the other direction. If someone told me that tomorrow I would hear quite possibly the worst news of my life, I would have laughed at them in fear of the possibility. If someone told me to enjoy every hug and kiss and moment because it was just about the last one, I would have told them I do even when I knew that I flew through them because there was always something more to do. And I would have thought, “Yeah right…it won’t happen to me.” Unfortunately, it did.
The hurricaine is here. The wind is blowing today, literally and figuratively. I have been in a yucky funk the last few days. I have avoided the phone, I have avoided seeing people. I have avoided life. I can feel the darkness that surrounds the next few days. I find myself surrendering to it, even when I don’t want to. I want to be happy. I want to remember her life, not just wallow in the sorrow of her death.
For the last week, I have been able to remember what happened one year ago on that date. For example, on the 23rd I went to work, the kids when to Sue’s, we came home and met Stacy and Brayden for dinner at Chick-fil-a. It was kids night…kids get a free kids meal with each adult combo. It was the cheap way for us to go out. Natalie ate some of mine, Emily’s was free. Stacy held Natalie a lot of the time. I should have. It was our last meal together. We then went home and began our nightly routine. I was tired. I contemplated whether I should call in to work the next day. And I decided that I would decide in the morning. That was it…our last day together, my last goodnight to her. Natalie always co-slept so we snuggled that night. If I had only known…I would have hugged her tighter. If I had known this would be the last time she was in our home, in our bed, in our lives awake. If I had only taken one more picture of her, I would have just one more memory that would not fade in time.
I know. I cannot dwell in the what-ifs. I have so many of them. But they always creep in when I remember. Most of the time I prefer to keep them to me. The what-ifs make me cry. Really anything makes me cry right now. I miss her. Plain and simple, I miss my Natalie. I cannot even describe the depth of my hurt. It is dark and it hurts like a heart attack. It does not go away if I lie down and take a nap. It does not go away when I dive into some project. It does not go away. It just hurts, badly. No matter how the outside changes, no matter how much we grow and change, I don’t think my inside will ever forget. Even years down the road, many more that the mere year that we have lived through, the pain in my chest reminding me of my sweet girl will remain.
We will get through this. With God’s grace, we will survive. His grace is perfect. He is my hiding place. I know I am safe in His embrace, shielded by his love and peace. And I am spending lots of time with Him these days. Every morning on the way to take Emily to school, when I get home while Alie is napping, before bed, these are my moments with Him. I have worship CDs in the car, two (yes, two) bibles next to my chair, and study books in my bedroom. I have thrown myself in to this, drinking in all that I can. I keep looking for all the answers. I know they are there. I know He will reveal them to me. I just have to wait for His timing.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
And of course I am LIVING on my verse, John 13:7.
“Jesus replied, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”