Friday, September 25, 2009

His Laughter...

My house is so quiet now. It was never a super noisy place, but if it's possible for a quiet place to become completely silent; that's my house. Jay was home for a long time as he went through his treatments. I think in the three + years that he was sick, he might have worked a total of four months, so he was home all the time. The TV was always on...24 hours a day...there was some sort of noise in the house. Before he got too sick to get out of bed, Jay could be found at all hours playing video games, cooking in the kitchen, playing with the dogs or just sitting and watching TV. Now that he is gone, none of that is happening and the house is just deafeningly quiet.

I was thinking last night and this morning about how much I miss his laughter. He used to watch these stupid TV shows on the BBC (sorry, I don't get that humor...or is it humour? LOL) and he would laugh so loud that I could hear it from a mile away. I used to just sit in the other room and listen to him gaphaw and roar to whatever was being said. I loved to hear him laugh. In a time when he was so sick from the meds that caused nausea and in pain because the tumor was growing; he could still be heard laughing as if nothing bothered him. That can only be a gift from God. I treasured those times.

I received a "gift" this morning...I closed my eyes and allowed my memories to take me to a place where I could hear Jay's laughter again. With my eyes closed, I could envision him sitting in the living room relaxing in front of the TV. He usually had some sort of snack in hand, so I could smell whatever it was that he made. I love it when the Lord gives me the gift of being able to get submerged in the moment and He washes me over with the love in the memory of that moment. But it is always only for a brief moment that I am able to do that because I know that the Lord doesn't want me to get lost in the abyss that is the past, but rather, He wants me to cling to Him and His plans for my future. Eyes opened...back to reality. Quiet.

He lightened my heart this morning, if only for a moment. I am grateful for that. I am grateful that my honey is with my God that is so loving and caring and faithful. I close my eyes again...Jay is in heaven, being loved beyond measure; beyond anything I could ever have given him. He is filled with joy. There is no greater gift. Thank You, Jesus.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Tears...

Well, here it is...I've hit that stage where all you can do is cry. Everything reminds me of my beloved and I miss him SO much that it makes me physically ache all over. I feel a constant heaviness in my heart and feel as though I am carrying 100 extra pounds of weight everyday; all day long.

You talk about a change! I wasn't sure if I would get to this point. As a matter of fact, just about 4 weeks ago, I asked another friend of mine (who happens to be a recent widow as well) if it was weird that I feel okay and don't cry much. She said, "Oh, you will. Don't worry." And sure I am. My pillows are soaked every night with tears. I cry out of nowhere now. The tears just come...I don't even have to be thinking about Jay at all and the tears just flow like a river.

On Sunday, all I did was cry. I didn't even go to church because I didn't want to just sit there and cry the whole time and draw attention to myself. I received a couple of calls from my best friend checking up on me. We were scheduled to go for a pedicure and I tried to cancel because I knew that I wouldn't be able to suck it up so I wouldn't look like a complete dork sitting in the chair crying, but true to my beautiful Karen's style - she wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. She is always looking out for me. She knew that if I sat at home, all I would do is sink further into a depression and that wouldn't serve any purpose in my healing process.

So off to the salon I went...and sure enough, in the middle of me getting my feet overhauled, I cried like a baby. I had to cover my face so people couldn't see my "ugly cry." You know, the cry where you scrunch up your entire face and look really scary?! LOL Anyway, the tears were free flowing. It stopped after a little bit, but I had to just let them flow.

Each day since then has been the same thing. Tears just flow when they want to. But, with much prayer and crying out to the Lord for His comfort, I was reminded of the scripture in the bible, Psalm 56, about how the Lord keeps our tears in a bottle. Meaning that He takes all of our sorrows that we give to Him in prayer and He holds them in a bottle. He cares for me and loves me so much that He takes every tear that I cry and keeps it safe in a bottle. What an amazing and loving God I serve. I never cry the same tears twice. Each one serves a purpose, and that is to heal my heart as I turn to Him and give Him my hurts. Psalm 126:5 says, "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." My joy will be made complete one tear at a time.

My happiness comes from God alone. Nothing in this world will ever give me fullness of joy. It is the Spirit of the Lord that fulfills my life. I am a treasure to my Father in heaven and He comforts me in my time of need. I may not always be "happy" according to the world's standards, but I will always have the joy and hope that the Lord gives me each second of the day. The hole in my heart is being healed by the Lord one tear at a time.

Thank You, Father, for keeping my tears safe in Your bottle. No one can do what You have done for me. Thank You for Your Word that comforts me so. Thank You for surrounding me with Your love. I praise Your Holy Name! Amen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time Is A Healer...

I'm praying that time really is a healer as I've been told by many people. Saturday, September 12th was two months since my honey went to heaven. It seems like a lot of time one minute and then the next it feels like it happened yesterday. I don't know how long this process takes...for some it's months and for others it is years. I have no idea which category I happen to fall under but all I can do is pray that with each passing moment the Lord is healing the big hole in my heart.

I keep myself busy enough to pass time, but I still feel the sense of loyalty to keep my husband's memory alive by thinking about him, talking about him, and just reminiscing about our years together. There is a part of me that says, "Just keep moving forward." Then there is the other part of me that says, "Do anything you can to remember him." I know that if Jay were able to communicate with me, he'd say, "Don't worry about me. I'm okay and I will see you again." He would never want me to sit around and grieve for him. But anyone that knows what the grief process is like; you understand that this is just what your body and mind have to go through.

The best thing about this process is that I can share Jay's journey of rediscovering and rededicating his life to the Lord. I can also say that the second best part of this process is that I don't have any regrets of how I cared for and loved my husband. I was his primary caretaker; partner; teammate; and I journeyed with him through his life with cancer and we always had an agreement to do whatever we could humanly do to try to beat that disease. The Lord led me to my church for employment and the provisions came one after the other from there and I was able to care for Jay with everything I had. That allowed me to be able to live without regret now in my grief. That is a God thing. Praise the Lord for His unending provision.

So I continue to pray for the Lord's guidance through this process...two months have passed and I miss my honey like crazy, but I know where he is at and I will continue to push forward; always keeping him in my heart and mind.

I don't suppose there is a "www." address that reaches heaven? *sigh*

Honey, I miss you. I pray that you are better than I imagine you to be at this moment. I know that the Lord is taking good care of you. He promised me that He would. I look forward to seeing you again someday, Baby. Until then, I walk this road knowing that you are supporting me and cheering for me from on High. I love you, my Precious Love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I remember...

I remember....

I remember......

I remember the surrender that came after the tragedy of 9/11. I remember that the churches were filled to capacity; and even overflowing, with people trying to understand and simply GET RIGHT with our Father in heaven. We were a powerful nation; we were a PRAYERFUL nation; getting back to the TRUTH on which this nation was founded. We drew close to the Lord and lived HIS ways and lived for HIS purposes.

I remember the spirit of a truly UNITED nation. It was a time when people turned to one another and actually looked in their eyes...recognizing their humanity. People were HUMANE to one another. We all had Brotherly/Sisterly love.

I remember, and memorialize the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. May their families receive the Lord's peace and comfort on this day and every day.

I challenge everyone at this very moment...remember the tragedy on this anniversary, but also remember how strong our nation IS when we all draw close to the God Who created us and lets get back to living our lives boldly for Christ as we did back then and allow the Lord's love to overflow from our hearts making us a UNITED nation once again. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the repuplic for which it stands;
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Little Home Makeover...

This entry will be brief. The pictures are all out of order, but you will be able to see what I did. I just wanted to share...
Blessings to all this Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


"They" say not to make any changes within the first year after your spouse dies. Well...for me, something needs to change. I need to feel more at home in my home. It has been a long time since I felt that I could LIVE in my house...and I certainly have not felt at home since Jay I have decided to paint my bathroom and bedroom to add a little bit of "life" to my life. Obviously painting is not going to take my grief away, but I have this need to feel a bit more settled in my day to day living. I have no clue if this is even really going to help me at all, but I'm going to give it a try. It's worth the effort.

If you ask me, the biggest CHANGE in my life has already happened so making a few cosmetic changes in my house are not going to have any significant detrimental impact on my life. If anything, I'm hoping it will help me to feel a little more like I actually belong in my house. Having Jay here was what always made this house feel like a home and now that he is gone; I feel like a foreigner in this house that we purchased together.

So, here is to making small changes. They don't fix everything; they may not fix anything; but for right now, it is making me happy. I'll take that.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Me" vs. "We"

Everyday it seems that there is some new discovery on my part of what is an emotional trigger for me...I'm sure that it is totally normal...everything is "normal" when it comes to grieving the loss of a loved one, so I'm told. Absolutely nothing FEELS normal, but I guess that's normal too! LOL

Today, I discovered that it makes me a little bit sick to my stomach when I mistakenly say, "We" this or "We" that. I was talking to someone about making over a couple of rooms in the house and I said, "We are changing some things..." We?? No...I am making some changes. It's still a shock to my system to know that I am no longer a "we".'s just me now.

It is a very strange feeling to now be living as a single woman when all I've known for half of my lifetime is being my husband's partner. What on earth do you do when half of you has been cut away?? Everything just feels so very foreign.

Amputees suffer from what is called, "phantom pain" when they have some part of their body cut off and they imagine in their head that they still have that limb or extremity. Dare I say that what I'm going through is...similar? If I may be so bold...YES! Where there once was someone at my side for 20 years, now there is nothing, but I still feel like I can look at my side and Jay will be standing right there holding my hand. Phantom pain! When I lay in bed at night and only sleep on my side and I let my foot wander over to the "other side"...his side; I still think that I will be able to feel him there. Phantom pain!! I still look at my watch at 10:00 and 2:00 while I'm at work because those were the times that I would call Jay every single day and remind him to take his medicine. Phantom pain!

I am no longer a "we." I am just "me" now.

Phantom pain...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Memories...A Continual Slide Show

It has only been six weeks since Jay passed away so memories are flooding my mind and heart as an internal slide show. Someone will say something that reminds me of him or something he once did and a picture of that moment will enter my mind. Sometimes it is comforting to me...sometimes it is just added torture to the gut-wrenching mourning that I'm already experiencing.

Today's "slide show" of memories were of him getting his staples out at City of Hope last year after what we believed would be the surgery to cure him (if only...)...and then the other picture that pops into my head nearly everyday is of his last moments with me. I think that one won't go away for a while.

I actually still have nightmares that he died that Sunday morning when no one was around or paying attention. I know for a fact that I was there with him, lying in his hospital bed cuddled in the crook of his arm and neck, stroking his hair and face and telling him that I love him and that it's okay for him to go be with the Lord, and yet, I still have nightmares that he died when I wasn't looking. I was so fearful of that for months before he passed away. I guess it is just my mind's way of processing those fears...or the enemy's way of trying to convince me that I didn't do enough for him. But my God is bigger than the efforts of the enemy, so when I do have those nightmares I just hand them, and the feelings that come with them, over to the Lord.

One memory that I'm having right this minute (just because I'm consciously thinking about Jay's last days) was one of my best friend Karen leaning over the hospital bed singing to softly and sweetly...singing in his ear. I don't have a clue what she was singing because there were many people around but I just know the peace that I witnessed in him as she sang to him. He wasn't too responsive that day, but I know he was in there and he was listening. That memory is one of the sweetest that I carry in my heart of that weekend. It was a precious and treasured moment for Karen too, I'm sure.

I know that the days of me soaking my pillow with my tears at night are not over, but I am thankful for the days that I can receive the Lord's peace and enjoy the memories that flood my heart. And for the days that the memories feel like arrows piercing my heart; the Lord is faithful to heal my wounds and I will receive his healing one day.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:33

Thank You, Lord, for saving me when I feel faint of heart. Thank You for Your continued healing touch. Help me to keep moving forward. Amen.

My Beloved Jay, I miss you so much. It hurts more than I ever could've imagined. I will see you again one day, Honey. I long for that day. I love you endlessly; eternally.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Running In Place

"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 NKJV

A whole new chapter has begun in my life. On July 12, 2009 at 11:45 am, just six weeks ago, my beloved Jay...passed away from this life and became a citizen of heaven. I was there, in his arms, when he took his last breath. That was the moment my life changed forever.

I have spent the past three and a half years caring for this man, my husband, my mate, my best friend...taking him to doctor appointments, treatment appointments, surgery appointments; not to mention all of the time at home caring for him and making sure he took his medications and ate something to go with them...every minute filled with something to do for him...and now what do I do???

I am somewhat lost because I don't know what to do for myself. It's time to take care of myself...that's what everyone says...even all of the grief books out there say that...but how do I do that? Where do I start? I've spent so long making sure that I don't put myself first that I don't have a clue what to do for me. I know what "sounds good" but when it comes down to doing what "sounds good" I don't want to do it. I'd rather just go home and sit. Sometimes I feel like I'm running in place. I want to get away, but every time I begin to make plans to get away, I suddenly feel in my heart that it doesn't feel right and then I stop in my tracks. But I have to press on...

The scripture up at the top, Philippians 3:14, is something that stuck out to me because I must now figure out how to get back to "pressing toward the goal," which is serving the Lord. My husband was my first ministry and now he is gone, so my first ministry is serving the Lord. I have no clue what ministry to start serving in, but I'm sure the Lord will show me in His time. He is still healing the huge hole in my heart left behind by my husband's departure.

Being a widow is a very interesting thing. You really find out how good the Lord is and how he really does have a heart for the widows. His provision is abundant. You also find out very quickly who he doesn't want in your life. Being a widow is one of the most vulnerable states of being that you can be in...and the Lord really goes out of His way to protect those of us who are in that state. He has surrounded me with wonderful people who have stepped up to be of help. Praise God!

This transition into my new life has brought out many emotions, but it all comes down to trusting the Lord to restore my life to its fullest...and beyond. My joy has not been lost, but I definitely feel the deep sadness in my heart. Someone recently told me that the "smile in my heart is gone." Wow...I don't even know what to say to that.

Better days are to come. I will continue to press toward the goal and I know that the Lord will be faithful to meet me each step of the way, and when I can't move...He will carry me. Thank You, Lord.