Monday, October 26, 2009

Just Keep Swimming...

Sometimes I feel like Dory, the quirky little fish in "Finding Nemo." When she frantically asked what to do when things got to be too much for her, she was told, "Just keep swimming." So, with all enthusiasm, she kept reminding herself to "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming...just keep swimming." And she even turned it into a catchy little tune that I now sing to myself every single day.

The emotions that flood my heart are sometimes too much for me and I have to remind myself to just keep swimming. Because if you keep moving forward in some capacity the pain, the sadness, the depression can be felt, but can't overtake your life. This is my way of facing my grief...wade through it all, but somehow manage to just keep swimming.

This past weekend, Jay's family came over and we all took the time to go through 20 years of memories that were housed in my garage. I wanted to give everyone a chance to grab some memories before I go through and get rid of stuff either through garage sale, ebay, or give away. It is very soon after Jay's passing...this I know...but it's time to downsize before I move, and I have as much time as I need to go through stuff and figure out what to keep and what to do away with and I don't feel rushed into making bad decisions. I can take my time and sift through things for as long as it takes for me to feel as though I made the right decisions for me. It felt organized and methodical and I was at peace with it.

I did pretty well, I think. I wasn't a total basket case for having relived 20 years of my relationship with Jay. I only really lost it when I found my bridal veil. That was difficult. But the Lord was faithful, and I was surrounded by family. We all took turns breaking down and shedding some tears. All of us miss him so much.

I couldn't believe all of the stuff that we had accumulated over the years. And for all of the grief that he had given me over the years for all of my shoes when he had WAY more fishing stuff; I just laughed and thought to myself that if he were here, he would be in big trouble. LOL

We had piles and piles of stuff all over the driveway and front lawn. People thought we were having a yard sale. LOL But we managed to each keep what we were emotionally attached to and for everything else, we either threw it away or placed on a shelf for sale or giveaway at another time.

After a long 2 days and everyone was gone, I took some time to reflect on the weekend and allow myself to really feel the grief of my situation. I felt in my heart that I need to move towards letting go of the hopes, dreams, and plans of the life I had with Jay, and start moving towards the new dreams, hopes and plans that the Lord has for me. After all, if I can't let go of this life, I can't receive the beautiful gift of the brand new life that the Lord wants to give to me. I am willing to let it go, but in due time. I'm in no hurry. While I don't like the pain I feel everyday, I try to remember that in the Lord's time my heart will be healed enough and I will be able to completely release this broken life so I can live a new restored life. I praise the Lord for His love for me.

So for now...just keep swimming...just keep swimming...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A "Single" Moment...

I am trying really hard to embrace this thing called "being single" but, for some reason, when I get in the grocery store, suddenly my singleness is never more evident! LOL I used to watch people as they would purchase their groceries and I could tell immediately if they were single or not.

1 melon, 1 half gallon of milk, sliced cheese, sliced meat, and half a gallon of ice cream = SINGLE!

Well, here I was, shopping for miscellaneous food items the other day...getting things I think I will be hungry for later on. Walking down the frozen food section...picking up a few things...stopping just short of the Hot Pockets because that, to me, is just a truly pathetic sign that I am single and I just can't go there! LOL So I pick up a couple of single serving pizzas instead. (like that makes a difference) So here is my grocery cart:

1 half gallon of milk, 1 package of grated cheese, 2 single pizzas = SINGLE

Nothing like still feeling married but having the reality of being single slap you in the face! And as I walk down the frozen food aisle, I see an older woman probably in her 80s all alone walking with her walker that has a cute little basket that she is stuffing full of frozen dinners, and I think to myself, "Lord, please don't let that be me." And as I'm lifting that quick little prayer to the Lord, I turn to the vegetable aisle and an adorable old couple, probably in their 80s, picking out vegetables and the cute old man does all the work for his wife by putting the veggies in the bag and putting them in the cart. Witnessing this mutual kindness between them, I quickly lift another prayer to the of my heart's desire, "Lord, THAT is what I want!"

While I can't imagine being married to anyone else but my husband right now, I believe in the institution of marriage and I long to have another companion if or when the Lord sees fit. Hopefully it would be a life long relationship so that when I am 80 years old someone will look at me and my future spouse and think, "what a blessing."

But for now, I have to accept my singleness and more importantly, remember that I am now married to Jesus. I couldn't ask for a better spouse than Him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Face Time...

I miss "Face Time." That's what I used to call it when I would spend time just looking at Jay's face and in his eyes. I miss staring at him for hours and studying every feature on his face. I got to the point where I knew his face so well that I could tell when he was in pain or sad just by the way he wrinkled his eye brows. He didn't have to say anything at all. He would just move his face in a certain way and I knew...

A number of years ago it wasn't that way for us. Before Jay got sick, we got into the habit of not even looking at each other. Not because we didn't love each other, but because we just took our time together for granted. We would have conversations around each other, but not really talk TO each other or LOOK at each other when we would be speaking.

Have you ever done that?...get so busy in your daily lives that you manage to just exist around your loved ones and not invest a whole lot of "face time?" If you find yourself saying that you don't know what your loved one's face looks like when they are truly happy, sad, angry, hurting, content...can I just tell you this...take the time now. Invest in "face time" because it is a treasured gift.

I can close my eyes right now and envision every single emotion on Jay's face and how I knew exactly what to do without him saying a word. I can remember how we cherished studying each other in our quiet time together so we could get to know each other on the most intimate level.

Face time is priceless...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cleaning and Healing...

Well, today (with the help of my best friend) I cleaned out the closet in "our" bedroom. I didn't really want to do it, but I think I needed to do it. It was tough. I kept smelling the clothes to see if I could catch a scent of my honey, but the clothes were clean and they just smelled like detergent. I think I was just trying to grab on to a memory. I miss him so much.

My closet is now clean in MY bedroom and I love it and hate it at the same time. 'Nuff said...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Timing Is Everything...

As I journey from grief to healing and everything in between, I find myself getting in the Lord's way all the time. It is a constant surrender to the Lord's plan for my life and a constant stepping back in alignment with His will for me.

There are so many things happening that as I try to wrap my head around it; I begin to take steps that are out of His timing and further away from His plan. I won't be staying in my house very much longer, but I don't need to move out until around the first of the year...but I find myself apartment/condo hunting "just to see what's out there"...but the Lord keeps pulling me back to where I am at.

There are things that need to be done at my house now that will prepare me for the first of the year when it is really time to consider moving. I still need to go through the house and make sure to give the things that Jay wanted to go to certain people to those people. I need to decide what I will be keeping/selling/giving away so I can downsize to an apartment or condo without exploding at the seams from the time I move in. I need to go through the emotions of boxing up our stock of old photos, and folding up his clothes and storing them. I'm not ready to get rid of his clothes yet.

There are good and bad emotions that need to be dealt with in this home, so that I can heal from them and continue to move forward in my new life. In order for me to heal correctly and be a whole person when I reach the other side of this trial, I must allow myself to feel the pain and emotion. I will only be able to gauge my progression of healing by basing it on the pain and whether it is decreasing. Either way, I have to feel it to tell how I am doing.

So this weekend is the beginning of allowing the true pain to come in so I can receive the Lord's healing as I confront all of the emotions that come with it. Praise the Lord for His healing, His time, His plan, His will for my life!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Anniversary of a Different Sort...

Today marks the three month anniversary of my husband's passing. It is very strange to me that I can be going along "moving forward" and the realization of a date can pull me back into "stand still" mode.

Three months ago today, more specifically at 11:45 am, my honey passed into his eternity. What a weird feeling to know that three months have gone by already, and yet it seems like a long time ago too. *sigh*

This is a different kind of anniversary for me...I'm ready for the first year to be over with already. Just rip the huge band-aid off already!

I miss Jay terribly...but still grateful for where he is at now. No more pain or suffering for's just my turn now. All the while, I receive my comfort from a Lord who loves me beyond measure today, and always. Praise the Lord.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today was a very up and down day emotionally. Early on today I found myself being very focused (something that seems to evade me most of the time now) and my productivity level skyrocketed...until after lunch.
I've been rearranging my desk at work and trying to get the "flow" of my desk to better serve me in my work day. As I was cleaning out a drawer, I found what I thought were a stack of blank cards for me to give out to people on special occasions...nope...this is what I found on top of the stack...

Seeing this card again knocked the wind out of me. GOSH, it made me miss him more...but I am so blessed to have found it...just a reminder of how much we really loved each other. Of course I cried and broke down for a moment, but the Lord is faithful to give me strength not to be devastated when I find special things like this, and instead, rejoice that my husband and I WILL see each other again in our eternity.
When I read what he wrote in the card, I thought to myself that I may have been his "ray of light" but as I think about where he is at right this moment; he is experiencing the greatest Light of all...our Lord and Savior. There is no greater blessing than to know that my Jay is filled with peace, light and a love overflowing. Praise the Lord.
My heart is happy...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Seasons...

Well, the weather is FINALLY starting to cool down here in California. I'm sure in other parts of the country people would think I'm crazy to think that 68 degrees is cold, but when you're used to 80-100 degree's not just cold - it's STINKIN' cold! LOL

All that to say, the season is changing; not just in temperature either. The season of my life is changing too. I'm starting to become used to living alone and pressing on in my life without my husband. That's not to say that I don't miss him...on the contrary...I miss him tremendously. But my tendency to think about him every minute of the day is beginning to taper off and I have pockets of time during the day when I can concentrate on something other than missing my sweet husband.

When I first realized that I had some periods of time when I didn't think about him being gone; I got scared. I thought that I was a terrible person because it has only been a few months since he passed away and I should still be constantly thinking about him and missing him. But then I realized that this was the Lord's healing upon my heart that I have been praying for. Am I completely healed? NO WAY! But, honestly, I believe that I can feel the Lord gently sewing together the seam to my torn heart.

My pastor, Greg Laurie, said this past Sunday in his series on "Why Does God Allow Suffering?," "Your loved one isn't "gone." They are only "gone for now." It's just a reminder to me that I will be reunited with Jay one day. I will just have to be patient and live my life as the Lord wants me to until that day comes. The idea of being reunited with Jay in heaven isn't anything new to me, but hearing my pastor say it that way just helped it to sink down into my heart and house itself as a promise from the Lord in the walls of my healing heart.

This new season of my life is still very sad, but as I hold onto what the Lord promises me, I am able to slowly begin to LIVE again.

Thank You, Abba Father, for Your faithfulness to begin healing my heart. I hold onto You and Your promises for my life. Thank You that You have a plan for my life as Your word tells me in Jeremiah 29:11. I desire to begin living my life, not just as a widow, but as Your disciple. Thank You for placing dreams and visions in my heart again. Help me to walk in Your ways, Lord. I love You. Amen.