Sunday, July 13, 2014

...who sees "it" coming?

It's coming.

I can't avoid facing it much longer.
The sun doesn't realize it shouldn't shine that day.
The clock doesn't seem to realize that it's supposed to slow down and allow me more time.
More time to decide just how the day should be spent.
More time to wrap my mind around its significance and the emotion of what it represents.

It's coming...and coming only once. 

Just like my wedding day and many other uniquely personal days in my life, this one can not be repeated. So my actions on this day should reflect it's specialness...shouldn't they?

But there's much pressure in that thought.
Maybe I should just go with the "flow" of wherever my emotions take me that day.
On second thought, my emotions can be pretty unpredictable, so I should probably have some sort of plan formulated.

It's coming...and I don't want it to. 

I don't want to acknowledge that my dearest friend on earth has now been with his Heavenly Father for six months...
           ...enjoying peace, rest, worship, and bliss...
...while I beat my head against the impossible wall of fulfilling my new level of responsibility alone.

I don't want to have to say I'm doing okay without him.
Because of Jesus, and by His grace and strength alone, we are doing okay, really.
But I don't WANT to be doing okay...because it means another level of difficult release... acknowledgement that the world indeed does go on revolving and orbiting without Michael J. Wright occupying a portion of its surface.

Tears are flowing as I type this. It is so painfully real to me at this moment that I don't WANT life to continue without him!  I want to cling to all he was and (in many ways) still IS to me and the children. I don't want to continue this "new" life without him in it!

I don't want to forget...I don't want anyone else to forget!

There are times when I feel that others have forgotten...that they have pushed thoughts of him aside and are functioning as though Michael never existed. Maybe they are endeavoring to avoid pain through this tactic. Or maybe they think they are lessening my pain by not mentioning his name in my presence. But I fight the feeling that somehow the value of his life is lessened because his impact on their lives was so easily tossed aside and shelved.  How can they not talk about him??

But I digress...

It's coming.  And I can't deny its affect on me.

I guess I'm looking forward to the day with as much dread as I did our wedding day with joy.
It has haunted the edges of my consciousness for several weeks now.

It's not "fair" that on July 16, 2014, I should be
             celebrating my twentieth wedding anniversary and...can't...

...while so many in society around us are breezily tossing their marriages to the wind.

It's not "fair" that I am standing alone in this...facing this important marker of time passed, memories made, lives built, and hearts melded.
But this is one of those things I have to do alone.
Since I can't celebrate the day with the one with whom I shared the relationship,
                  then I'll have to do it alone.

The plans for this year's anniversary were special.
Those tentatively laid plans included something we had never done before.
We hoped that, at the very least, the day would prove to be different than last year's anniversary where we got take-out from the Cheesecake Factory and ate it while seated in a hospital room surrounded by visitors. (Not that we minded the visitors, it just wasn't exactly the picture an average couple would pin under the word "romantic.")

But the week of the cruise we dreamed of taking to mark this monumental year, and two days before the special date night (including limo, private table, and flowers) planned by Michael and the hospice nurse, Michael took his amazing trip into the arms of Jesus instead!

Another dream dashed to the ground and splintered into a bazillion pieces.
More tentative hopes sent sailing into the land of "Never Gonna Happen..."

And yes, I know that those statements are strictly and selfishly about me.

"You wouldn't wish him back, now, would you???"
"He's in a much better pain, no sorrow, no tears..."

Yup.  I know. Really, I know.  I think a lot about Heaven these days.
Sometimes it feels more real to me than this crazy old world.
I know I should be grateful that Michael is no longer suffering, and I am! Really, I am...
I know I should not wish him back, and I don't...not with cancer!
But please...don't judge me for wishing him back with me but in good health!

We promised each other, twenty years ago, that we'd share this walk together...that we would be true to each other...that we would cherish each other till death do us part.

It just wasn't supposed to part us now. It was supposed to happen after the kids were all grown.
It was supposed to happen after the arrival of a passel of grandchildren.
It was supposed to happen after we got the chance to spend our golden years together...watching numerous gorgeous sunsets while sipping coffee and reminiscing about the "good ol' days..."

It was supposed to only happen after experiencing more of the bliss we shared his last few months...

But God decided otherwise.

It's coming...and I've got to make the best of it!

Since GOD decided to take Michael home on January 16, 2014, 
and since GOD decided to keep me here a little while longer, 
and since GOD knew about every bit of this from the beginning, 
and since GOD has shown me His fingerprints in all this time and again...
   ...I'll trust Him.

I'll trust Him to lead me into the days ahead. 
I'll trust Him to help me face this next emotional volcano.
I'll trust Him to guide me even in my activities for this special day.
I'll trust Him to know my heart and bring healing to my soul through this time of remembrance.
I'll trust Him to enable me to focus on the best and brightest moments of our lives together.
I'll trust Him to guard my heart against renewed attacks of doubt, fear, and intimidation.
I'll trust Him to fulfill His promises to keep my heart and mind with peace through Christ Jesus.
I'll trust Him to teach me how to live again...with a healing broken heart.

So, I'll pack my trusty camera and my overnight bag, and I'll disappear for twenty-four hours. 
I'll visit some places where precious memories were made and where two people learned the lessons of navigating this journey of the same boat!

I'll take time to focus on remembering...
       ...and feeling...
             ...and honoring what was...
                      ...and thanking God for the beautiful gift of 19.5 years...

I will do what I do on July 16, 2014, out of love for my husband and respect for our past.
I will come back home and live life fully out of love for my children and hope for our future.

I know that God will be there...and real...and faithful...and good.
Because He has been already.

Many were privileged to know Michael J. Wright and call him "family" or "friend."

But only one bore the honor of being his wife.

I have truly been blessed.

And that is the fact on which my focus shall remain.

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
    ~ Philippians 4:19

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."       ~ Philippians 4:7

"The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace."
     ~ Psalm 29:11

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
     ~Thomas O. Chisholm

"The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down...the Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth...He will also hear their cry and will save them...He supports the fatherless and the widow...He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds..."
     ~ selected from Psalms 145-147

"God makes a home for the lonely..."
     ~ Psalm 68:6



  1. I've been thinking about this upcoming day and its significance and praying for you. Love you, Shawna!

  2. You are not the only one Shawna. Jennifer Self shared your blog link with me. Just like you - I should be celebrating my 20th Wedding Anniversary in 6 months... but that wasn't in God's plan.. My husband died 7 weeks ago saving a teen in the cold waters of Lake Erie. I understand intimately - EVERY word you typed. I share your tears for our losses. It's not fair, but God is good. His grace is sufficient for us and I know others are still carrying your husband in their minds and hearts even if they don't say. It's hard for others to communicate their grief, when they feel that they don't have a right to be affected like their own spouse. But they do... no person leaves this earth without notice when they loved the Lord. I am sure your husband's life story affected many and will continue to. My heart is with you Shawna. I will trust Him to... even when I don't feel like it..

    1. My name is Michelle Radke - my husband (gosh I can't seem to type "was") Pete Radke...

    2. Thank you for your kind words, Michelle...and if you'd like, ask Jennifer for my personal email address...maybe we can communicate further.

      Thank you to Jennifer Self for sharing my blog! I appreciate the vote of confidence! My blog is different, and I do hope you understand that I don't live every moment in the intensity of the emotion portrayed in these does gone on fairly normally around here! Lol! It HAS to with four kiddos to manage and care for....but this format is a great place for me to process and pin down some of the emotions that I do face from time to time.

      God bless you both....

  3. Shawna, I am Anna Lucas, who attends the same church your friends Larry and Miriam Miller do. I tried twice to get a "comment" to publish and couldn't get it to work for me. I'm trying again. Sunday I read your last two posts and was deeply touched. Lest this comment not publish either, I won't write much, but since I am also a mother of several children (seven), and home school, and often feel alone in raising them with a husband gone much of the time, I wondered if you and your children might enjoy my personal blog at I am a bit transparent, too, about my feelings, and also share devotional thoughts, and fun things that might bring some laughs. We've faced some deep waters recently, not like yours, though. Here's an invitation to a few moments of quietness and deep thought, as well as perhaps some laughs to brighten your family's day. Much love, Anna Lucas


  4. Shawna, I hope this comment publishes--I've lost all or part of it twice again! Sorry! I don't know what I am doing wrong. Here are links to four particular blog posts on my personal blog that I thought you might relate to or be encouraged by:
    Much love, Anna Lucas

  5. Well, since that worked, I will add the rest of my comment! Your cousin Carol Lefever's husband Ken, is my husband's best friend since his youth in Colorado here. So that is a little link, too!

    The photo on our blog header is missing my husband (who took the picture) and my oldest daughter who has been in Africa for 6 weeks doing Bible distribution, etc. There are pictures of our whole family further back in the blog.
    God bless you today! Anna

    1. Thank you for reading, and taking time to comment! I'm so sorry about the posting issues! That's puzzling, to say the least. I will check out your blog...thanks for sharing!

      The Millers have been such sweet encouragement and support to our family over the past several years and we have come to treasure these sweet people!

      Ken and Carol have been utter life-lines to us multiple times and been invaluable to our recovery. They are amazing and such blessings to us.

      We also have been friends of the Kearneys for many long years - Steve & Cindy attended our wedding and were here the day Michael's leg broke and the whole journey began.

      God has blessed us with such a wonderful support group and these folks are some of the cream of the crop! =)

      God bless you as you raise your family and work for the Kingdom!