Tuesday, December 9, 2014


It's late again. It seems that's when I usually get around to writing these things.

This time, I'm in the living room by the lit Christmas tree. I've overridden the timer so it will stay on tonight. I can't stand complete darkness right now.

Christmas music is playing very softly from's favorite music (Christmas) using his favorite technology (internet) through the avenue of his own creation (the internet music station).

I've succeeded in keeping myself distracted most of the day. But now those distractions must cease...I must try to sleep. But in the void of this quiet night, the memories rush in to take control of my emotions and sleep becomes unattainable.

I sit in the location of the hospital bed procured one year ago today -
Monday, December 9, 2013.

It was one of the most dreadful days of this ordeal.

I resisted the invasion of hospice into the sanctuary of my home.
I resisted the admission that Michael had reached the point where hospice was necessary.
I resisted the acknowledgement that he would never sleep in his own bed again.
I resisted the commanding presence of the clinical hospital bed in my living room.

I knew it had to be. Yet with everything in me, I pushed it away.

Family members came to see us. They interacted with the children and we all tried to grapple with the new development.

Friends stopped by. They brought with them a generous offering that had been taken for our family just the night before. By the time they arrived, I was about as close to "basket-case" status as I could be and still be in "public." Instead of condemning, they quietly checked on me, too, giving a hug, sharing tears, understanding my fears...

It felt we were now a spectacle in some ways. I know that wasn't anyone's intent, but in my state of emotional panic, I didn't want our living room, my peaceful sanctuary, to become a display case or a commons where any and all could come and go at will. Maybe those thoughts were due to my introverted nature, maybe not. Maybe it was that I felt our "safe place" was being ripped away from us. I felt desperate to claim something as my own personal space where no one could intrude.

I distinctly remember the panic I felt...the deep-seated fear that gripped my heart.
It was NOT time to give up!!! I couldn't lose him so soon!!!  We had just gotten this whole true love in marriage thing really and truly figured out!! All we thought we knew the day we joined hearts and hands in marriage became tested and tried, purified and real and we finally had a grasp of what true unity of heart means. We had been through so much together...and I didn't want to face the next steps in this journey without my companion.

I'm not sure at what point I finally calmed down.

To make that day a bit easier for the children, we gave them an early Christmas present - their "Daddy" blankets. They immediately fell in love with them, and have used them almost every day since.

So here I am. It's been a year since that day.
I've scurried around Christmas shopping, ornament decorating, gift creating, list making, program preparing, cleaning, schooling, remembering...stressing...remembering more.

I'm no busier than any other mom this season. I am just finding my tolerance for stress greatly decreased. It breaks me much more quickly than before. So as the memories rush all around me every day as I do my best to continue fulfilling my duties, my heart feels battered and bruised. My "nerves" are edgy and strung tightly.

And I just want to hide in a hole. I feel like hibernating until spring. I don't want to face all that the days ahead flaunt in my face. January 16 is looming in the distance, too. I don't WANT to have made it a year without Michael.  In some ways, I don't WANT to be okay.  I need him!!!

But my God is still here - beckoning me to keep trying to "live until I can feel alive again."
He keeps whispering in my heart that these precious children need me to be what Michael can no longer be for them - an active parent, stability, and support.
And the coolest part? He keeps giving me what I need to fulfill that role!!!  I worry at times that I ask too often and beg too much of my dear heavenly Father...but I also know that there is really no way that I can accomplish one task without Him!

The devil wants me to get so focused on my own emotional journey and grief that I cannot accomplish any Kingdom good. And sometimes he comes extremely close to succeeding. Then Jesus reminds me of others who are carrying heavy loads, grieving lost loved ones, finding the world cruel, and needing a word of encouragement, a prayer for peace and strength...and the way becomes clear before me again.

Nothing is accomplished through self-pity.

So once again, I will feel these emotions thoroughly.
I will journal and blog.
I will process them, then lay them down and move on - because God asks it of me, and my children need this of me.
But it won't be in my own strength. God alone gives me breath and life. He alone can help me find the other side of this tunnel. He has been so preciously patient and near to me. I can never adequately express my love for Him...

But He said to me, 
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may reside in me. 
~~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Many times I'm tried and tested 
As I travel day by day 
Oft I meet with pain and sorrow 
And there's trouble in the way. 
But I have a sweet assurance 
That my soul the Lord will lead 
And in Him there is strength for every need. 

O, His grace is sufficient for me. 
And His love is abundant and free. 
And what joy fills my soul, 
Just to know, just to know 
That His grace is sufficient for me. 
-Mosie Lister (

I know it will be there when I need it...that grace is boundless. So I'll rest now with the promise of Jesus's tender care forefront in my heart and mind. 

And I'll attend the brass concert Tuesday evening (December 9, 2014) expecting to shed a few tears, yes, but also fully intending to enjoy it as thoroughly as I always did with Michael by my side!!

After all, isn't HE hearing the most amazing music of all???

Remembering, yet resting in the promises,

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