The Journey Through Grief of a Young Widowed Mom

My grief journey after losing my husband of six and a half years. I am 27, and he would have been 28, in September 2006. We have three little boys, 6, 4, and 2.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Year and A Trip

The few days leading up to the one year anniversary of Mickey's home-going were pretty hard. It seemed both like the longest year of my life and like it had flown by at the same time. I still find it incredulous that I lost my dear husband, my life's companion and am now living my life in the present and the future without him. I recently read a book that my good friend gave me for Christmas. It is a collection of short stories/articles/opinion pieces from a widowed mother. She is a smart woman, a great writer and an insightful, honest Christian woman. There were a few pieces in there that particularly spoke to my heart. Encouragement for going and reassurance that is what it is supposed to be. I think that maybe that is starting to sink in. I think maybe I have turned another corner, no, I went up another step. Turning corners means you lose sight of what is behind you. I don't want to do that. I just want to move up to where I am going, but still be able to look behind and see where I've been and to be able to see those who've meant so much to me.

James draws our family pictures now with just the four of us. Sometimes he still puts Daddy in, but a lot of the time it is the four of us. It is our family now. Mickey will never be forgotten, but that doesn't change the fact that he is not here. I heard something on Midday connection today from another widow. She said that she tells her children that God will give us what we need, and if they had needed their daddy, God would have left him here. That is hard thing to say, to accept, but I guess that is the truth. Where God guides, He provides. He gives us what we need to get by, and apparently, we can do it without Mickey. I don't pretend to know why or how, but sometimes have to accept the simply complicated truth as it is.

Owen's concepts of a daddy are vague. He sees pictures and knows that those are his Daddy. His understanding of the position of the position of daddy is the fuzzy part is. He knows grandpa and uncle, he has those in his life, but to understand that his grandpa and uncle are also fathers he doesn't understand. He doesn't quite understand that other people have fathers and why he doesn't have one or what he might even need one for. He's 2. He does understand that he has his Mommy who he never wants to be away from and that she takes care of him and play with him. He understands other people are in his life and that they are good too. That is what he needs to know now.

Micah is a sensitive kid. James is also, but James deals better with them. If Owen hates to be away from me, Micah does more so. He is desperate to be with me sometimes. He is a loving, caring, giving little boy. He gives what he has if someone else is lacking. He is full of sympathy for those less fortunate, like they have less ice cream or they haven't had their full ten minutes with the toy. He's interested in equality and fairness...most of the time. He's only four and sometimes he's tired and cranky and wants what he wants. That's age. The rest is a beautiful personality forming.

James used to be the senstive one, outwardly and inwardly, now he controls the outward more. He now is the "man of the house" and at six-years-old, I don't want him to feel that way. However, I probably help contribute to that. I ask him for his help. He is asked to keep an eye on his brothers when they are outside, or while I take a shower. I ask him to help his brothers and sometimes give up stuff for them just to avoid an argument. That is alright isn't it? Isn't that was older siblings are for? I don't ask him to do lots of chores, in fact, they aren't doing any now which I intend to fix. I don't ask him to punish his brothers and I don't ask him to support me emotionally. He is growing into a strong, capable child though. He's quick, intelligent and intuitive. His temper is short, like his mom's though, and I see him copying things from me, I wish he wouldn't. He mirrors my frustration sometimes, and that cuts to the heart. He teases his brothers relentlessly sometimes, and knows how to hit the right button each and every time, but there is also a deep care and consideration for his brothers that comes through when he gets down on his hands and knees and explains something to Owen, or tries to teach Micah how to do something. He's six at times, other times he's sixty.

I don't feel like I've grown much. I think the first few months I did. Now I feel like I've stalled. I am sitting on a plateau because I need to do something. I need to take some steps. This is a re-occuring theme throughout this blog and the last year. This is why I've chosen to leave for a little bit. I have planned my trip for the fall/winter. I will be gone from Oct 1 through March 31 plus travel time. I will be in Georgia. I found a place to rent that is very affordable and there is enough room for us. I will be helping at Kids 4 Christ ( with whatever I can do, in whatever capacity they feel I can meet. I will be setting up a school schedule for us, and most importantly family devotional and instructional time. We will hopefully create a family schedule including chores, school, play, and familiar routines for everyone. I will depend on God first of all, not myself or my family to meet my needs. I hope to find a new life mission, or at least a start of one. I hope to forge a new relationship with God, a new understanding and the new purpose He has for my life. I hope to have a better and more complete relationship with my sons. I know that I might not reach the perfection of my ideals. I am not ignorant, but I should at least be well on my way to establishing these things by the end of the six months. I don't think it is going to be easy. I know it is going to be hard work. I know that sometimes I will wonder what I'm doing down there, and sometimes I will enjoy it and think that it might be a place to stay. I know I won't become a perfect mother, and that I will still be sad because of my loss. I know these things. However, I believe that God has a purpose for this trip, a purpose to take me away from home. A purpose to remove me from my comfort zone and to plunge me into a new place and life, even just for a little bit, so that I can learn to depend on Him more. I will appreciate everyone's prayers and everyone's support and encouragement.

And one last note. I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid of leaving my three sons without either parent. I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid to lose someone else I love. I faced that a couple of weeks ago with my Grandma, who thankfully, is getting better now. However, now we face an unknown scary medical issue with my little sister that conjures up fears of her dying. I can't face that. I refuse to acknowledge that it is possible that any one of my sisters or brother or sons or friends or cousins or parents or grandparents die anytime soon. I can't face that. I am crippled and that blow would be devastating. God promises to not give us more than we can handle and I ask Him to not see how much more I can handle. Even if I could handle it, I don't want to find that out. I know my own strength is not sufficient and I don't need any other lessons to understand that. I know that I am weak, sinful, cowardly, arrogant, unrighteous, selfish, hypocritical, that I don't love purely enough and that my patience is pitiful. I know that I want to be better and I know only God can make me so. I know this without any more fires. I've been refined, and am being refined still. I don't seek as I should, and I don't read the bible as I should, and I should be on my knees in prayer more. I know this and I am working on my obedience.

So, I pray, that God heals Kelli, either by his miracles or through the doctors. I pray for peace and strength for both Kelli and her husband Cliff. I am thankful for the insurance that allows them to pay for all of the tests and the treatments that are to come. I am thankful that Kelli is smart, realistic and strong and is facing this with great dignity. I am thankful that God has blessed me with such a beautiful sister and am thankful that He will heal her and restore her.