It’s been five years… five years since I fell asleep on the chair next to your bed and woke up to doctors and nurses running into the room. It’s five years that have gone by all too fast, and so incredibly slow at the same time. I was not prepared then… and as much as I brace myself for the emotions that will come running on this day… I don’t think I am ever fully prepared for that either.
I can still remember waking up to doctors running in asking me if you had had a seizure and sending me into the hall. I remember feeling so alone as I listened to them for what seemed like hours before going to the waiting room to call your family. How upset I was about getting locked out of your hallway for literal hours. I remember sitting alone there listening to worship music. And waiting for the doctors to come get me; crying all the tears I had before family arrived.
And I recall feeling hopeful before the doctors explained our options and the decisions we needed to make. And I have never forgotten how as I agonized over how we would make decisions for your care that you literally took your last breath. You always knew how to make decisions easier for me. And as hard as it was to say goodbye, I have always been thankful that that was one decision you and God took out of my hands.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about you, share stories about you or just plain remember you. Despite what some people in my life may believe, it isn’t just the pictures on the walls or talking to your family and friends that reminds me. I remember when I climb into bed alone, look into our kids eyes, or hear them say things that you would have laughed hysterically at. All those things remind me, even at the most inopportune times.
Reality is that you have officially been gone for longer than K had you in her life. And in a few short months, the same can be said for the twins too. They have heard so many stories and seen so many pictures, but comment all the time that they wish you were here to see this or that. And K tells me often that she can’t wait to get to know you when she gets to heaven. It is just one more reminder that this is not the way we pictured our lives going when we fought to bring these three babies into the world.
And yet, I have not forgotten all the things I learned from you about embracing the hard and facing storms head on. I try every day to live the way you would have, by attempting to thrive in the midst of hard times. You are the one who taught me that death and cancer can not win if we do not let it. You taught me that we have to live every moment to the fullest. And you taught me the importance of surrounding myself with people who love us. But most of all you taught me to trust God in all things, even if we do not understand.
I think you would be thrilled to know that the kids and I have visited 45 states together. And in the past year we have been to 4 new countries. I know you would be excited to know that we are homeschooling again. We have plans for lots of time on the road, and with family! And I have no doubt you would be incredibly proud of how brilliant each of our kids are. Each one of them has your passion for learning new things.
I remember early in the grieving process being told that time heals all wounds. I wholeheartedly disagree. I do believe that time softens the blow and lessens the scars of past heartbreak, but I do not believe that time heals them. Because while we are happy, whole, living; you are still missed every single day! And you are never forgotten.
I hope that today and every day you know that we love you to heaven and back again! And I am thankful for a heavenly Father who holds us (and you) in His hands. I believe you are rejoicing over each tiny victory we have in our lives! And today and every day, I am thankful for every moment that we had you!
“Love you, mean it!”