Posted in Ben, Grief, Joy

How has it been six years?

Six years. Seventy-two months. Over two thousand days and 52 thousand hours. Those are the numbers that mark the passage of time since you left us. As I sit down to do the math, it strikes me that our children had you in their lives for a shorter time than you’ve been absent. This summer I realized that I’ve been a single mom for longer than I had you as a partner in parenting.

Unfairness and Loss

My list of losses continues to grow with each passing day. The unfairness of all that we have lost and missed out on since you have been gone:
• Our children have missed out on growing up with you as their dad on earth.
• For six years, they have had to navigate life’s challenges with only me by their side.
• We have missed you at every milestone like first days of school and losing first teeth.
• Our son doesn’t get to have your guidance on becoming a man, understanding how to treat ladies, and growing in bravery and strength.
• Our daughters have missed out on having their dad teach them about healthy relationships with men.
• Father/son campouts and life conversations—are voids left by your absence (and trust me… Josh would rather have those conversations with you then me any day).
• Our girls won’t experience the joy of a father/daughter dance or having you walk them down the aisle.

A Painful Journey & Lessons Learned

Last night I read a post from six years ago. I pleaded for prayers on your behalf after that last seizure believing you would be heading home the next morning. And the following day brought a reality I never imagined—returning home alone, telling our kids you were gone, and planning your funeral instead of your homecoming. I had no idea what the future would hold in that moment. And when I look back on how much we lost that day and in the six years since, I could really get lost in how unfair life has been to us.

And yet amidst the sorrow and unfairness, these years have been full of learning for us. Lessons that have been hard-won, forged in the fires of repeated, unexpected losses. And while our life together did not end up being full of sunshine and roses, I know that it’s in those challenging moments that I have gained this wisdom:
• Life is fleeting and unpredictable.
• Grief and loss are unavoidable.
• Sadness comes when we least expect it.
• Despite the hardships, life is worth living.
• Every day is a chance to try again.
• Small victories are worth fighting for.
• Forgiveness is always worth it (for us and for others).
• Love is important, even when it seems undeserved (especially when it is undeserved).
• And nothing is more important than showing our kids that every moment counts.

Embracing Life’s Imperfections

There is no denying it. Life is not fair. Today we should be celebrating another day with you, but we are not.

Instead, we are faced with the same choice we have had every day for the last 6 years. The choice of whether to live life as fully as you did when you were with us. Embracing the pain and the joy and living authentically every single day.

We have the choice to keep living. The choice to get up every day and make it count. The choice to live life to the fullest and pray that it brings us one day closer to you… but not too soon.

Six years have come and gone. Seventy-two months and so very many days. Not one has passed where you have not been remembered. I hope you know that the ache of your absence will never really fade, but we are fighting every day to find purpose in the here and now. We are moving ahead; we are celebrating the all too short life you lived. And we are living.

Life really is not fair, but it will not keep us from making every moment count. For you and because of you!

We love you, we mean it!

Trish & the kids

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I'm Tricia, widow and mom to 3. I enjoy writing about parenting, traveling, and all that God is teaching about choosing joy in the moment, even when all I want to do is hide in the closet with a frozen Reese's and a bowl of ice cream!

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