It’s almost Christmas Eve eve and as we get closer to Christmas, my feet drag slower and slower. It’s been a
day weeks month and more of pain, sorrow and grief. People who barely know me have asked the Most Intensely Personal Questions and it has Boggled my mind! People have treated me with utmost shabbiness, dare I say even rudeness, and have felt ??? compelled to ask me “so, are you moving now that Dave is gone?” or “where are you spending Christmas?” or “are you selling the farm?” To the woman who asked the later, I was tempted to say, “does it matter? You can’t afford it.” but, at the last moment, God stayed my mouth.
To the woman…why is it mostly women who are so rude???…who said, “where are you spending Christmas?” I responded, “where ever I spend it, I’ll do my best to be happy.” She doesn’t have the best reputation; was she asking so she could case the joint? One feller asked, “what was wrong with you the other night?” I said, “some days are harder than others.” He said, “yeah, but you usually just let things slide off your back.” I tell you what, Fat Boy; grief doesn’t slide; it’s dead weight pinned to my shoulders and I carry it, daily. This is my life right now; if you don’t like it, do us both a favor, keep it to yourself and move on.
I do strive to be happy and when that’s not possible…which is the majority of the time…I strive to be content. In contentment, at least, I am succeeding.
What I want to say to people, and may yet do, is, “If you’re a Christian, please pray for me.” Although, surely if they were Christian, they wouldn’t be asking such rude questions, right? Ah, I can hear you now, “Jeremiah, you think this is real; you’ve never known it was all a game.” Like you told your cousin one time, “Sandra is the thing of substance. She’s totally unaware most people are outward appearances only.” Oh Dave, there will Never be anyone like you; God broke the mold when He made you. I’m just so grateful He allowed me to be your companion wife; He blessed me in ways only He understands! No one, save me, will ever know why your nickname for me was ‘Jeremiah’; that name was laid to rest the day you died. So many dreams were laid to rest that day; I suppose new dreams will be dreamt but they will never, I don’t think, be as wonderful as the dreams you and I had together nor as the realization of some of those dreams.
Over the Christmas holidays, I’m keeping Mary and Donald’s three children. Yes, you’re right, I have lost my mind. If not before, certainly since -laughing-. It saves Mary and Donald a boatload of child care fees and it’s been, mostly, good for the children and for me. Although, it did take my breath when K. said to me, “I think Sam is sad because Dave died. You’re probably sad too, aren’t you?” Oh child. I pray to God you never know!
Nelson has put me in touch with someone who is going to help me. I’ve spoken with G. on the phone and none of my bells went off. You would always tease me, Dave, about my ability to discern when something or someone was “off”. God has blessed me with discernment and He has taught me to listen to that “still, small whisper“. What a Friend We Have in Jesus indeed! Things are still up in the air but there’s light and I have breathing room now; a good thing because so many times I struggle to catch my breath.
Lately, it has been the strangest of times. I’ve wanted to wallow in grief, even though the three children need, nay demand my attention, but God had other plans. Several people have told me, “Oh, you’re so strong; you’ll be fine.” They seem nonplussed when I say, “No, I’m not strong and have wanted to quit, to just stop eating and die. My purpose is gone; I am bereft of even breath and there are times I catch myself gulping air, my body depleted of oxygen and starving for air.” There are those, I am quite sure, who would condemn me, a Bible believing Christian, for saying my purpose is gone. But Dave, you have been my purpose these last twenty-plus years. We saved each other from certain horror and, for me, the saving grace is knowing you made peace with Christ the week before you died. Was that what these last decades have been about? Then, Beloved, it was…it is…worth it all.
Bless you for giving me the assurance you loved me. Cathy was the love of your youth and, after she died, it took years for your grief to subside. Even after we married, you mourned Cathy; even so, I was glad to be second because it was better than not at all. Most women will go to their graves never knowing the love of a great man; bless God I knew your love. In the week before you died, you told me, “as much as I ever loved Cathy, I have loved you more.” Oh Dave, what a gift you gave me; bless your heart, you prepared me as well as I was able to bear.
Merry Christmas, Dave. Thank you for loving me and thank you for letting me love you.
Blessings ~ Christmas ~ oxygen ~ Dave ~ three children ~ God’s arm around my shoulder and His hand over my mouth ~
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