All but one photo came down. No more wedding, His & Her’s bedroom wall.
It’s now just HERS.
I changed the bedding to bright, happy florals. My mom made me pillowcases out of two of his shirts, and I kept his pillow case that still smells like him to snuggle up to like a blankie when I go to sleep.
Widowhood is weird, confusing, lonely, and of course, sad.
But if you don’t let the sadness overtake you, happiness lies in the love that once was and with that comes freedom.
When honestly all I want to do is stay in bed and cry.
But how would that honor him?
I can’t think of anything except for honoring him by remembering the way he loved me.
Man did this man L-O-V-E me!
On our 4th anniversary, he took to the keyboard and blessed me with these words that I will forever cherish.
And this is just a small example of how daily he would show and tell me how much he loved me (even when we fought).
The last paragraph hit me hard. (his full post below)
“When I remember my dad telling. me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will. I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend.”
Oh, Bubba. How my life has been blessed to have had you for the last fourteen years.
Thank you for finishing up your life on this earth with me as your bride. (I love how he always called me his bride and not his wife.)
You never gave up on me, though we had it rough for the first couple of years of our marriage. And you put up with so much of my stubbornness. My life has forever been blessed to have had you share your life with me for those short years.
Wes post on July 6, 2017:
The older I get, the more amazed I become by the longetivity of some things – especially now that I’ve gained the perspective of time as a man in his mid forties. As a teenager, I, as with just about everyone else alive, had only my teenage conception time. Understandably so, all of our older friends and acquaintances have much more experience than us and thusly, their experience of time is much more different than ours.
Both you and I have friends who have retired from the military; lived in their homes for decades; been married for forty plus years.
I can remember back in the early 2000’s a relationship I had with someone for five years came to an end. I told my parents, who both liked her very much. My dad, rest his soul, was visibly upset.
“Why can’t you just finish something?! Just do something.”
I thought I was already on that train. However, from the outside looking in, I obviously wasn’t.
Fast forward to St. Patrick’s Day 2006, and I met you; who would know that you would become my bride and partner for life. I didn’t know it then, but now I do and I’m so very excited and eager to build a life with you; much like the lives of some of our friends and acquaintances at church, only our own story.
When we looked into each others’ eyes on this day in 2013, I’m pretty sure neither of us had any idea of the path God would take us on, just like we currently don’t know the path on which God currently has us and will take us in the future. I’m just so extremely happy and excited that I get to travel down God’s path with you, my love.
One of the final scenes in an all-time favorite movie of mine, For The Love of The Game, depicts Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) after arguably one of the greatest days of his life; he threw a perfect game – no small feat in baseball (140 years, only 23 perfect games).
What should have been one of the happiest days of his life quickly became meaningless as he was hit by the reality that he no longer had the love of his life, Jane Aubry (Kelly Preston), with him to share. He felt empty without her and he couldn’t feel a single iota of the jubilation his fans felt after the perfect game. I can honestly say that when I have a triumphant moment, I feel empty until I get to share it with you.
To quote Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) in Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.” You do. I love to cook for you; I love to surprise you; I love seeing the joy in your eyes, especially when I know that it was me who brought it to you.
My love, mi amor, there are so many things I long to share with you; so many memories I yearn to create. When I remember my dad telling me that day to finish something, to just do something, I can now say that I have and I will. I will finish my life on this earth with you as my bride, my best friend. I love you and it only grows stronger the longer we are together.
The 3 of us belong to a club that none of us EVER signed up for…
The Young Widows Club.
I met these two amazingly strong women through this (unofficial) club (their stories below) .
The three of us lost our husbands 3 days apart of each other.
Kelsey lost her Brad on 2/15/20, I lost my Wesley on 2/18/20, and Sarah lost Scott on 2/21/20.
Today we celebrate (odd word to use) International Widows Day.
We get a day?
So, do we win anything?
How do we celebrate?
How can you help us (or a widow) today?
Tell us that you are thinking about us!
Share a funny memory of our husbands with us.
And say their names!
Being a widow sucks!
We hope that you never join our club.
Now drop everything that you are doing and go hug your husband!
Tell him you love him. And forget that minimal thing he did last night to piss you off!
In her words…
Scott and I were married on 9/1/18. We were friends in college but didn’t date. We reconnected in 2017 and knew instantly that we wanted to get married and spend our lives together. We bought a farm property in Oklahoma and loved spending time with our animals and friends/family. We struggled with infertility since the beginning of our marriage and did 2 rounds of IVF. On my way back home from our 2nd round in Barbados, I got a phone call that Scott had suffered a seizure and heart attach while reaching a college class. Scott was in the ICU unconscious and passed 3 days later. He was an organ donor and saved several lives with his gift. We have 2 frozen embryos in Barbados and I hope to transfer one as soon as Covid allows for travel to resume.
In her words…
Brad and I met in December of 2017. Although both being shy, we quickly knew we deeply loved each other and wanted to spend our lives following Jesus together. We got married in September of 2018. My husband continually displayed the Lord’s love and kindness in all he did and said, including using his degree in mechanics to fix cars and really anything that needed repaired. My husband was born with a lung defect, which nearly took his life in 2014. After coming out of his coma and beginning the healing process, he gave his life to Christ. The doctors were unsure if complications of his lung defect would resurface, but there wasn’t anything that could be done to prevent it… without high, high, high risks.
Brad then lived a healthy and active life, while being closely monitored by his doctors. He had no signs of sickness until January, 2020. The doctors then tried many procedures, however, he passed away of severe complications at the age of 25 years old. February 15, 2020 is the day he went to Heaven. Three of his vital organs were donated to save lives, which so beautifully displays what he wanted to do with his life, and in his passing: to continue to give of himself to serve others and point them to Jesus. It’s been four months and I miss my husband more than words can express. I am taking it one day at a time, because looking ahead is too overwhelming. I do know I will see and spend eternity with Brad in heaven. I look forward to that. But in the mean time, God has me here for a purpose.
It’s amazing how much progress one can make in 100 days!
Maybe this is why the first 100th day of school is often celebrated in elementary schools.
100 days makes a huge difference when one puts in their work!
And grief work is hard work!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped through the process, because I couldn’t have done all this work without you; including every single author of all the books I’ve read in the last 100 days.
I’ve probably read more books in the last 100 days than I did the entire six years of high school!
Pre-grief Mimi would venture out all the time! Especially while Wes was at work.
But not since his passing.
Granted the world has been closed since two weeks after his passing (which has helped speed up the grief process), but I couldn’t even fathom getting to the point of being able to go outdoors by myself.
And I did!
I put on my entire face (more than just my eyebrows) and went to Hobby Lobby.
Which, if you know us, you know that Wes worked there for a couple of years. Though he left two or so years ago, there are a lot of people that still work there that recognize me.
I was stopped a couple of times. I was asked how I was doing, you know the regular and the awkward questions. I managed to get through the conversations with 0 tears, although once I got back in the car, the tears just flowed and I said to myself: “Crap! I didn’t want to cry. I’m wearing mascara!”
Wes would probably be laughing at that.
This venture left me feeling like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.
An internet friend (@JustLaurenM on IG) gifted me with this beautiful sign. This sign will eventually be replacing the wedding photos on my bedroom wall.
I’m slowly turning 𝐨𝐮𝐫 apartment into my own little space.
A space that still honors the memory of my husband yet doesn’t overwhelm me with sadness with the reminders that he isn’t here anymore.
The wooden sign is so fitting, it’s printed with the beautiful lyrics of the song “Ocean (Where feet may fail)” by Hillsong.
According to the band, this song is “about stepping into the unknown and a song about faith and trust.”
And right now, I am in the unknown! So, I’m choosing to cling to my faith and trust in Jesus because the other choice is a much darker one.
– 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴
𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳
𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘳.
Here I stand at the edge of 40…
Last year on my (38th) birthday I wrote:
”I’m so excited for whatever this year may bring”…
And now I almost regret those words.
Had I known it was my very last year I’d enjoy with my husband here on earth, I would have lived my life quite differently.
I can’t say I’m excited about what is ahead.
Frankly, I’m nervous.
My hopes and dreams of years past all involved my dear Wesley (gosh, I love saying his name).
Now it feels as if those hopes and dreams have been stolen from me, making me feel hopeless and lost.
I’m almost desperate for new hopes, goals, and dreams and the only one I can come up with is to “just move” and cling to Jesus.
To get out of bed each morning.
To do something!
You know, almost like a teenager.
So as I stand at the edge of 40.
I pray that this next year is kind to me.
I pray that I find the strength (with the help of God) to move forward in my own little way.
To be able to find a new norm.
I also pray for kindness and patience from my family and friends through this process.
And I pray for my faith to endure this and for this not to break me.
I never imagined I’d start the last year of my 30’s grieving the man I love.
I miss him dearly.
I wish he was here, celebrating my birthday, showering me with the love that I grew so accustomed to.
I’ll be tip-toeing around you, please be kind.
(photos from birthdays past)