As most people celebrate the new year and the rolling in of 2015 – I am left with feelings of loss and not of celebration but of sadness and grief. Today would have marked my 14th wedding anniversary to my husband – 14 years of ups and downs and a testimony that gives God the glory in our life.
Here is a post about our 9th anniversary and our 7th. Here is one I wrote about Marriage and about Love. I honestly don’t know if I should still consider this our anniversary. I’m confused. Do I celebrate our anniversary as we would have when Don was here? Do we forget about it and move on? Can I say I’ve been married 14 years even though he’s been gone now almost 3 weeks? I. DON’T. KNOW.
When we married I had my sister in law leave out the whole obey part – now I wish we had left in – but at that point I wasn’t going to obey anyone but myself! As I look at the marriage vows several things stand out to me:
- we had and held each other from the day we said “I do” – even though there were times of fighting we always came back together stronger and ready to take on the world.
- for better and for worse – yep, covered that, if you read the older posts you’ll know our first few years were fraught with harsh words, slamming doors, raised voices and flying objects, we’ve been at the worst and we’ve been at the best.
- for richer for poorer – yes, we covered that too well except for richer – we’ve never even been close to rich even when my hubby was working two jobs so I could stay home we were never rich but the poor we had that covered like a couple of pros.
- in sickness and in health – the last couple years we’ve had our share of sickness with his heart issues and what we suspect were gallbladder issues but the doctors wrote him off, my bouts with pneumonia and an ongoing cough and that doesn’t include our children’s illnesses. We had our periods of good health – in fact in November of this year he had a pace maker put in and was feeling the best he had felt in awhile so when my son found him the morning of 12-13-14 it was a complete shock.
- to love and cherish – more about this later but yes, we loved one another and we did cherish our relationship and our time together.
- till death do us part – this is the one I never thought I’d have to go through. I imagined us as an elderly couple in our 80’s and even our 90’s surrounded by our children, grandchildren and maybe even a great grandchild or two – we’d hold hands and we’d both pass onto our Eternal reward together. Neither left behind. No. That was a dream. We’d talked the “what ifs” – but I never really thought it would happen not to him at 44 and not to me at 36 with three children at home.
An online friend of mine lost her husband several months ago to cancer and she writes a wonderful blog titled The Joyful Widow – I especially liked her recent post, A Widow’s Fear of Being Alone. Of course, right now I don’t feel like chatting on the phone nor do I feel like going out and doing things, but it will come, in time it will come. Today, our anniversary also marks two weeks since his funeral service – should have timed that better – it’s hard to know that the day you’re supposed to celebrate your anniversary now becomes the day that you realize you said good-bye to your friend.
I used a bit of the Christmas gift money to order a mother/family ring, it was something I had wanted but we kept putting off thinking there would be more children. As I stood at the counter looking at the rings, the sales lady who knew nothing of my loss, recommended a ring that I could add more too. I kindly told her there would be no more children. She looked at me, smiled, and said well you’re young there could be more. I smiled and said no, my husband passed so there will be no more children. I ordered a ring that included six stones: March for my hubby, August for myself, I chose April for our baby we lost as it the clear color reminds me of purity like a baby, February for our oldest, September for our middle and July for our son. It is something I know Don would have picked out for me, it’s plain not gaudy or large, but simple and elegant.
So much has been going on during this time – Saturday will be 3 weeks since his passing and it still feels like yesterday – I’ve had to start tossing the flowers from the service as they die. I’ve been told I wouldn’t want to see the flowers and plants but to me, they represent the love people felt for my husband and also for us – seeing the tangible acts of love makes me treasure these plants. My oldest had to convince to throw out the dead flowers we couldn’t use for jewelry. I’m finding I could hang onto everything that reminds me of him. I’m making it a goal to keep these plants alive so that in some way I can keep the love that was felt toward him alive in our home.
On Christmas day I went down to do laundry and found, to my dismay, our basement partially flooded. A friend came out to help. Ended up having to shell out money for a plumber which seems to have fixed the issue. Monday I have Sears coming out to do a check up on our dishwasher, thankfully it’s free so I figured better do it now. I’m still waiting to figure out what benefits we’ll be receiving, and as of last night I have zero health insurance for myself and I can’t really get Medicaid until I get his benefit statement. There are so many hoops that I have to go through and in my muddled mind they are bigger and much larger than they really are, or so I’m told, but to me they seem insurmountable.
I’m reading a book right now titled From One Widow to Another by Miriam Neff and it’s got some good stuff in it, although not everything pertains to me such as going back to work. I had many try to sympathize with me about how they lost a parent, a sibling, or even to compare their divorce to my loss. One thing Miriam points out is that our loss is final. “Over. No second chance, no future hope, no rewind or replay.” She stresses that our loss isn’t great only that it’s different. I honestly can’t take on another burden’s – there are well meaning people who are draining on me – they want to tell me of all their losses and how they grieved – but I can’t take that on, not right now.
I’m going to do another post on the whole love and cherish thing because I believe it needs it’s own post especially to give my husband the honor he deserves. If you have other suggested books that you’d recommend that are written by Godly women based on Biblical principals for widows, please leave me a comment with them. Try to refrain from recommending books geared towards elderly widows as they are and will go through things different from being a young widow who is staying home with her children and homeschooling. As much as I hate to sound like I’m asking for money, if you feel led to contribute I do have a fund set up at Huntington Bank and you can go to any Huntington and make a donation to “The Bailey Family Fund” I also have PayPal if you’d like to donate that way (I won’t use Go Fund Me as I didn’t realize how many fees they take) leave me a comment and I can message you my email if you leave a contact for yourself. Thank you for listening to me ramble on.
(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws