A Little Update
I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not that things haven’t been going on, because they have. My oldest child is getting married in a few short weeks. Everyone keeps asking how the reception plans are going and if they can help. Since the event is happening in Utah, my mom and my sister are handling most of it so I can’t even say I’m stressed about it. But I am, sort of. I don’t know how to have a married child. And I don’t even have a spouse to share it with. That’s sort of a lonely thing. And I’m trying not to think about how this will all feel on the actual day when Tom isn’t there and once again reality hits me upside the head. And there’s an open house in Denver that eventually I will have to make some concrete plans about. Or maybe people will just show up and I will have packages of cookies out and water cups!! Not really…
Apart from the wedding party plans, my middle child has been gone from my house for almost two months now. Again, I get questions about how he is doing and how I am doing. There aren’t satisfying answers to give. I get weekly reports, but I have no real idea how he is doing, and apart from being glad that he is safe and being cared for, I don’t feel much emotional investment in his progress. I spent eleven years trying everything I knew to help him. It feels good to let someone else do that for awhile. So the answer to how I’m doing is probably a little surprising to people. I’m doing fine, good, really great. I’m getting to really know my daughter in ways that I couldn’t do when Andrew was sucking all the attention and life out of me. I can actually think a little about who I am and what I actually like to do after so many years of not having the time or energy to do either. Andrew is a problem that I don’t have to deal with for the next year or so and I figure when he is closer to coming home, that will be soon enough to start up with the emotional investment again.
As for what I spend my days thinking about … Well I still spend a lot of time thinking about Tom’s death and my life as a widow and what I want from the future and stuff like that. It’s mostly boring stuff that feels so private. Who would be interested or could even relate? There are these long silences in my house where I think I should be talking to Haley but really I can’t tell her what’s going through my mind. And I have to work hard at shutting off that part of my mind and focusing on her. So far my second year I feel less shocked. I don’t have these overwhelming waves of grief, although I do still get surprised by sneak attacks. I still hate having to do things that Tom used to take care of (like cooking and putting air in the tires and taking care of the yard). I still miss those weekend dates where we got away from the kids for a couple of hours and remembered why we liked each other in the first place. I still have a great group of friends who invite me to lunch and text me and check in with me often – truly they are amazing. I guess a part of me still feels like I’m just waiting – for what I’m not sure. For Tom to suddenly show up and say I grieved really well and now he can come home? For inspiration to hit as I suddenly discover a buried dream that requires a move and a new career? For someone new to come into my life and make me fall in love with him? I really have no clue. Part of me reminds me that trusting in God has worked really well so far and I should just keep focusing on the day to day and not worry about what is coming. And the other part just wants to have that illusion of feeling in control. Maybe I just need to be busier so I have less time to think!!
Anyway, that’s how things have been going. I’m pretty sure there will be no Christmas cards this year – maybe I’ll send out happy new year notes! But underneath the worries and stress there is always that peace that has been with me since Tom died – that knowledge that Christ died and then resurrected and because of that, one day I’ll see Tom again. Now more than ever that makes me so grateful for the birth of our Savior and Redeemer. I hope all who are reading this will feel the joy of this Christmas season in your lives and a greater determination to follow in His footsteps. Merry Christmas!