After a down day yesterday, where I allowed myself to feel angry at my husband, our situation, and choices made, I decided to make today a more positive one, if God would give me a little help.
I know that it's okay for me to be angry, acknowledging the emotions & dealing with them is an important part of this whole sad process. I also know I can't be impatient, this takes time....but I have two little boys looking to me for strength & guidance, and although I make sure they see me grieve, cry, and miss their daddy, I want them to have confidence and assurance that I can move forward in this new unwanted role of both mom and dad. Now, that would be hard for a 100% sane person, imagine what it's like for someone who has lost her best friend and mate of 25 years!
I think I realized today why he & I were so perfectly matched, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We came together, married, and immediately moved 700 miles away from all friends and family. We knew no one in Maryland! We didn't even have a place to live, Mark just had a job waiting. For our marriage, it was the best thing we could've done. Without anyone to run home to, or call, or cry to, or leave with, we had each other...and each other only. We developed a deep attachment, friendship, and love that was indestructible. And it only got better as time passed. My heart still skipped a beat everytime he even looked my way. All girls (women) should be so lucky.
Feeling better about things, I hit the Lake Wichita trail. About 6 weeks ago, I had a chance encounter with a lovely Christian lady and her dog on the trail. She could tell I was upset, and asked how I was doing. Boy, she was probably sorry she asked. Long story short, she listened to me, hugged me, prayed for me, and told me she would continue to do so. Haven't seen her again....until today.
I could tell it was her from a distance, her dog was distinctively large. She was surprised I remembered both of their names. She immediately asked how I was, and said she'd been looking for me every day she was on the trail. As we stood and shared, two sisters in Christ, the tears began rolling down her cheeks. She's faced trials, too. When I told her our family was in counseling & in the Hospice Building Bridges program, she raised her hand up in praise to God. She told me that she has been praying for me on a daily basis....a woman I've only met one time, 6 weeks ago! How awesome is that? We parted, sure we'd meet another day on the trail.
As I headed home, I heard the distinctive squawk of a red-tailed hawk. He was above me, not hunting anything, not going really anywhere, but was just gliding and soaring on those majestic wings God gave him. The wind was pretty brisk, so he was getting lots of lift. I stood and watched as he ducked and turned in the bright sun for a full 2 minutes.
Tonight before dark, Ben and I headed outside for a little "green time" while Andrew finished 4th grade homework. We decided to do chalk drawings on the driveway. As we drew, we talked. I told him, "Benny, you know Daddy is always close by. I told him before he died, that we would need him, and I think if you listen close enough, you can feel him, too." He nodded & kept drawing. Not 30 seconds later, a succession of Canada geese passed over us, in groups of a dozen or so. The first groups were pretty high in the sky. Each group seemed to fly over a bit lower, with the last two barely topping the trees in our front yard. Even Ben remarked, "Dad, okay, I think we know you're here, thanks for the geese."
As my blog entries go, this one may seem a bit disconnected, but really it's not. I started today wishing for something better than yesterday, and that came in three striking examples: seeing a new friend again after a chance encounter, watching a red-tailed hawk play my own personal air show, and listening to a 100-geese serenade as Ben & I watched the lovely sunset from our front yard.
The irony of experiencing all three of these while I was in the great outdoors today was not lost on me. When Mark's close by, these will be the ways in which I will feel him...in God's beautiful creation where he was most at home.
It's still hard, and it still mostly stinks. But we're still standing. And praying. And walking. And doing what needs to be done. The rest will come in God's time.
p.s. Dear God, thanks for the signs. And Your help :)