But don't get me wrong. I still have my rocky moments on a daily basis. Moments where I cry out, times whenever the tears readily flow. Instances in which, for a split second, I think of some event or happening that I cannot wait to share with Mark...and just as soon as the thought enters my mind, it's replaced with the sad realization that I cannot share with him anymore. Other than his laugh, I miss that most about him. We were best friends, able to talk about anything. We didn't have secrets, we had the same sense of humor, we loved the same sports.
I could discuss any subject with him, use him as my sounding board. And he was so intelligent and well-versed on such a wide variety of subjects! From football to politics to ichthyology to botany to pop culture to scripture to baseball to the stock market and finance...you name it, he was knowledgeable about it....and could successfully argue his point on most anything. His wide range of knowledge was sometimes frustrating for me, because he was rarely ever wrong. Wives, you know what I'm saying here?
Since my life has taken a more positive slant, I assumed our boys' had, as well. Recent family counseling sessions haven't been as fruitful, the boys seem to be processing this major change as well as can be expected. I'm on full alert each day, trying to pick up non-verbal signals from either of them if I think they are troubled or feeling sad.
They are processing this loss on a whole different playing field than I am. For as much as I mourn and miss my husband, my love, my best friend, they are missing their father. The man they look up to more than anyone else in the world, the person that they are hoping to be like some day. The one that rough-housed with them on a daily basis, the one who had the strong hugs, lots of manly kisses, who would pull them into his big recliner, just to squeeze them and inquire about their days. The one who would teach them to be godly men, and how to treat women with respect. I know that I can do many of those things, but there are some that I physically cannot.
Mark enjoyed specific shows on television. Sports, especially professional baseball & football, took priority over every other genre. He loved college baseball, football, and basketball, as well. The History Channel followed as a close second behind, with shows like "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers" set to record new episodes. They are still recording, I can't bring myself to delete the timers. The boys watch the shows, too, it was something they would share together.
Last night, as the boys lay on either side of me in my big bed, the television volume was too loud, and they had been watching Pawn Stars. It continued to blare down the hallway as they wound down. I thought Andrew was almost asleep, but found that he was sobbing into his pillow. "I miss Dad," he cried. "The volume's too loud, and his favorite show is on. He should be down there in his chair, watching. And you should be yelling for him to turn the volume down so we can go to sleep!" As I try to console him, I hear Ben crying softly on my other side. Little things like that are what take us back to the raw emotion of our grief. All I could do was hold them, and my tears came, as well.
Saturday evening, another example. I took the boys out to eat. We went to Logan's Roadhouse, where we've been as a family of 4 countless times. We've been out, just the three of us, quite a bit, but for some reason, as we sat in a booth, with Ben & I on one side, and Andrew on the other, that spot next to A.J. just looked so incredibly empty and big. Andrew & Mark always sat together, and Ben & I, likewise. It felt like we were missing our 4th wheel. And we are.
We are making it. No doubt about it. But it's hard. I find myself relying more and more on scripture and prayer. The scriptures that seem to comfort me the most, at least lately, are found in the Old Testament. Something about the general themes of anticipation and longing for a Saviour, the documentation of daily human struggles speak volumes to me now. Before all of this happened, I was more of a New Testament kind of girl. Now, Psalms, Lamentations, Jeremiah, and Joel are fueling me.
The latest verses to be inscribed on my heart are these:
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3: 19-26 (NIV)