It's the time of year in north Texas where things get stifling. It brings back more memories of July last year. We'd been in Massachusetts, where it was cool and green. Coming back here was a shock to say the least.
I took the boys with me to Kentucky, to attend my 30th high school reunion. It was a great time. But two weeks to the day of my reunion, I became a widow.
It's hard. It's a different kind of hard than it was, but hard nonetheless. The boys and I are doing well, probably better than most folks thought we'd be. I attribute it to the great support we continue to have from family, church family, and friends. Good counseling, a little antidepressant to get me through this period, and walking closely with God has also been important.
I'm not perfect. As far as I can tell, only one person walked this earth that was perfect. And it wasn't my sweet husband, although he may have come pretty close at times. I'm doing the best I can with what I have to work with. I fail daily. I get back up, and try again.
While Mark was living, I jokingly told folks I had three boys, the oldest of which was 55. That was really the truth. He was so much darn fun. I'd end up getting on to all three of them whenever things got wild, crazy, and borderline dangerous. We called it "good cop, bad cop." Guess which one I was? :) He was "Mr. Fun" to the boys and to me. After he died, I told the boys that I would have to work on being more fun, since I was usually the disciplinarian of the bunch.
And I have tried. Hard. And you know what? It's become a habit. Sunday afternoon, as we are coming back from a church event, I tell the boys, "I thought we'd go home and have a little dinner, run to Walmart and check on otter boxes for iPods, and then head to Orange Leaf for a little yogurt. How does that sound?" AJ laughs, and tells Ben, "Benny, I think she's finally graduated to Mrs. Fun! Go, Mom!"
I felt so blessed in that moment. It's been almost a year. We have become a pretty efficient family of three, which is a huge deal. We're continuing to laugh and have fun. The boys are amazing, and people remind me that they not only have the best of Mark in them, but also the best of me.
I know that Mark is proud of all three of us. I think "what would Mark do?" in most every big decision I've made since his death (I also pray to the big guy, God). With both of them on my side, I feel like I've done okay.
And as the days tick down to the end of the month, I will continue to remember Mr. Fun, and all the love he gave to me and to his two sons. Because he is certainly worth remembering.
"I call to you, God, and you answer me. Listen to me now, and hear what I say.
Your love is wonderful. By your power you save those who trust you from their enemies.
Protect me as you would protect your own eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings.
Keep me from the wicked who attack me, from my enemies who surround me.
They are selfish and brag about themselves.
Lord, rise up, face the enemy, and throw them down. Save me from the wicked with your sword.
Lord, save me by your power from those whose reward is in this life.
Because I have lived right, I will see your face.
When I wake up, I will see your likeness and be satisfied."
Psalm 17: 6-10, 13-15 (NCV)
Psalm 17: 6-10, 13-15 (NCV)