Am I "over" the grief? Nope. Do I have sad moments, times whenever I still well-up and cry, in the most unusual of situations or circumstances? Yep. But the deep piercing wound that was inflicted upon me on July 30, 2011 is healing. Finally. Praise God!
My boys are doing well. They still have their moments, too, and if I ever just sit and concentrate on what they have lost, it breaks my heart. So, I don't sit around and dwell on it. It doesn't do us any good. As I said in a recent newspaper column, nothing positive ever comes from a bunch of people sitting around on their hands, reminiscing about "the good old days." I choose to believe that my family has many "good NEW days" on our horizon. And for those days to come about, I have to get off of my hands and spend some time on my knees.
I am surprised by how the simple act of literally getting on my knees puts me in a receptive and open mind frame for talking with God. Maybe it's a United Methodist thing, or just a Heath family thing, but kneeling to pray (other than at the altar of the church itself) wasn't the norm for me. But let me tell you...it became the norm for me, as I knelt with my sons in the chapel of the hospital, the day before their daddy died.
I still may pray alot while in the upright position, or while I'm resting in bed, before sleep comes every night. However, there's no better position to be in whenever you are laying it all out on the line than head bowed and knees on the floor.
As I wonder what is next in God's plan for my family, this particular scripture from Ecclesiastes keeps running through my mind:
There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up...
Ecc. 3: 1,2,4-7 (The Message)
God made humans with a soul and an intricately deep desire to know our futures. We get impatient, wishing to know what's coming around the next bend in the road---but God's time is the right time, and I am convinced that none of us will ever completely understand His workings in our lives. What I do know is this: God wants His children, His most beautiful and evolved creations, to be happy. In all circumstances. All the time.
Now that's easier said than done, take it from me. But even in my darkest days, the times where I did not truly know if I could take another breath, I hurt so much---I found comfort. I still had much to be thankful for. The actual happiness took time, although it was given to me in glimpses for many months.
After being a widow for almost 16 months, I can truthfully say I am happy in my circumstances. I feel as if I have turned the page, and I am awaiting my next adventure in this unimagined journey. The boys are urging me to date again, which, if it happens, will really be an adventure, considering the last time I attempted it was at age 22. I'm not worrying about that, or anything else, though. If a companion is in the cards, it will happen in God's time, not mine or my boys'.
Life is pretty darn good still. My goals are the same: raise my boys to be responsible, empathetic, Godly young men, find the good in life and in others each day, and keep Mark's memory and his spirit and love for the outdoors alive. Knowing that I am doing what Mark would want me to do is important....but tweaking it whenever I feel the need to do so has empowered me. And that's what is necessary to move forward.
There's a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to be sad and a time to dance....I pray for alot of laughing and dancing in the Howell family's future.