It’s ironic, in my previous blog I was heralded by many people who followed my ramblings as a woman with unwavering strength and faith in the midst of a very trying situation. My strength and determination were viewed as something almost heroic. Now to be honest, I wasn’t writing about the complete breakdowns on the shower floor, sobbing uncontrollably while my husband lay dying in the room below, nor was I writing about my nights of literally sweating and trembling through the midnight hours as I begged God for a miracle, but I did write as honestly as I could about my fears and my faith. After Jason was called home I wanted to be married again, pretty much as soon as possible, and I made that clear on the blog as well. I had grieved deeply through the three years of his cancer journey and toward the end I was begging for God’s mercy to take him home so that I could pick up the pieces of my life, be a present mom again, and try to find love again. I loved being married, and I had a good marriage. We had our stuff as any marriage does but we worked well together. I loved the security and the trust that a marriage gave, I loved having a best friend to hang out with every day, I loved it all, and I was ready to head out to wherever widows with four kids go when they are 33 years old and find myself a husband. Lest it sound like I was in denial or not grieving the death of my husband properly, until you walk in the shoes of someone caring for a terminally ill loved one for a long period of time you can’t understand the distance that starts to take place, especially in a spousal relationship. There is this slow death that occurs with the relationship as cancer takes over and as his wife I began slowly backing away from the emotional attachment of a husband/wife team as I became his caretaker. Intimacy, fun, flirting, dates, all of those things take a back seat as you become solely fixated on life and saving this person’s life becoming the ultimate goal with the hope that someday the relationship will rebound through the love that binds the two of you. As I prayed about wanting to be married again and even really contemplated some of the online dating sites out there, God spoke clearly to me about waiting until the New Year. Part of this, as I look back, was good. I was trying to avoid the pain of Jason’s death by staying busy and optimistic. By waiting I had to deal with those emotions but again, most of the stages of grief had been thoroughly dealt with prior to his actual death. I felt strongly that I wasn’t supposed to push anything until January and if I wanted to pursue all my options then, I could. Ironically, I met Ryan November 2nd and about a week later we knew that we would probably get married.
I’ve discovered that strength and faith are viewed very differently in these two situations. While I was always praised for my unyielding faith as my husband was dying, it wasn’t quite the cheer I heard when that same faith and strength enabled me to move forward so quickly and determined in a new life of blessing that God had for me. People viewed it almost as a betrayal to Jason that I was able to “replace” him so quickly. The thing is, God replaced him. Jason and I lived out our till death do us part vows. When he died, I felt that release, my husband was gone. My faith knew it, and I was free to walk with determination into a new life if God saw fit to send it my way. I mourned his loss for the three years he struggled with brain cancer, I mourned his loss during my dating months with Ryan, and unfortunately I mourned his loss for about the first 6 months of our marriage, but that’s how it happened. I will never be over the pain surrounding his death but I have certainly risen above it. I don’t dwell on it at all, and I am not going to let it cloud my happiness in this life. His death brought about this life I love now. Without him dying, I wouldn’t have this: Ryan, Tate, Mya, Jada, all of it, is gone without his death. So sacrificially his death brought about this life for me, for all of us. Yes, I’ll always cherish what we had together, but I also cherish too much what I have now to wallow in the past, and so my strength and my faith will continue to propel me forward into all that God has to offer for me and for my family. Just Keep Livin!!