On September 29, 2005 life, as I knew it, changed forever. I haven’t wasted much of my time with wanting to know WHY my 45 year old husband and father of my children was taken from me. I am not sure any answer from God would be sufficient anyway. The why is of little importance at this point. I decided that it is the journey which will create character and give new definition to who I will become.
Eighteen months ago I lived through the darkest days of my life. When my husband was taken from us I wasn’t sure how I would even begin to breathe again, let alone begin to heal. Little did I know, I was being prepared for an amazing journey of healing and hope. Healing became a deliberate choice.
It has taken this year and a half to realize that my husband was never ours to begin with. We were blessed to have borrowed him for those short years. Not that our grief has past, as I suppose it never will completely, but we have the promise that the God who blessed the bright days of our past is longing to be the author of the bright days of our future.
My identity changed in a blink of an eye. I was no longer married; I was no longer someone’s wife and the secure identity I had owned for 24 years, was no longer mine to claim. A new identity defines me. I am now a single parent, I am a widow. I am left with an identity that is awkward. It is uncomfortable, yet as I meet the challenges this “chapter two” brings, I understand that healing is about choice.
It has not been an easy choice to make. There have been many days that I would have rather chosen to lie in bed and bask in my misfortune – it would have been easier. My reality is that at 44 years old I am a single, working mother. It is not the plan I had for my life and though my plans have been forever altered I know my life plan remains intact. I grab and hold on to the reality that my faith is strong enough to sustain me through raising two boys, educating children, sustaining the moral fiber of our family and paying the mortgage on time.
I can’t change my life history. I can’t change my circumstances, but I can change how the story continues from here. The choices I make now, how I choose to live directly impacts those around me—especially my children. Though my children are making the same journey, we are on diverse paths. I want to lead by example – I want them to know that they are strong enough. I want them to know that “stuff” matters little compared to relationships, friendships and love. I want them to know that in the midst of it all—tragedy does not define you—how you choose to live does.
This I believe.
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