There has been a persistent voice inside my head this past year that seems to have said “How can you possibly go on with your life. The love of your life is gone from this world; you have overwhelming responsibilities as a parent, teacher, friend, sister and daughter. There is nothing electronic that works in your house (sorry-had to add that one). What makes you think you can move past this hurt and pain? THIS is your new life, get used to it—buck up. Your former identity is gone and this is what defines you now. What was is no longer yours.” And, for the past 14 months, I have listened and bought into this load of nonsense. Could there be anything more self-defeating, could there anything more stifling to living life? I don’t think so.
Fortunately along side this persistent voice there as been a softer one. It sings a much different song—it sings of hope and promise and of living a life again. It is one that is familiar, even though I don’t always listen to it. It reminds me of precious memories, which will always be a part of who I am, but also reminds me of promises made to the one I loved about going on with life and living and loving again. See, Don and I had this conversation. I think it is one that you usually have at some point if you have been married 24 years. It is the “What- would -you- do if- something- happened- to- me?” talk. I remember ours very well. When Don asked me this question, I remember saying “Well, I will NEVER even look at another man—and I will wear black every day, sit in a dark room and sway back and forth because just the thought is too morbid to even imagine”—well, IT did happened and IT was too hard to imagine, and just when I am inclined to go to that dark place and begin swaying back and forth, I am reminded of his answer back to me. In his stern, but gentle voice he said, “Marsha, remember that I want you to be happy. I want the children to be cared for and loved and whatever has to happen to meet those ends—-you have my blessing.” Then, of course I replied with something silly like – “OK—fine but lets not talk about it, because there is NO way you are going before me.”
Fast forward to November 2006 and guess what?—It has happened, and I am left with a wonderful blessing; even if I am just now figuring that out. (SIDE BAR – If you are married and reading this, I challenge you to have this conversation with your wife or husband and truly there is only one way it can or should end and that is with each of you giving the other a blessing of continued life for the one who is left behind). So I am beginning to listen to this softer voice, knowing it has been there all along. I am sure it is the promise that not only Don would want for us here, but one our Heavenly Father always has for us. Each day this voice becomes louder and resonates with hope and joy. It is a new song:
And provide for those who grieve in Zion-
To bestow on them a crown of BEAUTY instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness
Instead of mourning,
And a garment of praise
Instead of a spirit of despair.
I love this new song:
So I am giving in—I am accepting the blessing. This is the song I am now going to sing and hope others are able to sing it along side me.