Category Archives: Love Letters to Paul

Scared

I am scared to live fully and abundantly.  What if I lose again? What if I am never the apple of someone’s eye again? What if no one else on this whole planet ever cares, really cares, if I am theirs? What if I love again and am not loved back. What if I can never again lend the strength of my heart to another just to see them smile back at me? What if I compare too much and kill something before it even gets a chance to breathe? What if I never feel the touch, the heartbeat, the breath of another again? What if all this is true? What then?

Love found after love lost must be an amazing thing. Quite a gift. I wander if the wrapping, the complications of the past, adds to the gift? Layers and layers of intricacies that add to how special that gift could be. The very things that once broke our heart becoming the things that binds together. Or is it just romantic fodder? I don’t know. I think about this sometimes and conclude that it would be easier to shut my heart down, never feel bad again, but I would never feel good again either. I have felt a whisper in my heart of late “Keep your heart open” over and over. I am trying, but an open heart can be a target for pain, rejection and disappointment, and I’m not sure how much courage I have left.

I’m so tired. It takes so much energy to keep going, to keep trying to find the joy in things. It’s worthwhile, but it can become tiring. I’m sure God would have me quit trying, and just be in order to stop worrying about all the “what ifs” I cannot control. To do that requires some contentment in current circumstances. Further acceptance of my lot, that’s the real dilemma. Current worries versus a new level of accepting my widowhood. What a choice! I know the latter is the only pathway to peace, it just really sucks, but it’s my new challenge and I’ll try.

I guess I should be grateful really, not everyone experiences love like I did. We could fight like there was no tomorrow (mostly because I’m a bit fiery), but my Paul loved me deeply, that’s what I miss. No one on this earth loves me like that. Everyone’s different, every relationship different, but today I miss being the apple of my Pauls eye. I miss being his best friend, his closest everything. I don’t know if it’s possible to have anything like that again, but if I did, it would be the greatest gift.

 

2012 Janene camera 541 - Copy

 


Moving Forward

http://blueskiesandlollipops.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/the-magic-of-beginnings/

Moving Forward

Wow, I can hardly believe I am writing those words. But my world is different now. Never will my life be the same, but it will be OK.

“One Fit Widow” describes the process as moving forward as opposed to moving on, I like that. (http://onefitwidow.com/marrying-a-widow/). I am not forgetting the man I shared 22 years with or moving on from who we were together, that would be impossible. I am however, choosing to have a future that he is not a physical part of. For me, that isn’t easy.

For me it has been a hard slog of facing pain head on, staring its ugliness straight in the face and demanding it give me some life back.  To shift my Paul into a new, his own, room in my heart has been a very emotional journey. To accept his disease, his death, to feel abandoned by those same things, to feel I may have caused or contributed in some way to the cancer, maybe I could have done more, been more, tried harder, given my actual life for his…to accept these things was necessary. To face each one and come to some kind of conclusion in order to put things in place and be able to move on was crucial for me. Otherwise it’s like having a set of hurdles in my heart. Every time I came to one, it seemed insurmountable and stopped me in my tracks. Unable to move forward, path blocked, journey halted. So I had to dismantle the guilt and the grief. One misconception at a time, one solid guilt melting truth at a time. I had to clear the path of hurdles and begin to run again.

It’s not just about finding new love; I can’t control that, although I hope I am not alone forever. Its kids, work, church, social life, recreation; the way I do everything has had to change. I am a single parent who as to negotiate how to do these things now. No backups, just me.  I found that extremely scary at first, but I’m getting there and it’s OK.

To rediscover who I am on my own is important too. I have begun to see things solely through my own eyes again. Grateful for the person my Paul helped me to be, and for the love he gave me and his kids, but I have to make my own choices now, grow up and take all the responsibility. I really did like being married, that part is hard. Seasons can be hard.

Seasons, now that’s something. In the past week I have seen the same passage of scripture come at me from very unusual sources. School newsletters, emails, Facebook to name a few (because I forget the others!!) so I’m taking that as a sign and moving forward. I will accept that it’s OK for the seasons to change; it’s OK to move forward.

Never will my life be the same, but it will be OK.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 The Message

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 kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
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,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.


Inside these walls.

my honey

Inside these walls I used to hear your voice

Inside these walls I used to see your face

Down the hall I knew it was your footsteps

Down the hall I knew you would come

Beside me I used to feel your warmth

Beside me I thought you’d always be

Now these are but memories

Kept tight within my heart

Inside new walls I hold you

Kept tight within my heart

Inside these walls I’ll keep you

Kept tight within my heart.


You Loved Me Well

383384_10200668001495730_496952534_nWhat was it that felt so much like love? What was that thing that sent my heart racing, and had it keep up pace over 20 years? You loved me so well, I will always be thankful for that.

It wasn’t an action, an event or words. It was who you were, who you still are in my heart. I am forever changed; forever will I know what true love is. Whether I have that again or not. I knew a love with you that stirred me to grow. Stirred me to look beyond myself and try to offer that love in return. Now, with you gone, I can still do that, still offer what I have. That’s an amazing gift.

We were certainly not a perfect couple, and trouble found us like it does everyone. There are things I would rather forget, I would be happy if they fell out of my circuit of memories and just left me with warm thoughts. But, those times were part of us, part of fighting it out, working it out and loving still. They showed me that hard times do not equal rejection, hate or punishment. But that loves uneasy times can serve to strengthen us as much as the good ones.

I need that now my Honey, to know that the hard times serve a purpose and that I can still draw on the love you invested in my heart. There is a deep well that will benefit me for a long, long time.

I still miss your touch, your warmth beside me, racing home to tell you something before anyone else in the world, the way you loved to kiss way longer than I did, your unabashed checking me out and goofy love stares that I couldn’t match. I miss all of you.

You’re nearly a year gone from me. It’s ridiculous how time and life can go on and by without you. But I have found it does. So I have a choice.  I can stay locked in my memories of you or I can choose to move on and keep making memories that you aren’t in. The former is tempting, it’s quite a safe place, but it’s a very lonely place. Of course you are forever in my heart, part of my heart and soul. Part of who I have become. I cannot and will not deny that. But I must move forward or the absence of life that casts unrelenting shadows will strangle me. I must choose to live, you know that right? I think you do, I think that’s what you’d prefer, because love prefers the other, you taught me that.

You loved me well.


Legacy of Grace

Hey my honey, how are you? Rhetorical question! Because I know you are better off. I understand the suffering had to end, the pain was too much.  Was it just the cancer though, or had life beat you up too much? I wander about that sometimes. You were hard on yourself, always wanting things to be better, to be free, to make sure we had enough…well for a lot of the time anyway. Your last couple of years were different.

Thank God they were.

You taught me so much just by who you were and the freedom you lived out. Gone was the self punishing doubt that sometimes crippled motivation and good intentions. Gone was the fear that you weren’t enough or that punishment was around the corner. There was freedom in your words, freedom in your very gait. There was no longer anything to prove, I’m so very glad to have had that example and to see you live it.

It was a total revelation of grace. Of God’s Grace.

His complete love and favour towards you that could not be earnt, could not be bought and could not be suffered into. It was just a complete and utter trust and knowing that the God of the Universe was in control and that He had love in His eyes for you. That is such a comfort to me now, knowing you felt that this side of eternity. I will miss you forever, but I am thankful that I live on in your legacy of His Grace.


Memories you aren’t in

Image

We dreamed of this, Europe in Springtime. But I go without you, how can I go without you? It’s so conflicting, how can I go without you? I would have cancelled 20 times if it wasn’t for letting others down and losing a stack of money! I’m going somewhere without you, making new memories that you aren’t in. I just don’t like it.

It sounds romantic when we hear people speak of “seasons of life”, “new chapters in the story of life”, or my unfavourite “when God closes a door, He opens a window!” Behind the cliché lies a truth about keeping on living, but the connotation of leaving my old life behind is crippling. You are not a door that closed, by the same analogy it was more like a house exploding into a million fragments…it can never be put back together the same way. It’s not a new chapter, it’s a complete do-over. It’s memories that you won’t be in.

Memories are powerful. I can be drawn back to a moment in time anywhere in my past 44 years instantaneously. It draws instant emotion as if you were there again. I can find myself smiling as I remember how it felt when you held me. The warmth, your breath on my neck, the tightening of your arms around me; it was a very safe place and I can feel it now. Of course there are some very traumatic memories as well, the ones that can stir around my head late at night when I try to sleep. I do not smile at those, nor do I want to describe them.

I know you would want us to be happy and never give up living, I do, I know that. You could never say it, I know you didn’t want to die and leave us, so there was no need for it. But I know your heart, and you most certainly would want us to live on. So I will, even if you aren’t there to make a memory with. Courage looks like many things, and right now it’s hopping on a plane without you and determining not to mourn forever. It’s knowing it’s OK to continue making memories without you.

Europe in the springtime.

Let’s see how I go!


Stuck in the Middle

Honey,

Rock Heart When you died my world darkened. Colours lost their accents, and breath was hard to take in. Dramatic? Sure, as were the changes life took on without you. To be honest I didn’t really know that I could live this life without you. I didn’t want to.

The sun keeps rising, keeps setting, and still you don’t come back to me. And I’m stuck in the middle.

Between life with you and life without you.

Between past purpose and new hope.

Between the security of everyday and emptiness.

Stuck – needing to go forward, but not wanting to leave you in the past. Memories of you are great, but they can’t hold me. You are in my heart forever, but not in my arms.

Stuck in the middle isn’t somewhere I can live, not truly. It’s not a place that thrives. So I need to move to the next place my love. I need to be unstuck and I think I can see how. Really, I think I can and you helped me with that. “We love because He first loved us” the bible says of God’s love for us. He loves me, and He did it first. Before you died, before the tragedy my life became, before I got stuck in the middle. You knew that, you lived with that wonderful truth every day. Thank you.

God knew your days and knows my days. Nothing has shocked Him, He is unswerving. When my days were dark, He was there and He isn’t afraid of it. Where God is in my life He misplaces the dark. So in my dark days now I can see a little brighter, a little clearer and I will keep choosing to do so.
The ache is still there, consuming at times, but sometimes it gets swallowed by the light instead of it swallowing me. He loved you first, before me, and He loved me first, before you. I find comfort in that.


%d bloggers like this: