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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Dear Dave,

It's been a year: a year of loneliness, sorrow, unimaginable grief, stress, anguish, fear, tears, hesitation, of slogging through the days, enduring the nights, even glimpses of joy. 
It's been a year.
I had no idea it would be this hard, this difficult. You warned me about the loneliness and the grief but the work has been unimaginable as well. It would break your heart to know of promises others made to you and haven't keep, the money you loaned and not returned, of how some people have simply disappeared. The lack of basic human decency has almost overwhelmed me, how do people live with themselves? It has dang near broken my back, not to mention my spirit but here I am, a year later and still standing. 
It's been a year. 
I've allowed given myself the gift of a year; now it's time to set aside grief and begin mourning. Grief is different; it's more immediate, more necessary, more now. Absolutely, it will continue to catch me unawares but, I'm hopeful, those times of being poured out onto the kitchen floor, sobbing my heart out with dogs licking my face, are over. Please God...? Mourning will continue the rest of my life, a dark horse but not out front.
As Jack Lewis said of his marriage to Joy, "This had reached its proper perfection. This had become what it meant. Therefore of course it would not be prolonged.' As if God said, 'Good; you have mastered that exercise. I am very pleased with it. And now you are ready to go on to the next." 
And, Dave, so you have.
The Baptist Minister came by last month, he didn't know you'd died. Dave, we both stood in the driveway and wept, both for the loss of you and for the knowledge you'd made your peace with God and now have Heaven as your residence. That man of God had so many nice things to say about you; I hope to remember his kindness all my days. It's a memory buffer against the others who didn't do their ministerial job.
Others who knew you have said you'd be proud of me. I surely hope so. That ancient advice, "don't make any major decisions the first year" is good advice...except when it isn't. I've made major ginormous decisions this past year: I've bought property, cattle, kept the farm going, traveled, continued helping with the Community Association and VFD. I've kept putting one foot in front of the other I am, a year later and still thanking God for His mercy, grace, love and goodness poured out to me.
Yes, I know death comes either to us or for us and, no matter how much we anticipate it, it's always a shock, in fact, a huge surprise! I love you, Dave, and mourn for what will never be. Why is it some would rather remind me of arguments you and I had? Why don't they remember the good great times as well? Are they jealous? How sad if that's the case. You and I never understood jealousy; what a rotten, consuming, ugly emotion! And for what? When someone would say, "so and so ran off with another man's wife", you'd say, "if you cheat with me, you'll cheat on me." Loyalty is so needed today and there are so many men and women who don't have, nor give, loyalty. How can a marriage exist, much less flourish, without trust?
You taught me well, Dave. 
You were friend, lover, husband, mentor, provider, protector; you were, in fact a complete package. I complimented you but didn't complete you, except, perhaps in love. Of the lessons I might have taught you, learning how to love again was, perhaps, the most important.
Yet, I don't want to be one of those people who make saints of their deceased. You could be meaner than a two-headed snake when you chose. When I told Mary this, she said, "Yeah, but he was your two-headed snake" and we both laughed.
This past year has been spent not only grieving but putting myself back together. God has is doing His work in me. Yes, that work will continue for the rest of my days, but the major work of healing my grief He has done with a tender and gentle hand.
So, I am spending this week, of the first year anniversary of your death, by myself in a remote place where I know no one and no one knows me. Was it difficult, getting on that plane and traveling by myself? You bet! Did I question myself? Yep! Did I feel fear? Oh my yes! And then...I did it anyway. I don't want to be one of those women people who are afraid to travel, unwilling to leave the comfortable and known, who make themselves a prisoner when there's a great big beautiful world to explore. 
So, I am far from home, saying good-bye all over again. I am putting to rest all those dreams we shared...Thistle Cove Farm, travel, old age together. It is right and true although I, in my ignorance, would have it otherwise. In turn, I am dreaming anew because without a vision, I will surely perish.
I trust you were welcomed by those great cloud of witnesses gone on before. 
I trust Christ welcomed you with arms opened wide, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." 
I trust in the distant future smile, we'll see each other again. I wonder if we'll know each other in Heaven? That's a question that bothers some but not me. Heaven will be so glorious with Him what does it matter if we recognize each other? We knew each other on earth and it was here we reached "proper perfection"; it is there perfection will be achieved.
Dave, thank you. 
Thank you for all of it...friendship, love, marriage, life, travel, the farm, the animals, the coziness, and, yes, even the arguments for they taught me as well. 
Tu manques a moi, Beloved, good-bye.

Blessings ~ life...LIFE!...~ Dave ~


  1. Beautiful Sandra . . . so beautiful . . .

  2. Hello Sandra:
    This is a very brave and moving post and one which, despite all that you have gone through, are going through, reveals an enormous strength of character which, albeit briefly, we are privileged to have witnessed for ourselves. We do not like to think of you alone at this time but trust in your judgment. Love and prayers as always.

  3. This is such a touching and heartfelt post. I cannot imagine the loss and pain you have felt in the last year, and I so admire your courage to honor Dave at this year-mark by traveling someplace new and by showing him, and Him that you can do it. You will not only survive, you will thrive again. Your strength is inspirational. You are in my prayers tonight. xoxo

  4. This world can be so unfriendly, and so cruel, especially to the widow, the child, the vulnerable. But God has preserved you for awhile longer, while Dave is with Him. Go bravely but carefully Sister, God still has many who would call you "sister" and treat you as such.

  5. Brave Sandra. Brave and wise and wonderful Sandra. Hugs insufficicent but warm from the frozen North. Maybe you'll travel here some day? Will you?

  6. Dear Sandra, what an amazing and inspiring woman you are. Your courage and love and faith are so alive on the page that I feel breathless as I read. I can only send you my wishes for peace and love and laughter in the next 12 months. I'm sure Dave was very proud of his wonderful wife.

  7. It's hard, but God is faithful.

  8. Dear Sandra, Here is a big warm, hard hug. I have been in your shoes. This too shall pass. It does get better. I still cry and Lost my "Cole" in 2002.
    As far as the NYC people that lost it all,
    I have been there too. Hurricane Andrew. I was all alone and NO help. I am still here.
    Love you Darling, hang in there.

  9. Made me cry, made me laugh, then made me cry again...

    I love the fact that you are not seeing your life with Dave thru the rose colored glasses as so many do after the death of a loved one.
    I can hardly believe it has been one year....

    You are the real deal, Sandra...

    In Christ alone,

  10. Much, much love to you, precious friend. How I treasure these months I've known you! I've learned so much from you. This is beautifully written. Rest well.

  11. You have beautifully expressed your thoughts. Thank you. Statistics show that many, many of us women will face what you have with the loss of a husband. It is something we fear yt put out of minds, not wanting to think about what we would do. You have held on and moved forward with the Grace of God and in so doing been an example for those of us who may one day face what you have. Peace and God bless you!

  12. Lifting you up this morning before Him who knows how to heal and to comfort. Haven't walked in your shoes, but you've taught me much in your journey.

  13. Thank you for sharing your heart, Sandra. I'm sure you are receiving encouragement from the Lord's presence as you rest deeply. Sending love to you.

  14. Sending you my love and praying for you, Sandra.

  15. Such a lovely, heartfelt letter. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    I understand the value of choosing - for whatever reason - to spend a bit of time in a place where one is unknown and knows no one. I hope you have a nourishing week.

    Will be thinking of you.

  16. What a sweet, poignant heartfelt letter to your beloved. May your week of solitude bring you immeasurable peace and contentment as you start the next journey of your life. I believe your precious Dave would be extremely proud of you. God's blessings to you.

  17. There is never a good bye, it's a farewell until we meet again. I know there is a bigger, more beautiful existence beyond. Don't ask me how I know, but I do. Stay strong, stay sensitive, stay true to've already mastered the hardest part. I love you, girly...

  18. Beautifully written. You are an amazing lady!

  19. This is so beautiful, Sandra...XOXO

  20. What a beautiful post. Your love for Dave is so evident in your words. And he would be SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Blessings to you today!!

  21. What a touching letter. May God continue to heal and work in your life. Enjoy your time away. :)

  22. Beautiful, Sandra. He has made everything beautiful in its time.

  23. Stand strong brave friend - I know you can. You've been in my thoughts this week. Big hugs to you!

  24. and of course now I am sobbing - five months tomorrow since my better 3/4 died(not better half - the way I am now - I obviously have more than half of what I thought was my life gone). You are braver, better prepared and more active than me -thank you for sharing your eloquence, transparency and heart - dang it I don't like this being a grown up thing.

  25. I feel privileged to have read every word of this. While you are away may the vision for what is next become clearer to you. God bless.

  26. This past year has probably felt like it lasted 2 or more. I have watched your posts change and develop. Watched you go back and forth between stages. I, a stranger, let into some of your expressed emotions. It is good that you can see your progress. You are a strong woman, not because you want to be but you have been forced into it. You are growing, changing and going forward. Leave those behind who didn't pay, contact, console or just plain be there for you. Drop that burden and take another step. Much Love.

  27. Sandra, beutiful letter to Dave. You honor him, your own life, and all the Lord has done. Beautiful. Beautiful you are.

  28. Such a beautiful letter; I especially loved the paragraph near the end about whether or not we'll know each other. I do believe we will; the Bible says we "will know even as we are known," but the nature of that knowing doesn't matter. We will be in heaven with HIM, "so glorious," as you said! We will all be perfectly happy in that perfect place.

    Hugs and love to you from Oregon.

  29. I admire you more than you know --- for doing what you do, bearing what you bear, and sharing it all with us. We have seen a window into a world that few talk about, and all of us are richer for it. All this, because of your generous heart. Thank you.

    I hope your trip is a good one.

  30. Dear Sandra, There are no words that I can offer that will sound anything but trite. I thank you for sharing this with us because ever since I started following you and read about your beloveds death, it has touched me deeply and made me really look at life-how quickly it passes and how lost I'd be if I were in your shoes. What a courageous thing to do, travel, on Dave's anniversary. I think I would probably shrivel up. Thank you for being such an example for all of us, though you'd never chose it. May your story encourage us all to love deeply and appreciate every day. Sending love, hugs and prayers to you today.

  31. A good and wise letter to mark the anniversary of that momentous day. I do love thinking of you and God on your holy-day together.

  32. You are totally amazing!!! Praise God for your wonderful testimony.
    You are a warrior to me as well as a hero.
    I can't believe it has been a year.

  33. Sandra, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Yes, we are on a similar journey...unfortunately for the both of us. I will continue to follow your journey and I am sure we will become "virtual" friends. I am glad to hear you did something positive on the anniversary of your beloved's passing.

  34. Sandra- praying for you.

  35. It was an honor to read these words penned so beautifully....

  36. Oh, Sandra, dear Thistle, What a loss! You were such a wonderful couple!! You are already since one year all alone...

    Sowing with taers, cutting the fruits with joy....
    Blessed are the people who cry, because they will laugh...

  37. That was one beautiful tribute! Be safe on your trip and have a good time. You're due. (Hope you voted before leaving ... smile)
    Sparky ~:)

  38. Hugs to you Sandra.
    Your writings are so eloquent and moving.
    I wish I'd known Dave.... I believe I'd have like him very much. Even in his two headed snake persona! :)


  39. Thank you for sharing this.... It was just beautiful.
    I love your blog, and hearing abou the farm, the animals and most of all Dave.

    I am married to a Dave, they are very special people.


  40. you are an inspiration to us all,
    and i am confident that you will
    still see joy in the land of the

  41. Hugs Sandra. Now is a good time to look forward a little more. Your'e a beautiful lady. Maa

  42. Dear Sandra, I don't have words to express my adiration of you. Just, I pray that God will hold you tight in the palm of his hand. God bless. xx

  43. Beautiful. I hope your trip is/was wonderful and good medicine for your soul. Our "beloveds" would never want us to stop LIVING our lives.

  44. Oh this is so well written I can feel your grief but the hope of a new different life without your Dave. He will be with you every step of the way and he would be glad you are travelling and enjoying your life not sitting around and grieving for him.
    I am so sorry for your loss but you did one year and you will do the next year and the one after that. Dave will be with you and you owe it to Dave to take care of yourself and be happy. You will be together again I truly believe that.
    I really loved this post it shows your strength and your faith.One step at a time you are doing well. HUGS B

  45. Dear One,
    What a very full year you have had.
    I'm thinking about you and praying.

    God bless,

  46. I needed to read this again . . .


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