My blog post for Vicki's GYBP is here; you've until tomorrow, Valentine's Day, 5:00 p.m. to enter for the give away.
"Though other friends walk by your side,
Yet sometimes it must surely be,
They wander where your thoughts have gone
Because I have you here with me.
And when the busy day is done
And work is ended, voices cease
When everyone has said goodnight,
In fading firelight, then in peace
I idly rest: you come to me,
Your dear love holds me close to you.
If I could see you face to face
It would not be more sweet and true."
~ Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) ~
The grief has become bitter sweetness and Dave, life is, once again, good. Of course, it's been good but now I'm realizing and appreciating in ways I couldn't since you died. It's been three frozen years of winter since your death. Lately though, the sun has shone more brightly, more warmly and the thaw that signifies spring has become a growing part of the landscape and heartscape.
It's an overused word, but what I'm feeling is... hope. Yes, hope although I can't quite put my finger on it, I finally feel hopeful about a future without you. Hopeful about eventually pulling up stakes and moving us, the animals and I, lock, stock and barrel to a new place, a new farm, a new direction. Life is good again, Dave. I watched as you grieved for Cathy and then, finally, began to move forward, to begin a new life in a new place with a new wife. I watched as Aunt Esther grieved for Uncle Clarence for almost forty years but never remarried. I watched as others grieved and moved on more quickly and, through it all I learned...it's different for each of us. No one can walk another's path; no one can tell another what to do or how to do it. The best they can do is either listen or say how it was for them...but not judge. Oh but how few actually do; there's a reason gossip sounds snake like.
It takes as long as it takes and that's all right too. Grief is messy, messier than life even and most folks have a problem dealing with grief...theirs or especially someone else's. I learned there are folks who don't know how to be friends: they're in it for the short haul or what they can get out of the friendship or as long as it's good for them. I learned just because someone goes to church or stands in a pulpit doesn't mean they're a Christian or a pastor. So many of those folks are the takers and I learned there are kazillions more of them then there are of givers. The givers tend to be quieter, they send cards or notes, or small rememberances or call or pray. They are the hero's, the warriors who are steadfast and true and, what amazed me totally are frequently not people I'll ever meet this side of the veil! Those are the ones with stars in their crowns, those hero's of faith...in me!...who have told me...you can do this, you'll make it, you're doing great. I've learned encourager's are rarely the takers and, almost always, the givers. God bless 'em!
So many have written or telephoned to say they appreciate my honesty in dealing with grief or the posts on the Wife to Widow blog. Honesty is tough, in short supply and not greatly appreciated so when someone says "thanks", it's a huge deal and greatly appreciated.
So, life is good again, Dave. The ice that has kept my feet and heart frozen in place is thawing and, with God's help, I'm moving forward. I've managed to keep body and soul together. I've helped others, I've learned a lot about taking care of the vehicles, the house, the farm and animals. I've learned a bit about taking care of myself...yes, I'm a slow learner but I remember you used to tell me to "be careful and go slowly because you're the most expensive and important piece of equipment on the farm." I'm laughing again...it's a joyful sound and yes, life is good again. Thank Abba for His gracious and kind gifts.
"I like living.
I have sometimes been wildly despairing,
acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all
I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
Blessings ~ this farm ~ winter ~ encouragers ~ Agatha Christie ~ the animals ~ laughter ~ Abba ~