Eight ……

…… excruciatingly long years that seemed to have flown by in a heartbeat.
I know that most of you get that.

Eight.
How is it possible?
How is it that Daughter #1 went to, and graduated from, school for her Masters degree?

How is that Daughter #2 worked for a year and then did the same thing?
How is that she’s been a foster mom to the most precious baby boy for over a year now? And she has her own home?

How is it that Daughter #3 has worked in Texas and New York while getting her Masters? How can it be that she’s engaged to be married in less than 3 months?

How is it that Son #1 graduated from high school and college and has a wonderful job and life in Dallas?

How is it that Son #2 survived his teen years, graduated from high school, went to barber school and now lives in Austin where he loves his job and his life?

And how is it that Son #3 made it through middle school, high school and is now in his third year of college at our favorite school, Oklahoma State? How is it that I’ve attended at least three Homecomings there?
At that place where we met.
And fell in love.

How in the hell is it that this all happened without him?

Eight years ago …… this day …… I thought that my life came crashing to an end.
And in a sense, it did.
That life died with Jim, just as part of me died with him.

I have missed that man every second of these past 8 years.
I have cherished our memories, our children and our blessing of being best friends, as well as husband and wife, these past 8 years.
I have loved him with all of my heart these past 8 years.
That won’t stop.
No matter how many years go by.

That doesn’t mean there’s not room in my heart for more love.
Fortunately, hearts grow bigger.
If you don’t believe that you’ve never had more than one child. 🙂

Now eight years later …… here I am …… still alive.
Not only alive, but thriving.
Happy.
Joyful.
Blessed.

The “before me” would never have believed that I would make it this far.
The me that was left behind 8 years ago would never have dreamed this would be my life now. That me didn’t …… no,couldn’t …… see a future for herself at all. She saw nothing but cold, inky darkness.
For what felt like a very long time.

Eight years later, the blackness is gone.
Most of the time.
Every once in a while a rogue wave roars over me, knocking me to my knees.
But not down.
And definitely not out.

In that way, I don’t think I’m so very different from any other human.
In spite of being blessed, there are still times of grief.
There are times when that night eight years ago comes charging into me. And it feels like I’m right back in that hospital room.
Saying goodbye without knowing it was really goodbye.
I hate being back in that room.

Thankfully that doesn’t happen very often.
Mostly just once a year or so.
Usually around this date.
Around this day.

Eight years.
It’s amazing.
And horrible.
All at the same time.

Eight years.
Eight years of bad.
Eight years of good.
Eight years of growing, loving, learning and finding joy again.
Eight years of knowing that God never left my side.
Even during the times I couldn’t feel him.
Probably especially during those times.
Eight years of grief.
Eight years of blessings.

A lot can happen in eight years.
And though I couldn’t even think this 8 years ago ……

I’m looking forward to what the next eight hold.

7 thoughts on “Eight ……

  1. Susan

    I saw the 8 years and thought when you lay an 8 on its side it’s the symbol for “infinity”. Just thought I’d share that. Hugs

    Reply
  2. Kim

    It’s mind boggling to think that the person that you were then is not the person that is living, breathing, loving, and feeling blessed now. Even though I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the missing of him, I more often feel blessed and happy. I’m sending you hugs today and any day when the waves overtake. As I know they do. It’s been 4 years for me and this time of year, like you, isn’t the best. Hugs.

    Reply
  3. Joy Lynn

    My dearest sweet cousin…. As tears of “joy” run down my face I continue to be in awe of you and inspired as I am every time I read your posts… Thank you! for being so giving of your heart and your feelings… As they truly help me personally SO much… As I’m sure they do so many others… I know Jim is so proud of you! I look forward to seeing you have more and more happy days ahead…. I love you sweet sweet cousin! Have a very Merry Christmas with your wonderful giant group of babies! Lol! My entire crew will all be at my house for four days next week!! Very excited about that!! You help me to remember to cherish EVERY SINGLE MINUTE… And I thank you for that!! Love & hugs!! ❤

    Reply

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