I’m unsure what to write. Even what to feel.
Four years. This year, it seems so far removed. A life, a love, that is not mine. Was he ever mine? It feels a distant memory. THIS life, this new love, is so very encompassing and lovely that it leaves me whirling. How can I have loved two men with my whole soul?
Four years ago today, I watched my husband’s chest rise for the last time. (What? Did that really happen?) The moment I prayed would come, came. His misery was finally ended. For once, he was not left behind for the pain that tortured his body. He went ahead. Straight into the arms of Jesus. It was very good. But it hurt really, really bad.
So I stumbled my way through life as a widow and single mother. I was an amputee—as C.S. Lewis so perfectly describes it. Limping along without my leg. I had to learn to walk without it. People held me up and did things for me—but I just wanted my leg back. Oh Chris, I missed you so badly!
And then, God gave me another partner—one with whom to walk and share burdens and life and fellowship and JOY. And suddenly, I didn’t feel like an amputee anymore. I felt whole. I could walk. Even run.
Oh, we have our aches. I will perhaps always ache that Erika can’t really remember much about her first daddy who was crazy in love with her. And I have a sort of happy sorrow when I say a phrase Chris always used to say—and he feels close for a moment.
But now I am on the other side of the world. My life is radically changed from four years ago. But from my Life, part I, I have a Lord that does not change, a daughter that amazes me each day, and family and friends who’ve got my back and are praying and cheering me on.
I am filled up. I am madly in love with my new husband, our new life, our big family. But I miss Chris and wonder what our life would look like now if he was still here (not a profitable exercise, in case you’re wondering). A friend once told me (after losing her fiancée and later marrying another man) that she wishes his accident never would have happened, but she would not change a thing. I think a truer thing has never been spoken.
So really, what I mostly want to say is that God knows best. I can’t even navigate my own feelings. But HE knows. And somehow, I got to be the wife of two of the most amazing men I’ve ever met.
Chris, thank you for loving me fully and teaching me with your life how to be wholly devoted to Christ and submitted to His will. You have left a deep mark on me, and I will never be the same. I am forever thankful for Life, Part I.