Day 188 (6 months and a few days)
So....I've thought about whether I should post an update here and have gone back and forth, but in the end, it actually plays a part in the healing process, and it's helpful... and after a week like last week in which Texas experienced unprecedented temperatures and dangerous conditions, I also know there are some who may just be wondering how we are. I'm so grateful to learn that family and friends were safe, and it reminded me yet again how lucky we all are to have each other.
And while Graham and I bundled together in front of the fireplace on the 18th, 6 months passed quietly by....
A lot and a little has happened since. I've been told the first year can be the hardest because of all the 'firsts' associated with not having a loved one here. This is real. And it is hard. Because firsts don't just have to be dates on a calendar...it's firsts in just doing life without him. A new year with unexpected challenges and learning things for the first time (who knew you could dethaw a frozen water line with a well-angled 'mirror' made from tin foil and a piece of cardboard - thanks neighbor Brian!)
I also know that everyone's grief journey is unique to them and some move forward (not to be mistaken with moving on ), quicker than others and some not as....and that too, is okay. It is as it is meant to be. I'm not sure where I am exactly on my journey but I am trusting God’s will because what I do know is that He has me right where I should be - this allows hope to guide me, and in turn, guide my family. I have experienced moments of true joy and happiness in the last 6 months, and Adam would be happy to know that.
What I have learned so far is that there are two absolute truths in grief (at least for me):
1. Grief is the last act of love that you can give to someone...to grieve is to have loved deeply.
2. Grief sometimes feels like an endless state of limbo....As C.S. Lewis stated, 'Grief is a state of frustrated feelings, of a love cut short, curtailed in what seems an untimely manner. And yet everything feels provisional: a permanent provisional feeling...The permanence of death is acknowledged which makes time feel long and inescapable, and yet the state of mourning feels novel and thus transitory.'
It is understanding these truths that allow me to forge a path forward...some may wonder (and sometimes out loud in front of you) how long it should take for someone to 'move on' after a loss...the reality is that we don't move on...that implies we 'get over' something or someone, and that is just not a truth. We move forward, with them,...and we choose it - we move forward with the love we were honored and privileged to have known by having them in our lives.
And so......I choose to continue moving forward with my three beautiful children, and they too will continue to learn about life through these experiences and the people who choose to love us through them.
I am staying busy with work and kids' activities. And I am keeping my promise to Adam to continue fighting for a cure for stomach cancer. I've been incredibly blessed in getting to spend more time with the Stupid Strong team, the non-profit based in Texas dedicated to this very cause - I've had the opportunity to share Adam's story in several forums to help raise much-needed funds to support continued research for gastric cancer treatments. In fact, we are partnering to hold a softball tournament in Adam's memory this coming Fall - stay tuned for more information on that. Thank you again to those who have supported this cause; it means so much!
Ava, Gavin, Gabby and Graham are all doing well. Ava was accepted to Baylor University and will be studying architecture later this year. Gavin joined me earlier this month in advocating for stomach cancer federal funding via the 9th Annual Debbie's Dream Advocacy Day. We teamed up with other advocates to represent the great state of Texas. Gavin did a great job speaking to several congressional offices about what this meant to him. Adam would be SO proud. Gabby is flourishing in middle school and is so incredibly helpful to me all the time, and Graham just started tennis (he says he wants to learn all the 'ball sports' - haha!)
Thank you to everyone who has continued to pray for my family and to check in on us from time to time. During so much unrest and uncertainty in our world, kindness and love just say so much.
Be kind to one another and please, don't leave things unsaid to those you care about...never leave a moment 'undone' if you can help it...
Because these moments continue to matter.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ. (NLT)