It is Saturday night, two days past Thanksgiving. I made it through the first big holiday since Keith's passing. How did I do? How did the kids do?
The kids did very well I think. I know that they missed their dad, but they do not seem overwhelmed by his absence the way I do. I have prayed so often for God to heal their hearts and dull their pain. They accept that Keith is gone, but they are joyous because their dad isn't sick anymore. They miss him, but are okay that he is in heaven and not here with us.
I think that I did very well too. The kids and I arrived at my sister's house for the meal about 30 minutes before meal time. The rest of the family had been there for a while. I knew that it was possible that I would have a difficult time, so I tried to plan ahead a little. We had lots of good food. I was able to find a quiet spot and just "be" for a little while. I helped my brother in law clean up the kitchen. It was quiet in there too. I dealt with the day by counting down the hours until it was over. I spent some time crying at different times that day, but not a lot. It was a hard day to get through, but I did it.
I don't know how Christmas is going to go. I am going to take it one step at a time. I am not putting up our Christmas tree or our ornaments (some of which were wedding presents). I am not even going to look at the boxes in the garage.
MLC* has advised me to go buy new this year. That's my plan. I am going to buy new. As a matter of fact, Kacie got a new stocking and three new ornaments just today. We'll start looking for Nick's maybe tomorrow.
*My Lovely Counselor
Another big gigantic step I took was taking off my wedding rings. I did that on Wednesday morning. I can't explain it. It was just time. I know that God was/is in the decision. I have been praying for Him to heal my heart. It was time to let Keith go. I also began cleaning out Keith's side of the closet. I only did half, but it is the first time I've done anything remotely like that. I had the realization that holding onto Keith's things isn't affecting him in any way. It is only serving to hurt me. I have to begin letting go of him, in these physical ways, in order for me to heal.
Don't get me wrong! I wanted more than anything to put my rings back on the next day. It had only been 24 hours since I had taken them off and I wanted them back where they belonged. I knew that I couldn't though. I can't let myself go back on this decision.
What did I do with the rings? Well, I have been wearing Keith's wedding ring on a chain as a necklace. I have added my rings to the necklace. I didn't let myself wear the necklace for three days. I felt like I needed to give myself some space. Some time to get used to the idea before I wore the necklace. I wore the necklace with all three rings today. I'm thinking about taking the rings and having them made into a pendant. That's a decision I will take plenty of time to make though.
Another big step I took (yes I've taken several of them in the past few days) was to sell my van and buy a new car. I did that yesterday. I made this decision for financial reasons and emotional reasons as well. I am happy with my decision and have no regrets. I got a Honda Pilot. It is the first SUV I have ever owned. I am thrilled with the vehicle.
It was harder than I thought to let go of the van, but there are so many bad memories associated with that vehicle. It was time to make that decision too.
That's about it on the run down of my Thanksgiving weekend. I had a HUGE realization on Thursday morning. I realized that for the first time, in a long time, I didn't have to worry about this Thanksgiving being our last one with Keith. That was one HUGE burden that I didn't realize I had been carrying. What a relief to have that burden lifted, but oh how I miss him! I also thought about the kind of Thanksgiving Keith must have been experiencing. He would probably tell me it was beyond any of our wildest dreams.
I miss him terribly. I am accepting that a part of me will always miss him. I love him more than words can say. I am accepting that a part of me always will.
But I give thanks to God that Keith has spent his first Thanksgiving in several years cancer free!
That is definitely something to give thanks for!
In His Grip!