Before I jump into what I am writing about, I want to let you know that Nick is doing very well. He seems to be feeling good. There aren't any side effects from the procedure so far. He has a very small incision, probably less than half an inch. There are no stitches and it is covered only by a band aid. I am hoping that he continues to recover so quickly and without problems. Band camp begins Monday. I really think that he will be ready for it.
Ok, now onto my post.
I am taking a deep breath today both physically and emotionally. The passing of the first anniversary of Keith's death didn't bring with it some huge emotional shift. I had been warned by my many lovely counselors (I have 2 that are specifically grief and the 1 that I've been going to for years) that a shift of that sort likely would not happen. I do wish that it had happened. I am so tired of feeling so much pain, heartache, and sadness. It seems that I have been feeling these emotions for so long.
I also didn't have much time between heavy emotional events. Four days after the one year anniversary of Keith's death was what would have been our 18th wedding anniversary. I know that I have already posted some about what I was feeling as the day came about. Right now is the first chance I have had to think about how Sunday and the last few days have affected me.
I had a VERY difficult time Sunday. The sadness and grief were more intense than even on the anniversary of Keith's death. The depression flared up. I truly had to force myself to get out of bed. Sunday was perhaps the worst day I have had with the depression in a very long time. I really did not do much on Sunday except cry, grieve, and remember. I did take some time to remember that young couple that was so full of life and excited for the future.
I was encouraged to do something to honor my marriage to Keith. There have been lots of good suggestions on observing birthdays, mother's day, and father's day. There just aren't any good suggestions on observing a wedding anniversary when the spouse has died. My guess is that it is such a personal and intimate day that only the left behind spouse can determine how to honor that special day. In between my crying episodes, I took out my wedding pictures and looked through them with the kids. They really enjoyed looking at the pictures. I don't think the kids had ever seen the pictures before. There were several good pictures of my dad who passed away 13 years ago. That was very intriguing for Kacie since she never knew her "Papaw". Of course, everyone in the pictures is nearly 20 years younger. The kids reactions to seeing Aunt Kim and Uncle Todd in their teen years was fun. Of course seeing me almost 20 years younger was fun for them too. "That's you Mom?!" There weren't comments like that about Keith since his looks didn't change that much through the years, except when cancer took it's toll.
After spending some time looking at the photos and crying some more, I remembered the video of our wedding. I can say that I truly hungered to hear Keith's voice again. I hungered to see him alive and well again. I didn't realize that I had this hunger until I began watching the video. I watched it with the kids. They enjoyed watching how everything in their lives began. I cried and grieved a lot during the video.
Oh how I loved that man! Oh how he loved me! Marrying him was one of the best days of my life. I couldn't see it on Sunday, but I see now how much good it did me to watch the video and look at the pictures. Even in the midst of the depression, some healing was able to find it's way in.
I moved from the tough day full of lots of grief, depression, and sadness straight into having to prepare for the trip to Birmingham for Nick's surgery. No rest for the weary right?! I did the hospital packing and the hotel packing. I had to fight off a huge amount of grief and sadness. I really did not want to do this Birmingham trip without Keith. I did not want to send our son into surgery without Keith by my side. I had to though, and I did.
I made it through telling my son that I loved him as I left him in there care of the medical staff. I made it through the time of waiting. I am so thankful that God had mercy on me and the wait time was not very long at all. I prayed for God to be with Nick and hold him close. I prayed for God to be right there with me so that I would not feel so alone without Keith. I was not alone. Keith's parents, one of his sisters, my mom, and Kacie were all there with me. I still felt very alone without Keith there.
Today is really the first chance I have had for any emotions from Tuesday to surface. I am going to have to tread carefully for the next few days. I am worn out and weary. I am taking several deep breaths. I am focusing on the fact that I was able to get through the first anniversary of Keith's death, the first wedding anniversary that I truly felt (Last year I was still in shock), and Nick's first surgery since Keith's death. That is a lot for anyone to go through in just a matter of days. I survived.
I've made it through all of the firsts for a while. I am now fully into the second year after Keith's death. While I may not be full of happiness, I know that I am capable of feeling it. I may not be able to be with my husband, but I have lots of wonderful memories that I can draw on to help me through the difficult times. I know that I can handle anything as long as I keep my eyes focused on God. He will not let me go through this life without Him, unless I choose not to allow Him.
I know that I don't even want to think about living my life a day without God by my side.
As always, I am trying to remain...
In His Grip!