Okay. I know some of you will be freaked out by the fact that I have written three posts, three days in a row... Don't get used to it! I don't usually have the time to do this and this has been a unique week.
Most of you will read this on January 13th. For most of you, it will just be another date on the calendar, but it has a specific meaning to me. It was January 13th, 1998 that Tony passed away following a battle with cancer. Today will mark the 12th anniversary of his death.
Now before all of you start getting all weepy and soppy on me, I want you to be aware that this year is different for me. For the first time, although I can't say that I have made a really big deal of the date in quite a while, I am aware of the date's arrival and I am finally being able to say that I can think of Tony in a way that does not associate his life with his death (necessarily.) I have come to a place where I can think of the pre-cancer days and smile, remembering birthday parties with family, crazy things we did together as a couple, the dreams we dreamed.... buying our first house together... The tears don't come as often as they once did...
And I am only sharing these thoughts with you because I want to encourage those from Mourning into Dancing who are struggling with loss. So many of our girls are still in the very early stages of grief, and I want them to know that time has a way of healing old wounds... This is about encouraging you, girls.
Tony and I had a great life together.... and make no mistake... I loved him dearly! But there comes a time after the grieving process when you move on.... and you realize that you are living in a totally different world. That time comes at different places for different people. There are no magic formulas... no magic pills or dates on the calendar that make it go away... I still have moments when the tears come... but that happens on the very, very rarest of occassion now... and I am a long way from crying myself to sleep as I did for the first three years or so after he died.
And that doesn't mean I don't still think about him daily (actually he comes to mind several times a day.) In truth, it's hard to escape thoughts of someone, when everywhere you turn in your home, there is some piece of furniture still there that you built together (and the fights that went with it.... LOL) or your little furry shadow that you both raised from the time she was six weeks old is still sleeping on your bed (she's nearly eighteen years old now).... Then there are all of the sayings and silly rituals you had together.... Those thoughts don't dissappear. But now, I can remember those things and smile... I can't drive past our first home which is just a few blocks over and not think about us picking out that house...
Anyway, girls, I want you to know that God has a way of comforting us in our grief, if we let Him.... You and I will never know on this side of glory why God chose to take the men in our lives away at one time or another... But as a really good friend of mine posted on facebook last night relative to another loss, because of Jesus, if they knew the Lord, we will all have a lot more time in eternity with them than we did on this planet. Therein lies our certainty.
This little poem was read by one of our former pastors at Tony's funeral, and it stays in my mind. I have no idea who wrote it... But it speaks of "Letting Go."
"Miss Me But Let Me Go"
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little - but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love we once shared
Miss me - But let me go!
For this journey we all must take
And each must go alone
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me - But let me go!