The boys and I received pennies in church last week. I wrote down a prayer request and Edward put it in a basket by the alter. He brought a penny back, like everyone was instructed to by Pastor. This penny is a reminder.
Truth be told, the prayer was for me.
A prayer for comfort, peace, and direction. Comfort as I head into the third year without my husband by my side. Peace to fill my heart for the holiday season. And guidance for direction in my life.
I put the penny on our microwave where I’d see it often. Ironically, the boys came home with six pennies each on Monday after an exercise about honesty at daycare. Seeing all these coins is a good reminder to pray for help and lay my problems down for the Lord.
Two years ago, I went through the worst week of my life. It started on Sunday and ended on a Friday evening when my loving husband passed away. There was very little time to process how fast the end of Adam’s life came and how it all happened.
Adam and I knew the end was near. We had met with palliative care days before his last week of life to begin some end of life planning. Time ran out for any of these wishes to happen or be carried out. Instead, we had fifteen minutes in between his oncologist delivering me news we should move to hospice before our parents all came in to visit. What a short conversation for us; for him to share his wishes for me to love again, hear him tell me “I’d be okay”. In between nurses and family that week we’d sneak in funeral questions, bank and billing questions, things at 33 you should not be talking about
This last week of his life, the last week of our marriage was full of searing pain, yet exploded with love. There was also a sense of comfort and peace. I felt this peace especially when we entered into hospice. The only way I can explain this feeling, and my ability to pray and help guide Adam to his eternal peace was from your prayers.
This week, since the penny came home from church, I have felt peace again. Every time I saw the penny in the kitchen, I’d say “please give me comfort, peace and direction God.” God is good; I have really felt comfort this week that I haven’t felt since he died.
I still think about the painful days during Adam’s illness. The memories are scars left in me and honestly, I don’t ever want to forget them because it reminds me to be thankful for life, health, and our sons.
But what I can now see in this second year of living with my grief, is prayers are not always answered how we want. We practiced healing prayer every week with our Pastor. Nightly, I led and prayed with Adam.
I have to carry the burden and balance feelings of being thankful, angry, and bitter. Thankful God peacefully took him home to heaven, free of cancer and pain. Angry my sons will never truly know their own father and madness our love story was cut short. Bitter I was robbed of a loving marriage and the life with my best friend.
And again, thankful God is still with me and answering prayers. Sending me new relationships and strengthening others to help me find my way in this new life. Giving me peace and comfort during this week where I remember Adam drifting away from me, going where I can’t yet.
At 33 years old, I didn’t expect I’d have to rebuild my life. No “job”, a full time mommy to a baby and a preschooler at my side. But this is the life I was given and I am going to live it. I am going to love life and honor Adam’s legacy. I am going to honor my promise to him, “I’ll be okay.”
Reading, volunteering, traveling, and most of all time with his sons were the things he wished he had more of when when we talked. Coming from the man who always had a couple of books on the nightstand; would offer or say yes to help family or friends; who was always ready and willing to book a flight and go. A man who loved his sons and wife more than life itself.
Those very things he wished more of, I will carry on for him. Ironic now, how reading and writing have become two ways I cope best with my grief. When I travel, I am able to shed a little layer of guilt and pain. Volunteering with cancer caregivers and widows helps me find a way to kick the aftermath of cancer. I will live my days to honor Adam and his legacy by being the best mom I can be to our sons.
Miss you sweetie. I love you more. You’re still the best!