...of anniversaries & expectations...
NOVEMBER 5, 2011
. . .
MAY 5, 2012
. . .
Today was an "anniversary" I NEVER thought I'd have to experience. Not at this stage in my life. I never thought with one graduating from College (Nick) and one graduating from High School (Tessa) and the youngest grandbaby turning ONE in a few weeks (Lila) that I'd also be commemorating six months without their Daddy/Papa and my BEST FRIEND. This isn't how the story was supposed to go (in my mind!) :(
Yet my "story" isn't really "my" story, it's His story and He has written it differently than I would have if I'd had the choice.
Saturday . . . I've blogged about this day before. Yes, it DOES get a little easier when Saturday rolls around . . . a little better each week.
The 5th of the month . . . I've blogged about this day before. Yes, it DOES get a little easier when the 5th rolls around . . . a little better each month.
But, this time around, it was a SATURDAY. It was the 5th. AND it was SIX months. For some reason, that has been a "milestone" marker for me. Partly because shortly after this journey of ours began, the Lord led me to a dear new friend who was SIX MONTHS and ONE DAY ahead of me on this journey. In her, I could look ahead and see that "life does go on". In her, I could see that though life looked bleak and scary and filled with questions that God does carry us through . . . so I looked towards this "day" as a milestone of sorts . . . Leah made it to six months, and she survived . . . I could too!
(you can read Leah's blog OUT OF DEEP WATERS by clicking on the link!)
HOWEVER . . . if you were able to speak to Rick today, he would tell you that we (he & I) really had very few arguments during our marriage (honest!) . . . BUT, he would tell you that MOST of our disagreements came about because of MY expectations . . .
Expectations as defined by Dictionary.com = "An expectant mental attitude" or "Something expected, looked forward to" synonyms include "anticipation, hope, trust".
Well, I have been known to "expect" things others have no idea I'm expecting. . . .
-When the girls were little, I EXPECTED that Rick would realize on a SATURDAY how much I'd like to go to town, ALONE even if it was just for groceries . . . and I EXPECTED him to OFFER to stay home with the girls, and when he didn't, my day was ruined (and his was too!). I did get better on this one and began to share with Rick that I'd like to go to town, and he was usually more than happy to send me off on my errands while he spent time with the girls!
-When my Birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day . . . came around, I EXPECTED a "surprise" - sometimes what I expected was bigger than others, but usually I didn't share what I might be expecting, and therefore, I was usually surprised, but often not excitedly surprised!
-More recently, I EXPECTED that because I bought all the pool chemicals, the pool should be winterized the next day (which ironically was our last disagreement, probably a week or two before he died, to which Rick said, "Sheila, it doesn't matter, it does not have to be done today - it's not going to freeze yet - we have TIME . . . the pool was not completely winterized on November 5 - little did we know that even though he was right, it wasn't going to freeze yet, we still didn't have "time").
Why do I share these things today? Because today, I again had "expectations". I expected because SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5 has been forever etched in my heart that everyone else should remember the exact date too. That people (especially those closest to me) will "remember" that TODAY was SATURDAY, that TODAY was the 5th of the month, that TODAY was 6 months. I EXPECTED . . . I'm not sure what I expected, I think more of an "acknowledgement" of the "day" . . . And some did remember (very specifically - and sent me texts telling me so), most did not (or they did and didn't share for fear of sharing . . . ) So again, my EXPECTATIONS could have gotten me in lots of trouble. My EXPECTATIONS DID start to get me in trouble. I ALMOST let myself go down that slippery slope. I gave the devil a little crack, and almost let him have free reign over my thoughts, emotions and attitude today . . . But THANKFULLY, God put the RIGHT people in my life today who re-directed me - back to GOD. Back to what really matters. Back to HIM! So even though my "expectations" weren't met, it's o.k.! I learned (again) that my expectations aren't always (o.k. usually aren't) on track with God's expectations for me! I KNOW that there are MANY people today who were WELL aware that today was SATURDAY, that today was the 5th and that today was six months. Many of them PRAYED for us today. Others had us in mind all day long. Some just couldn't come to us . . . because even if it has been six months, they still aren't sure "just" what to say! As I get ready to turn in tonight, I can truly echo the words of the beautiful old hymn (which is a good reminder of where my "expectations" need to lie):
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and rightousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand!
I'm again amazed at God's goodness. I'm in awe that BEFORE TIME BEGAN, HE knew that Nick would graduate from college (something his Dad was so proud of!). HE knew the little girls would have a dance recital this afternoon. HE knew that WE would have a SPECIFIC reason to spend time together (as Rick's family) today (even though we missed having Ashley Beth with us - we will all be together in 2 weeks for Tessa's graduation!). Someone said to me how "ironic" it was that Nick would be graduating today, on a Saturday, on the 5th, on the six month anniversary of Rick's "Home-going". It's not "ironic" though, it is all a part of God's beautiful story for our lives.
Today, we all missed Rick/Dad. We KNEW all day long that someone was missing. We felt the missing piece to our family puzzle. BUT, we still had a good day. We still cheered for Nick when they announced his name. We still loved watching the little girls dance. We took LOTS of pictures. We hugged. We smiled. We kept on keeping on. Rick would have not wanted any less from any of us! He was right there in our hearts. He was right there with Nick as he walked across that stage. He was right next to me (in seat #13) at the dance recital. He was right there with Jim & Donna (Rick's "boss" & best friend and my best friend) when they saw a huge bear in the middle of the day today. All day long, we were all reminded in little and big ways that Rick will always be with us. We were reminded to be a little kinder, gentler, more patient, and to always LOVE, because, we have learned that we don't always have "time". God met us today. He blessed us today. He blessed me today. The girls and I laughed today. Laughed until we cried. I even made the Starbucks guy laugh today! And, you know what? It's Saturday. It's the 5th. It's 6 months. And, it's o.k. for us to smile, to laugh, to have fun, to live life, to enjoy life, to celebrate the accomplishments of the kids and grand-kids . . . because Rick would have wanted it that way and God gives us grace for each day - our HOPE to carry on!
My "Jesus Calling" for today read:
"Come to Me for all that you need . . . I am Light, in whom there is no darkness at all . . . relax in the knowledge that the One who controls your life is totally trustworthy . . . come to Me with confident expectation . . . "
"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5