In a few days, I will have been a widow for 9 months. I don't know where the time has gone or how I have gone on without Dennis. I miss him every day.
I have learned some things during this time:
1. With God, I can keep on living and live abundantly.
2. Friends are some of the greatest gifts God gives us and I have some of the best friends in the world. They help me through the tough, lonely days, assist with the physical labor I can't do alone and are there for me a lot.
3. I can't do it all. That one took me awhile to admit. My house and yard won't be perfect. I need to make choices.
4. I can't be dad and mom to Brooklyn. I can be her Mom and endeavor to fill some of the voids left by losing Dennis but I'll never fill that hole in her heart.
5. Life does go on. There was a point where I did not see how that was possible, but it does. It is different but it is starting to feel familiar - not normal - but new and different.
6. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, forever family day... and we got through them and in fact, enjoyed them. I will admit that the approaching holidays are a total blank slate. How do we go about celebrating them when both my husband and mother are not there this year? Dennis LOVED Christmas and Mom always went out of her way to make it special. I know we will need to figure these things out in the days ahead. First on that list, what do we do for Thanksgiving? Anyone have room at your table for a few extras this year? (I'm sure all of us know someone who needs a place to spend the day.)
7. Solo parents need a break even when they love their kids dearly. I'm just now learning this and still finding it hard to take time away for me. I know how much Brooklyn needs me around but I'm a better parent when I get some time away especially when it is with other adults.
8. If I don't do it, it won't get done. (See #3) Ignoring the need to pick something up, do the laundry, clean something...only means it will still be there later. (Where is a fairy god-mother when you need one.)
9. I am exhausted a lot. These has been a lingering problem since Dennis passed. I'm sure some of it is due to all the responsibilities I carry now and the schedule I kept for the years of Dennis' illness. (I refuse to admit it is due to aging.)
10. Following God's call to adoption was the absolute best thing we ever could have done. Brooklyn is a delight and keeps me focused on the future and all God has in store for us.
11.. It is OK to make changes. I've changed jobs, bought a car, done some repairs around the house and it is OK. I have not done these without advice from people who know me well and whom I trust. I often wish Dennis was here to tell about my new job - which I love - or to enjoy the updates/repairs I've done to the house but it is OK to move on and to enjoy life.
12. Mostly, I am learning to depend more on God and His sufficiency. He promised to be with us always and He is true to his promises.
Today we stopped and Dennis and my parent's graves. We left a fall wreath to honor their memories. We miss them all but I am so thankful that I know they are not there. They are well and in the presence of their Savior. We will join them there someday but for now, I know God has a plan and a purpose for my life and Brooklyn's life as we continue our earthly journey.