“God does not give you anything that you cannot handle and that he will not walk you through” magical words my Grandmother, Marguerite Cora Hardway spoke to me and I always believed her, because she was to me, as I often tell my boys of myself, so pure of heart and incapable of telling a lie.
Well, I still believe my grandmother’s words are as true as her heart was, and I am waiting for God’s guidance to walk me through this painful, gut-wrenching, and heartbreaking place I am in right now. There are some who have told me that the emotional trauma will get worse before it gets better and I believe them as well, because everyday feels more agonizing than the last.
I find myself waking every morning to the constant reminder that, yes, he is still gone and no he is not coming back…. ever! It is seriously like ground hog’s day, every day. Slowly I make my way through the day, trying to find ways to keep myself busy in order to keep my brain from revisiting the thoughts of him and how much I miss him.
Once a week I buy myself a bouquet of white daisies and red roses, the bouquet Erik always bought me on special occasions or just to tell me he loves me, a symbol that makes my grandmother feel near to me and a reminder of my husband’s love for me. Just looking at them makes me feel a little better.
Nothing can keep me busy enough to stop my thoughts, because as I go through my daily routine, I am reminded of what he would be doing or saying, while I work through each and every step of my day. I am waiting for his call from work to ask me how my day is or his text to tell me how sick he is of his job or ask what the plan for dinner is or just to tell me he loves me.
I am waiting for him to walk in the door, smiling and singing a song or a made-up lyric or blurting out some silly comment. I seem to have little interest in eating and as for what dinner will be, most nights I can hardly get myself to care, but I manage something for my son’s sake. There are rooms in my house, I cannot even enter without breaking down, one of which is the brewing room and the other is the garage.
As I enter these spaces, I start to shutter and lose my breath just before the sobbing takes over. I see the tools and supplies he touched and used often, and the things left undone, waiting for him to complete and I know they will never be done. I see his treasured record collection and know they do not really matter the same way now.
Most recently I received a call to come collect his truck from the tow yard and upon arriving and entering the truck, I saw his coat and his shoes and within seconds I was slumped over the seat, tears streaming down my face and breathless sobs exiting from my chest and my soul. It took everything I had to pull myself together and continue on with taking the rest of him home. As I pulled up to the house, I told him, you are finally home honey, well at least part of you. God, what I would give to have him filling those shoes and that coat and driving the truck up the driveway himself.
Every time I pull into my driveway, since that day, I see his truck and I look for him to be peaking over the card table he sat at while drinking a beer and listening to his records. I look for his smiling face and listen for his “how did you do?” Or “how did it go? “while standing up, arms open to embrace me with a hug and a kiss hello and an “I love you” before I enter the house.
The days are so long, and the nights are so excruciatingly lonely.
As night sets in and the day winds down, I am now faced with the second reminder of my day, that Erik is never coming home, and my bed will never be shared by him again. I will no longer hear his voice beckoning for me to come tuck him in and his silly antics of excitement when I entered the room to do so. I can almost hear him now.
I sit staring out the window at night and gaze at the sky blue-pink haze in the sky, my grandmothers favorite color, and I know she is there, I mutter to her, why did God give me this hurdle in my journey? I cannot handle this one grandma, when will God step in and help me leap over it? I have yet to hear her answer or feel his hand take hold to guide me.
I seem to fall asleep later and later every night and wake up off and on from nightmares and restlessness. By the time daylight starts to peak into my room from the sun, I am awakened and once again facing ground hog’s day as I reluctantly climb out of bed and start over again.
Most mornings I wake up angry at Erik that he left me alone to do everything on my own now and I feel as if he got the easy part of the deal. I am left to feel the pain and fight to hold back the tears and make all of the decisions for our home and our family, while he gets to bask in the beauty of heaven’s paradise.
I want to believe my grandmothers words and have faith that God will see me through the anguish I am struggling with, I want to feel the sense of peace in my heart, but mostly I want to stop hating Erik and God for doing this to me and I want to know why the good Lord believed I was deserved of one more difficult hurdle in my life.
Haven’t I been through enough? Didn’t I fight to make it through all of the other hurdles and take on all of the tasks asked of me without questioning any of it? Didn’t I prove to you that I had faith that you would see me through all of my trials and tribulations? I put everything in your hands God, and I believed that by letting you take control, you would not let me down.
Why do I feel like I am being punished? Why am I bearing another burden and why did you decide to end our journey so abruptly? What am I missing in all of this? Will there ever be a time where it all makes sense?
Will the days ever seem full again? Will the nights ever bring comfort and rest again?
And just like that, as I am writing this, the answer flows from my fingers across the keys of my laptop and forms a poem………
As she walked through the pasture filled with daisies, tears streaming down her face, her heart beating a rapid pace, while the rays of the sun amongst the mix of the pinks and blues draped across the sky shimmered on the brim of every flowers head, she gently reached out a hand, brushed the child’s cheek and said, ever so sweetly " fear not my child, for his life is everlasting , his memory is never dead and rest assured you will find the peace you seek.” -Kristie Lynn Nelson