Tag Archives: husband

18 years, 4 months, 3 days

I don’t normally remember until at least midday.  I can be sitting in front of my computer all day, writing checks, invoicing customers and generating receivables and payables.  All of these things include seeing the date many, many times.  Because we got married at Christmas time, we celebrated our anniversary on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Both of us were guilty of not remembering, and neither of us cared.  There were even times when we realized our anniversary had passed, and instantly called the other as soon as we recognized our faux pas.  Oops.

Today was different.  I recognized the upcoming date a few days into December.  I’ve been waiting for it to come; and for it to pass.  I held my tears, kept busy and felt like I had eaten a giant stone all day.  You know that feeling, when you’re not hungry or thirsty but know you should eat?  Drink water?  Fill your already full gut?

Today would have been 19 years.  Once upon a time, it felt like such an accomplishment and a massive blessing.  Now, it feels like we didn’t even have a chance.  What’s 18 years, 4 months and 3 days in the scope of forever?  How is it possible I don’t have forever with the man who gave of himself daily?  Forever didn’t last very long.

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Half-Life

Eastern Laramie County is a giant bubble.  Wearing Wranglers, cowboy hats and Carhartts and driving big pickups with deer bangers, every guy around here could be Jeremy.

I was 17 when my dad died suddenly.  For what seemed like forever, I would occasionally see someone in the crowd that caused my stomach to jump into my throat; a shorter, thin, dark haired man with glasses.  It didn’t happen often, but it went on for several years.  Honestly, I thought I would escape that with Jeremy.  I figured I was young, depressed, broken and scarred; losing Dad only added to the brokenness.  Now?  At 40 years old?  I’m a grown up, first of all.  Second, I’m not broken, I’m not depressed, but I guess I’m still scarred.  In less that 24 hours, 3 times I’ve thought I saw Jeremy.  3 times!  I know full well he’s not here.  He will not be working on a tractor in a ditch.  He will not be driving a pickup heading south.  He will not be at our daughter’s halloween party.  So how on earth does my mind even go there?

I had a nightmare last night.  Nightmares aren’t new for me, and from 14 to probably 30 years old they fueled a lot of my depression and anxiety.  I’ve started having them again since Jeremy’s been gone, and I think most of them have involved him.  He didn’t make an appearance last night.  I was fully aware in this horrible dream that he was gone forever.  It involved a friend of mine morphing into a crazed version of the woman who abused me.  I kept trying to hide, but no one could see the real woman.  Everyone thought she was the original friend and continued to give up my hiding spots, pushing me to my knees in front of her.  Since she knew I couldn’t hide from her, she would take coffee breaks with my friends, vacations with my friends – they could only see who they thought was my friend, not the bug-eyed, teeth clenched monster who was capable of causing my entire body to burn with pain just at the sight of her.  I kept struggling to get home to my kids, but whenever I would reach the boundary of this little city we were in, my friends would pop out from behind a wall with this monster in tow.  They laughed when I tried to resist her.  They gathered in crowds to laugh at my pain.  I don’t think they knew I was in pain.  Laughing, laughing, laughing.  It was of carnival horror proportions, complete with a broken mirror, spinning rooms and maniacal laughing.

I wondered today as I cried for my husband if this is what lies in store for me.  The hell that was my mind I have escaped before.  Am I that scarred that I’ve broken again?  I know I need to find a counselor again, but how do I even start that process?  When I used therapy before, both of the therapists just kind of landed in my lap.  It was nothing short of God providing a perfect path toward healing.  This time it’s different.  I know this is grief, but I hesitate to give in to that grief.  Any kind of healthy grieving I’ve done in the past has required the strong chest of my husband, with his strong arms tight around me.  Crying myself to sleep while cradled in his security.  Hearing his strong unwavering heart beat beneath my ear.  Listening to his billowing voice of comfort, telling me we can get through anything together, with Christ.

How do I operate without together?  I have Christ and Christ has me.  In my heart, I know I am nothing without His love.  His eternal love.  But today?  Today, my head is screaming for together.  We had become one, and now I’m just half.

Half a Second Turned Into a Long Day

Total and complete elation!  Complete and total devastation.

In my dreams, there’s a lot of confusion and wonder about where Jeremy is, what he’s doing and who he’s with.  We’re not sure why he’s not with us, but keep a constant search (in the midst of other nightmarey scenarios where I’m trying to protect the kids from aliens, intruders, the government and even wild animals).  Eventually, he shows up.  On a stretcher.  Or in his casket.

Then, the interrogation begins:

  • You do know you left us, right?
  • We had a funeral!  We buried you!  How can you be here?
  • How many times is this going to happen?
  • Why can’t you just stay here?
  • What should we do when your doctors find out?
  • Why are you here???

I’m not recalling any answered questions by Jeremy, in my recurring dreams.  But last night?  Last night was different.

We (you know, the collective of all of us, possibly including you) were outside a large metal building mourning his death.  A Sonic carhop enters the scene.  There were motorcycles, maybe even biker dudes.  Some people were laughing, remembering Jeremy and his Jeremy ways.  Some of us were frozen still.  In shock.  Not talking.  Too sad, too much.

From the back, in struts my husband and Jonathan and Caedmon’s dad.  Cowboy hat, 5 o’clock shadow, bright eyes and his swagger in full glory.  I kinda think he had a stalk of wheat dangling on his lips.  He was wearing Wranglers with a torn pocket and a turquoisey blue tshirt.  His square-toed boots, a worn brown leather belt and all of the confidence in the world were his perfect accessories.

No one even missed a beat.  He came up to me, put his arm around me, and I declared at an oddly normal volume, “We’re ok.  It’s going to be alright”.  Everyone cheered, smiled and dispersed.  Nothing was wrong anymore.  The kids were thrilled, yet none of us acted surprised he showed up.rise and fallThis morning, when I woke up to my blaring alarm, I was totally and completely elated.  Then I was completely and totally devastated.  All within half a second of waking up.

To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

Such a beautiful morning

I went into Caedmon’s room early this morning to borrow her comb and spray bottle. She was sleeping, and my attempts at being quiet of course made more noise than necessary. She awoke, but the most amazing thing happened. Not only did she wake up, but when I looked at her, she had a giant smile on her beautiful face. It was a smile that lit up her eyes and lifted my spirit. There was no apparent reason for her joyful countenance, but it touched my heart in a way I haven’t felt in a while. Immediately, her pearly white beam said to me, “Another day! How exciting! I can’t wait!”.

I don’t know about you, but I can assume the vast majority of us do not start our days with that kind of enthusiasm! For the past few months, not only have I not looked forward to the start of a new day, but I have dreaded each start, afraid to feel only anxiety and loss and sadness. I have very reluctantly dragged my broken spirit through every roller coaster of a day; either not feeling at all, or feeling so much I can’t concentrate or even breathe; fighting every invasive thought that enters my confused and angry mind.

Many years ago, long before it had a name, I began ‘cutting’ myself. I would carve tiny incisions into my wrist, just to feel something – to let myself know I wasn’t completely dead inside. For a few days this past month, I wanted so badly to cut myself again, this time engraving words of hate and anger and disgust. Loathe. Hate. Sick. Fear. Hell. Gone. Void. Dead. Fall. Fail. I could envision myself doing it. I contemplated how to go about hiding it from my husband. I imagined what a release it would be to experience the knife in my skin again, shredding away the unwelcome thoughts that trespassed.

A friend of mine reminded me that lamentation is one of many parts of worship. Another friend brought me back to Job, showing me where Job’s relationship with God was purely hearsay before God allowed Satan to destroy everything that was his life, less his beating heart. Job did not truly appreciate the awesomeness of God before he suffered through every adversity imaginable. He learned through writhing pain that because it was from God, it was good and flowing with purpose.

I am struggling without Rhonda. I miss her so much, I think I actually feel my heart ache. Jeremy and I felt so abandoned when we couldn’t be a part of her funeral. Now, it seems Papa Boyd is doing all he knows how to include us. Because of this, we are spending quite a bit of time with him. Wonderful? Yes. Without pain and agony? No. But, we are so grateful for the time he is giving us. Life is just different without Rhonda – she was such a moving force in our lives.

This summer, my family and I have undergone some fairly intense crap. My mother-in-law’s husband of 10+ years somehow decided he was going to come to my house to sleep with me. Ewww. We then found out he had actually invited me via note (which I did not read) to come to his house while Barbara was out of town, and had been planning his visit to my house for quite some time. Needless to say, my kids were crushed, as they loved their papa. That has been the most painful part of this entire drama. That he would do something so stupid, only to risk his relationship with his grandkids he adored? My mother-in-law left him, and is now divorcing him. He is no longer part of our lives, as Jeremy put a stop to that as soon as I told him what happened. Unfortunately, just because he’s not a physical presence, he is the elephant in the room. The kids don’t know exactly what happened, only that it was wrong and we are protecting them. I can still feel him kissing me, touching my shoulder, hugging me, stroking my face…yuck, yuck, yuck.

Life is full of pain. Full of heartache. Full of problems. Trouble. Affliction. Irritation. Torture. Agony. Sin. Only through all of this do we see the beauty of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. The magnificence of His sacrifice on behalf of His creation who sinned against Him. The brilliance of God’s plan to save our souls through Love, not law. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians how important suffering is to our relationship with Christ. Because we suffer, we understand Christ’s suffering. Because we fall, we appreciate the blood that flowed from His sinless veins. Because we hurt, we reach out to those who are hurting, expressing Christ’s love for them through His death. And, as I am going to get tattooed on my hand as a constant reminder, it is the ‘but nots’ of life that give us hope in Jesus :

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

We are hard pressed on every side, BUT NOT crushed;

perplexed, BUT NOT in despair; persecuted, BUT NOT abandoned;

struck down, BUT NOT destroyed.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,

so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

rEAD iT, yOU mIGHT bE iN iT!


1. Sometimes, I like to be depressed. I feel most like myself when I am in the depths of those dark places my mind has created and my childhood has survived. I haven’t had a major bout of depression for almost 2 years now, for which I am very thankful…but when I’m far enough in, I don’t want to come out.

2. I am easily hurt by those I love. Not because those I love intend to do harm, but because the way I feel loved is to spend time with those I love. In today’s world, we all have seven places to be at once, and only one of us to do it. So when I don’t hear from someone in a long time, or don’t see them for longer than usual, I quickly build a wall, protecting myself from rejection.

3. Someone told me once that a very dear friend of mine called me her “diamond in the rough”. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and even though she has no idea I know she said it, I cherish those words with my very soul, and love her even more.

4. My husband is the epitomy of understanding and compassion. He threatened to take our son and leave, if I didn’t get help for my depression NOW. That was 9 years ago, and I love him so much for loving me enough to want to help me get better – not just for me, but for he and Jonathan. He married into a situation we had no idea was coming, and when I faced some very chilling memories of my childhood, my sanity hit the fan. He stood by me, sometimes pushed me, through it all. We sometimes wonder if anyone is as happy as we are in our marriage…

5. I love to read and write. Once upon a time, it was my life. I even went to college to major in English, so I could teach HS. Since 5th grade, I knew English was my passion. Now, 2 kids and 10 years later, I hardly crack open a book. I have about 7 books I’ve started, but I’ve not finished one in a long time. I recently read “The Golden Compass”, but only because I was asked to write an article on it. I got so sucked into the wonderful fantasy land, and wanted to rush out and check out the sequel. But life continued, and I haven’t gotten to it. Blogging is the closest I come to writing anymore. When did the passion die?

6. One of my greatest fears is losing Jeremy. I often pray that we will die together, so I never have to be without him. Even though we’ve only been married 11 years, it’s so hard to imagine what life was like without him. He cares for me, loves me, protects me, laughs with me, sasses me, and spends time with me. I don’t deserve any of it, yet he constantly gives himself to me. We found out a long time ago that marriage wasn’t 50/50 give and take – it’s 100/100 give give. The more we give of ourselves and give up ourselves for the sake of our relationship and lifelong commitment to each other and God, the more we are given in return.

7. I love my kids with a heart I never knew I had. From the time I was a young girl, I knew I didn’t want children. I think a lot of it had to do with my parent’s divorce, and the butterfly effect it had on the rest of my childhood. I didn’t like kids, felt very uncomfortable around them, and avoided them at all cost. Until I went to college, and met a wonderful woman with a wonderful family. I fell head over heels in love with her children, and I really think my relationship with those kids prepared my heart for my own. I no longer have a relationship with them or their mother, but I firmly believe God placed Tamara, Josh, Madi and Hannah in my life to show me how to love and how to parent.

8. I love myspace. Not for the typical teenage atmosphere, but for the openness of it. I have gotten to know 2 of my cousins, who I had not seen since the youngest was a baby (he’s a freshman at University of Texas at Austin now). I literally got to know Troy and A.J. via myspace, and I have stayed committed to it for that reason. Patty, the young girl I mentioned in the intro? She was Troy’s high school girlfriend, who I met once in real life, and have gotten to know since with myspace. Looooove it!!

9. I miss my best friend Shell. A lot. A lot, a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say about that…

10. My sister is the wisest (is that a word?) person I know. God has blessed (cursed) her with the gift of discernment, and she uses it so well, and so very effectively. I’m sure she gets tired of being the constant “go-to” person, but so many of her friends count her words as truth, as God-given. I am grateful that we have stayed so close, and grown in our friendship over the years. She crashed my new car when she was 14, and I still love her! There’s something special…wow, that was almost 15 years ago…I am getting so old.