I didn't realize it was that number. I even had to use a calculator because I thought it was wrong. Twentynine years! I saw that number and could feel my heart start racing and could feel my blood pressure rising.
And overcome with emotion.
I'm not sure what I was thinking .... maybe 27 years, which of course, is just a huge case of denial, since he died in 2007, a few months away from our 25th.
A big one.
A big one that never happened.
I miss him.
I really, really miss him today.
I wish I could spend the day with all 6 of our blessings. Six people who are the best of us, and who also miss him hugely.
I wish we could just sit around, drinking Dr. Pepper, or wine, and reminissing .... and laughing .... a lot.
I miss those 6 blessings so much.
I miss being a mom of the younger versions of them.
But, I'm grateful THEY had Jim as long as they did.
I can NOT wait to be with all of them next week.
Jim and I would sometimes shake our heads in bewilderment and ask what God must've been thinking when he planned for us to have 6 children.
God knew that my heart would always need to be full of a lot of love.
He knew exactly what He was doing when he gave us these 6 amazing human beings to raise for Him.
He knew that the day would come when the only thing that would keep me alive was the love I have for them .... and their love for me.
God saw the big picture.
I am so thankful that I did not.
Since the night Jim died, there has been one Bible verse that I have clung to .... in my frustration, my anger, my hopelessness, my questioning of His will, .... in every single aspect of not understanding this. I will NEVER understand this .... not this side of Heaven anyway. And I have a feeling that when I get to Heaven, it will be a moot point.
I'm often asked how I deal with the "not knowing why" of God's decision to not save Jim's life. How I deal with the days when anger pops up again (though those are few and far between now).
My first answer is this:
If God did somehow tell me His reason for allowing Jim to die (and all of the crappy shit that has happened because of that decision) ..... it wouldn't change anything for me. And, even though some may not agree with this way of thinking (and if you don't, have you lost a spouse?) .... there would be NO reason good enough for me to be ok with it.
Because I know that God is God and he can work His will whenever and however He wants. He didn't need to take Jim in order to get something done down here ..... in order to change lives. He is God. Lives are changed all of the time without such drastic measures.
So .... that's number 1. I don't ask why, because the answer wouldn't matter. Not to me. Not to my children.
And the second thing I cling to is a verse in the Bible from Isaiah 55. Here it is, in the Message version. God is speaking:
"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work."
"For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
And here it is in the NIV version, though they're pretty close:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So you see, it doesn't matter that I don't have a reason for Jim's death. There'd be no reason good enough for us.
And, that Bible verse gives me a sense of peace and calm ..... and mostly, acceptance.
God's ways are definitely not my ways, nor can I ever understand His mind.
Nor would I want to. It seems to me, that if God was a God who's mind could be understood and who's ways made sense to me .... I wouldn't need Him. Nor would anyone else.
So on this day, this day that we should've been planning a night out, I will spend time remembering past anniversaries.
And I be grateful for the love I had, and continue to have.
And I will whisper, "Happy Anniversary, Honey". I love and miss you more that I can say."