After struggling to fall asleep Thursday night, I think I laid in bed for an hour until after midnight and then once I was good and asleep I heard a little voice come through my door saying, "Mommy I pee peed in my bed", it was 1 AM and I was forced to get up and change my wet child and her bed. I got back in bed several minutes later only to realize I was now WIDE awake!! Ugh!!! 30 minutes later with the help of more Melatonin I was finally back to sleep. Then about two hours later my sweet boy came in my room, woke me up out of my deep sleep with, "Mommy I had a nightmare, can I sleep with you?" I didn't even have the capacity or words to ask what he had dreamed about but only enough energy to say "yes." He crawled into my bed and back to much desired sleep I went. UNTIL, my dear 14 year old Chihuahua decided to start barking at 6AM!! Are you kidding me, the dog NEVER wakes up that early!! I ignored her and then drifted back to a nice sleep where I began to dream I was somewhere with lots of people and was surrounded by friends and as I was walking into this room full of people my eyes immediately saw Todd! He came up to me looking amazingly healthy and handsome and said, "I have missed you so much!!" I immediately began to cry and said, "me too" then he kissed me not once but twice and then gave me a hug that seemed as real as his kiss. I cried some more as he held me not believing my eyes. It felt like that moment lasted a lifetime then as quick as the man of my dreams, my love appeared, he was gone as I was awoken yet again by my yapping dog!! As I opened my eyes and realized I had just been visited by my sweetheart, I began to cry. Oh my goodness I miss him so, words cannot describe just how much!!. Just when I think I am getting better something like that happens and I am painfully reminded of the HUGE and ENORMOUS hole his LOVE, LIFE, ENCOURAGEMENT had brought me. The peace and comfort and security I felt knowing he was my god given spiritual leader. As with so many moments of grief they are short lived and as the alarm goes off I must then wipe my very tired eyes and put on my Mommy hat and get the kids up, fed and ready for swim practice. My kids are thriving and I am surviving I have come to realize but continue to be grateful that I have their activities and joy for life to help me get through hard days. Later that morning I stumbled upon the following Psalm:
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. —Psalm 10:14
God definitely see and knows much grief intimately, He has it in his hand and I cannot express enough gratitude for the way He has provided for my fatherless children and has taken a personal role in fathering them!! In that moment I find comfort.
Then as the roller coaster of emotion takes me yet on another dip and turn I was later faced with the reality of facing Jackson's first birthday without Todd. We always celebrated birthdays in our home with very large elaborate not expensive just creative, fun celebrations that were most always Todd's doing. Todd was the party planner, the creative one and I began to get sad yet again just wishing I could get hear his great ideas for the party. I have been reminded often of his words of faith and belief in my abilities as a Mom. He continually praised me as a Mom and THEN I remembered I had hung an old note he written me on my bulletin board so I pulled it down and read it...
You are truly the greatest woman I have ever known. If the scriptures were still being written I know I would find your name and story among the pages. Your adjustment to church planting and wrangling the kids in unbelievable. I so appreciate you. I feel that Jackson and Bethany have the greatest Mom in the world. Know that I pray for you daily.
I smiled through tears thinking of him and his great words of encouragement. I still have his words in many forms and I think he visited my dreams to assure me that he loved me still! God continues to shower me with his love and encouragement daily as well as in the prayers, messages, comments by the many, many friends and family some of which are reading this now. For that I say I thank you and I appreciate them more than you could ever know!
Because the Joy of the LORD is my Strength, I can Live For More!