August 21st would have been our 19 year wedding anniversary. SO in honor of our love and relationship I wanted to share the last anniversary letter I received from you. Babe,
My goodness, 17 years. What a beautiful accomplishment. Six and half years of dating and 17 married and we get to do it all as High School Sweethearts. Who all gets to say that? Not many. You are just as beautiful as 1987. To think where God has taken us as a team. Dallas, Denton, Sherman, Nashville and Austin, a great little boy and a precious little girl. Wow! We have really been living life.
Your a hot-loving-serving wife and an amazing mother. I am so in love and proud of you. I don't want to do it with anyone else. I really think about that...and no one steams my vegetables like you! I adore you my love. Happy 17.
To God be the glory,
As I have read and reread your words I love how you treasured me, were grateful for me and how much you adored me! Thank you for not only taking the time to tell me in with your encouraging words in writing but also for all the times you stopped what you were doing and you would grab my hands look me in the eyes and tell me how much you loved me and how thankful you were for me. You would tell Jackson how much you loved me and that I was the best wife and Mommy. I loved after I cooked a meal you would thank me and tell the kids what a great cook I was and how thankful you were for the healthy, good meals I would prepare. It is really cool because now very often after a meal Jackson will comment on how good the food was and say Mom you are such a good cook, I love all the food you make =) Makes me realize our boy was listening and mentally taking notes.
I have to say my heart still loves and adores you and now more than ever I realize just what an incredible love relationship we had. I continually have people share how they are amazed by the beautiful relationship we had and how when they read about it, it takes their breath away. I get that as it still does for me too!!! As I hear that I know that God can help other marriages be like that too! We definitely had something special no doubt but GOD can and will give the same gifts and blessings to others who seek Him in their marriage. I pray for those who read this.
I wanted just to take a minute to tell you that I still miss you like crazy!! I can't believe it's been 12 months since you left this earth to enter your final resting place and it is even harder to believe you have not been in our lives for that long as well. There is definitely still a big void in my heart and life BUT the amazing thing is that God is truly filling that void with more of Him and His love and provision. I cannot imagine if I had not had the training of past life heartaches and loss with you as you modeled compete trust in a Holy, Sovereign God and you were so level and calm when I would tend to worry or get emotional. I learned how to really trust God and know that this life really is a vapor and as we walked through difficulties we always could look at things in our life to celebrate! You lived life to the fullest all the while telling people about your incredible God. Even when you were hurting or struggling in some way or another the joy of the Lord and the eternal hope you had in him kept you going. You valued our marriage and our family above anything else and because of the way you spoke to me, believed in me, I can still hear your voice of encouragement urging me on, telling me that my race is not finished and I must finish strong. Your life and now death has given me new strength and new wings to fly. Oh Babe, I really don't feel strong at all and I so wish you could be here to help pick me up when I am down and overwhelmed, you were soo good at that!! God has blessed me with many faithful friends and family who call and who I can call on for just about anything! I know they are still praying for me and the kids a lot. It means so much and is one of the reason I know I can get up in the morning and keep going. I miss your laugh, hearing your classic rock playing from the radio, your jokes about well just about everything, your incredible hugs and so much more!! I still don't laugh as much but I am definitely seeing more of the joy in life which makes me smile and I am even finding more to laugh about. The Bible says that God will turn our mourning into dancing and I do feel as though my grief and mourning are not as intense or painful but my mourning has not become dancing just yet. I believe it will eventually!!
The kids continue to give me fresh hope and joy as I watch them live their lives with reckless abandonment. Jackson started school and I prayed for the right teacher and he got the teacher he wanted. She seems wonderful and he has loved his first week of school. He also started football and we chose to be a part of a new team to give him a chance to play more and the coach loves him and his skill level and has him playing quarterback. He came home so excited and all smiles. Oh and he was on swim team this summer and has grown so much as a swimmer and had to overcome some challenges in the beginning but persevered and ended up loving it. I wish you could see him swim and playing football, you'd be so proud! I am blown away by how he has stepped out of his comfort zone to try new things and I can definitely see your courage and boldness coming out in him, one big reason to smile!
Another really cool thing Jackson started the Bible Club again. He had started it last year at school and then after bringing his Bible to school on his own accord he was asked by a girl in his class if was going to start the Bible Club again. He came home and made fliers to pass out to his class and then the next day at recess he recruited a few leaders then on Friday had 3 people in his club. He taught them Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Love that our son who has lived this year without you still has a desire to read Gods word and share it with others!! One of my friends whose son went to Christian preschool with Jackson and has been raised in a Christian home said, "that is not even on my sons radar" I know that even though Jackson had just turned 8 when you passed away all that time you spent reading to him and teaching him the word along with the way he saw you teach and share Gods word and love with so many. Babe, He paid attention and is now being an active participant is sharing Gods love and word! His passion and boldness is incredible considering he is just 9. I know many are praying for him and will continue!!
Our sweet, soft Bethany is still super sweet and soft =) She still loves just about everything and everybody! She will be playing soccer again on the same great team with a super encouraging, loving coach. Grateful for him and for a chance to play with the same team. She has also started ballet and tap which she loves and can I say, not to brag but I think she has natural ability!! She asks about you still quite often and I tell her as I always do that you are in Heaven and that we will see you again one day. I think she is finally starting to get it! She did interrupt my prayer the other night though to ask God if she could see her Daddy. As tears filled my eyes I said, "maybe God will allow you to see him in your dreams," she said, "He already has. I had a dream that Daddy and I went on a date" I cried even more but good tears! Oh how she still loves and misses you and I am grateful for the amount of time you invested in your precious girl who was only three when you died.
I love that you still visit me in my dreams and I have for the most part had really great, quite vivid dreams! I love the brief visits from you where you always give me a big hug and kiss and tell me you love me. Oh I think my heart skips a beat but them I'm reminded of that great love you have for me. I even had a dream on our anniversary which I had to stop as soon as I woke up and thank God for such a special gift.
I love and adore you still! I long for the day I get to see you again but until then with Gods help and strength, I will Live For More!