Five Years

Five years ago today, my world turned upside down. I was in shock that something like that could happen to me. Surely, it COULDN’T be happening to me just ten weeks after I’d FINALLY got married. But it did. Those things don’t just happen to “other people”.

I thought my life was over. After waiting so long to get married, what hope did I have when less than three months later that long-awaited husband was gone? Who would want me now? What point was there in going on? How bleak the rest of my life looked! All I saw was a seemingly endless existence as a widow starting far too early and the dream of children shattered before it started.

I’ll never forget that day…those memories…those feelings…the horror. It all changed my life forever. I’ll never be the same person.

But I’ll also never forget the amazing friends and family that rallied around and carried me for far more than the next few weeks or months. Or the overwhelming global support of prayer, blog comments and e-mails that helped to keep me breathing in the first few weeks. Or the way that people rejoiced when God actually sent me another husband–far quicker than the first one had arrived!

I’m so grateful. I’m so blessed. I would never want to go through it again but I’m so overwhelmed as I think back.

I do miss Steve–but not in the same way anymore. I’ll forever be grateful that he was in my life. I’ll forever be grateful for the way he changed my life and for the people he introduced me to that impacted my life–and still do to this day.

I really struggle to comprehend the difference from then to now in what my life looks like. I have (another) amazing husband. I have been blessed with not one but two amazing, Godly men who have chosen to love me. That is more than some people get and yet I also have been blessed with beautiful children.

I survived and I’m far stronger for it. I hated God and yet I’m still here following Him.

Thank you, God.

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A Closed Book

Nearly four years ago, on the way to the river the day Steve was killed, I was reading a book: Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd. After that day, I just couldn’t bring myself to open it or finish it. I’d been enjoying it but I just couldn’t go back there. Matter of fact, I didn’t read hardly at all for ages, especially not fiction–quite a phenomenon for someone like me who needs to read!

As the years went on, I started to think about picking up the book again and also reading the following two in the trilogy. I wasn’t sure how I’d go and I also wanted to read all three back-to-back. All this time, my bookmark (a flier from the CWCI convention I went to just before the accident) had started in that book holding my exact page. Right up until about two months ago when someone borrowed it and I never mentioned to them any significance behind the books.

Being on a roll in reading recently and having being told by the borrower she’d really enjoyed them and I should actually read them, I decided to take the plunge. I went back to the start and began again.

Obviously, the timing was right because I finished it easily. I couldn’t remember my previous stopping point and so there was no “sense of doom” in any way as I read. It was a good, fun read. And so were the other two!

So after all these years, after all this time, I have finally read that book and “closed that chapter”. I’ll never forget the significance of that book but they will no longer jump out at me from my shelf as something I could never go back to.

Something Other Than Books?!

It’s been a long time since I’ve really blogged. I mainly stopped because of things c0nnected to parenting a stepchild. There’s a lot of isses to consider that come with that. However, I discovered that a new friend is a blogger and reading through hers kind of wet my appetite to get back in. I don’t really even know where to start so leave some questions if you have an idea. 🙂

For starters…

We had our first wedding anniversary in June. I finally…FINALLY…made it to a first wedding anniversary. That was cool in itself. We very spontaneously ended up back spending the night in the country club where we got married–with a newborn in tow. 🙂 We spent most of Saturday and Sunday driving in order to stay overnight on the Saturday but it was really speial to be able to do that. The weather was beautiful for a day driving in the country so, for me, it was just nice to get out. We were very glad we took the risk! (And it was a risk because I hadn’t been comfortable driving in the car for even an hour since my Caesarean!!!)

One of my younger sisters got married in March and then one of my younger brothers got married in July. My brother married a Brazilian girl that he met when she was an exchange student out here. 🙂 I now have a married-to-my-brother sister-in-law and a sister-to-my-husband sister-in-law with the same name. 😛 My brother both got married and had his reception in the same place that Steve and I had our reception. Then I found out that the wedding coordinator for my wedding to Kallon had been transferred and was now the wedding coordinator at this other venue–she did my brother’s wedding, too! That was both bizarre and cool. I hadn’t been back there since my first wedding so that was a kind of weird feeling but not a problem.

My angel-baby has been rather challenging. She was easy-as for the first 6 weeks and I guess that’s when I really needed it. We have had a few issues to work through but love her to bits anyway. 🙂 I started off doing Babywise and it’s the one thing I wish most that I could change. Never again. She has also had a few issues with reflux and now colic but I know she could be a lot worse than she is so I’m grateful for that. Right at this very moment, she has been asleep for 3 hours (in the middle of the day) which has been rarer lately but makes so much difference for both of us. We are gradually figuring things out that help with her problems. That said, she is great at night and sometimes I prefer the night shift to the day shift!!! I have become a bit of an Ergo-wearer and even Kallon gets it on sometimes. 🙂 Katelyn smiles a lot and it’s absolutely beautiful. She started laughing yesterday and I can’t wait to see that grow! She has both smiled and laughed from a couple of weeks old (earliest I have ever seen in a baby for laughing) but yesterday was the first real time that you could say she knew what she was doing and was more than the “trying to” chuckle.

We have moved from the town we lived in when first married to a town about 40 mins away. Kallon’s mum and sister (and her boys) live here and we are loving it here. It wasn’t something we had planned but it definitely has been a good thing. We have no more moves planned for quite a while!!! Since we have bought this house, we should be good for a bit. 🙂

We have become part of an awesome country church. We felt really welcomed there from the first time we visited and are slowly starting to feel like we “belong”. There are lots of kids which is fantastic for Lukas and they are really intentional about the involvement of the kids in the church services and activities. They have a really great emphasis on Scripture memory too.

We are now 15-20 minutes from the beach which is the closest I have ever lived which is pretty cool. We are looking forward to taking advantage of that when the warmer weather comes, although we have been a couple of times through the year already!

For now, I think that’s about all that’s at the forefront of my mind. Comment away if you want something written about. 🙂

Three Years, Emotional Triggers & Firsts

I never wrote a three year blog post. I obviously didn’t forget the day but, as Facebook followers would know, I was involved in a two-day trial that spanned the ‘sad-iversary’ dates.  That took every speck of energy we had available (and more). I remembered but was forced to focus elsewhere.

After three years, you think you’d be done with all the firsts, wouldn’t you? I certainly didn’t think I had any left! However, I was wrong…

My family came to stay with us over Easter. This is the first time they’ve been able to visit us in our home since my new husband and I got married last June. It was only in the week or so before they came that it dawned on me that the last time my family visited me for the first time in my new home as a newlywed over Easter, my husband died. I knew that was totally irrational and irrelevant but it didn’t stop fear knocking at the door!

I told my husband and he understood and prayed with me about it. He was also sensitive to what was going on over the weekend when Easter did come around. Usually, Easter doesn’t really bother me. The date of Steve’s death and Easter never match up and the actual date always comes first and is passed by the time Easter comes around. This year, I really struggled with fear over something bad happening…particularly that history might repeat, but I was geared up for anything bad. My yet-unborn-baby picked Good Friday to have a very quiet day (naturally) so I was freaking out over that inside too!!

I didn’t let this battle with fear rule me or stop me and we did enjoy having my family stay! There is no doubt, though, that I–and my family–were all relieved when the weekend passed without incident. Another first down, another fear beaten, another victory won…

Two Years

(I'm sorry it's long but can you please read it all? :D)

I can't believe that I'm here. Two years ago, I thought I was going to die from the pain–and that would have been fine with me. Today, I've got the self-preservation instinct back and, each day, life looks increasingly brighter.

Walking the journey, each day was an excruciatingly painful, slow process. Looking back, I can't believe so much time has passed…but I never want to experience that level of pain again!

I really think that the timing of my move is specific and intentional and part of a Master plan. I feel that it's the end of one season and the beginning of another. I'm convinced that I needed to be here for these two years and I'm not sorry for a minute that I stayed or that I bought my house here.

At the same time, I think that there's far more than "coincidence" in the timing of my move coinciding with this anniversary and all the changes of the last few months. I believe that it's the beginning of a new chapter and I'm actually kind of excited to see what it holds!

This town will always have a part of my heart–my husband was buried here–and there are awesome, awesome people here who I love dearly and have supported me phenomenally. It won't be easy to leave but nor would it be easy to stay.

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Sweet Dreams

I dreamt about Steve last night. It's the first time in ages. I'm not the kind of person who tends to dream about the things I think about. I tend to dream about people and events that I never think about. 😛 I'd be lucky if I've even dreamed about Steve enough in the nearly-two years since he's been gone to break out two hands, let alone double digits.

So it's always a nice treat because it feels like a visit with him. I wake up happy to have been given that "gift", even though it's not reality. I woke up happy this morning. I'd got to run and meet the truck when he got home from somewhere and hug and hug and hug him. I guess that part of reality did come through in the dream somehow…it wasn't a regular "glad you're home" reaction…there was a definite sense of being ecstatic to see him and hug him after an absence.

Unlike usual, though, it was a little bit harder to take today. Maybe it was because it was so real and then I went to church and sat in a similar area to where we used to sit that I haven't sat in for a while. In remembering being there with him, I could almost feel it. That was a bit hard to take for a while. The old sick feelings of the permanence of his absence came back briefly. It's been quite a while since that has been a regular companion. I still miss him…probably always will…but I rarely feel the "sickness of death" that used to be my constant companion.

In some ways, it's a good reminder: of where I was and how far I've come. The dreams, however, are always a good reminder of good times with a good man. I was re-reading what I wrote for the funeral (under my "About Me" tab) last night–which is probably actually why I did have the dream I did–and was just thinking how thankful I am that I wrote so much down over the past couple of years. It's so easy for the details to get pushed aside by the stresses of life but I have these records in spite of what tricks my memory plays on me. I never knew when I first started blogging what a valuable resource it would be. 🙂

It Would Have Been 2 Years

Today was my wedding anniversary. I've marked both of them alone. Such craziness isn't too common. I did really well till 8:30 tonight. But I'm just realising how much energy it took to keep that positive momentum going all day. Now, I'm exhausted and not doing so well. But still, I'm in such a better place than I was this time last year so I guess that counts for something…

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