Sometimes I forget how much time has passed in my life. I use major events to act as markers of time, and it helps me to keep track. When I really sit back and think about those markers, though, it is a bit startling. I consider where I was at that moment and where I am now, and I don’t like that, although it’s been years in some cases, it feels like yesterday. Because life has kept going, and sometimes I don’t think I was ready for that.
It’s the middle of January. I’ve been here 24 times in my life. I don’t remember all of them. I’m not even sure if I remember last year’s, but I do remember two years ago. Two years seems way too long. It was just yesterday, not two years ago. Maybe I could believe that it was last year, but two years just doesn’t seem possible.
But it was two years ago. Crazy how time flies.
We had known I was pregnant for about a month. We had just returned from Tennessee after seeing my dad and step mom and sharing the news with them. We didn’t know anything was wrong, yet. We would hear the baby’s heartbeat in a couple days, but still wouldn’t know anything was unusual for another month. It hadn’t really hit me yet that this whole thing was real, but it would soon.
I have had so much life happen since that mid-January. We’ve traveled a lot, tried new things, made new friends. We’ve been living…really living. I still have a hard time believing that it’s been two years since then.
I think the hardest part of it all is that the more I live, the further away from that January, the further away from those precious 8 months, I get. And it only makes sense. That is how time works after all, but it’s still difficult. I wish I could live and experience the beauty of the world without getting further away from that time…without getting further away from him.
The truth is, though, that I couldn’t have stayed in that time even if I tried. Even if I stopped truly living and just wallowed. Even if I had just curled up in that hospital bed and refused to let his body go, the world would have kept spinning. Time would have continued on.
That’s the choice we have to make when people die – to live without them, or to die with them and go through the world as a shadow of who you once were. It is so excruciatingly difficult to choose life. Because by choosing life, you have to accept their death. By choosing life, you accept that every day will take you further away from the last time you had them. By choosing life, you are saying, “I’m still here, even though you aren’t.”
Oh, but choose life anyway.
God has been faithful to me as I’ve continued to walk out this journey with my husband. In the midst of grief, He comes with peace and comfort. He fills me with joy while tears stream down my face. My God can do anything. And it is by His strength alone that I am able to live. It is because of His grace that I wake up in the morning and don’t dread what is to come. He gives me purpose, and He is my source of hope.
Although it’s hard for me to see time going by the way it does, I am so thankful for the breath in my lungs. I am thankful for the things God continues to call me to and for the opportunity to pursue them with each day He keeps me here. I am thankful for those 8 months we had with sweet little Leeland even as they become further away from me. I won’t forget him, but I won’t let myself die in hopes of going back in time. I will live.
I am living.
Thank you, Jesus.