I wrote this and posted on my FB page last week and wanted to share on here.
I have been asked to continue sharing some of my thoughts as I continue my journey through this "new" life. I never asked to walk the path I am on but most people rarely do. Learning to live without Eddie is challenging and quiet honestly not something I am very good at. Since our first date we have been pretty much together except when we were at work and even then we talked or texted multiple times a day. That is one of the most challenging things right now for all of me.
Our family has been blessed in so many unexpected ways during the 10-month journey. People have showered us with God’s love, mercy and grace. One of the most beautiful things happened every night during our last week with Eddie. Our boy’s friends showed up every single night for 6 or 7 days to sit on our back porch and love on us. They sang, worshiped, played games, talked, helped us eat the huge amount of food we had, took the trash out and basically just showed up to do whatever we needed and to just be present for us. Some nights there were more and some nights it was a certain group of guys that came every single night. I also had a friend that showed up even when I told her to stay home. She left her family and job to be with us, to love us. There were so many others who came and went quietly with hugs or supplies during our darkest hours. And they are still showing up quietly just to make sure we are ok.
For the most part, Eddie and I lived quiet lives with our boys. Loving on each other and showing up to love on others. No grand gestures but showing up when we could. I never really understood what that could mean to someone until now. So I say thank you for continuing to show up through calls, text or person.
As the hours turn into days, days turn into months and months turn into years we will always remember what you have done. But life does go on and I am making a conscious effort to make new memories and I am not waiting on some day to do that. I am planning trips with my boys, my family and my friends. Each trip will be hard in its own way but they are needed steps to heal even if the scab keeps getting ripped off time after time. I am learning that it is ok to be alone in my grief. People are not going to understand, they can try, but let's be honest...I really pray that they don't. Walking in my shoes is not what I wish on anyone, understanding is not what I want.
Grief is a funny thing. I have talked before about how hard it is to breath sometimes. I find it comes at the most unexpected moments and out of know where. It can be all consuming or a dull ache. Life does not stop for it and sometimes it can be visible and other times you look perfectly normal. I am not an exception to it or an expert, others have come before me and more will come after but I am learning how to live with grief. It is now as much of who I am as any other part of me.
So here is my profound thought for today...Grief can bring you to your knees when you least expect it, which is exactly where God wants us.
I am so thankful for the journey God is allowing me to travel. Knowing how this ends, I would have still chosen to follow the same path with Eddie that lead to our family. Walking beside Eddie and the boys that past 10-months is more than some have. We are blessed to have had that time. We loved each other and held on extra tight, grateful for every minute.
Loving me through this and showing up even when I can't ask is all I can hope for these days for myself and my boys. So I will make plans and get out of bed even when I don't want too. I may not ever get used to this but I am going to try. May you feel God's grace today and may you give it just as freely...Susan
My heart hurts for my boys. I know the pain they will feel as they watch other people celebrate their fathers. I so wish they did not have to walk this path. There is no getting around it. We will have to march into the pit and feel every ounce of pain and remember the joys through our tears. People will try and help by telling us to remember the good times, at least he is not hurting, try and stay busy...well that is a bunch of crap! I have been where they are and nothing and I mean nothing will make it easier or better. Eddie is gone and they don't get to celebrate him this year in the same way. So, we will be together, we will love each other and we will make it through the day. We have made plans for some exciting trips in the coming months to finish out the year.
Huge your people and tell them how much you love them!
My story began 49 years ago on a farm in Petersburg, Texas. I grew up in a loving family that had it's hardships like most but was rich in love and community. I was surrounded by loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors and parents who loved each other. My dad began having heart issues in his 40s and died at 50 years old. My mom was 49 years old. I was 24 years old.
Two years later I met the love of my life, Eddie. We began dating and quickly married and started our family. Eddie grew up in a military family and lived all over, including many years in Spain. He longed for a family and roots. My family embraced him and he embraced them. We can be overpowering, loud but so much love. We were married in October 1992 and because of health problems we quickly added to our family with Zachary in May of 1994 and Kade in October 1996. Our family was complete!
Years went by with Eddie passing his love of soccer to our boys, modest living, building of 2 homes and loving each other. The 4 of us were rarely apart. We have been a part of 3 amazing church families. We have and were embraced and loved on by each one at different points in our lives. Eddie and I felt our relationship changing as the boys neared graduation and we were all excited about the future. 2015 held a lot of promise and excitement for us. Kade graduated and Eddie and Kade were heading back to Haiti with the youth group. Zachary had been twice and on his second trip the summer of 2013 all three, Kade, Zachary and Eddie went to do mission work. It was a life changing trip for all of them and me at home. Kade and Eddie were eager to return in July 2015.
They say when your life changes course you will always remember how life was before and after a certain day. July 4, 2015 is that day for me. That was the day Eddie really started feeling bad. If you want to read about the whole journey, you can find it on caringbridge.org/eddiemcmahan. In a nutshell, Eddie was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and it began our 11 month journey. We fought hard, loved hard and lived for each day. We all thought we had it beat and then in April 2016 we found out the cancer was back and as much as we hated it we saw the end coming. So, after 2 trips to Dallas for surgery, radiation, 2 rounds of chemo, multiple stays in the hospital and 12 days on Hospice our journey came to an end.
So, like my mom, I am a 49 year old widow. I have a lifetime to live without Eddie. My boys have a lifetime to live without their Dad. We are learning each day how to do that. It is not easy and each day has it's own challenges. It is all fresh and hurts.
I have written throughout our journey with Eddie's encouragement and blessing. I poured our hearts, fears, joys and sorrow out for anyone to read. We always felt we wanted to be able to look back and see where we had traveled and hopefully share our journey with all of you along the way. So that is where this blog comes into play. I needed a place besides Facebook, instagram and Careingbridge to post.
I will warn you, I don't sugarcoat when I write. The emotions are raw and I try to be as honest as possible. This will be my journey, about my life and I hope you come along for the ride.