As November rolls in and the holiday celebrations start, I find myself reflecting on the past year. Five months have passed since Eddie took his last breath. Five months since I held his hand. Five months since I felt his earthly body. Five months since I heard his voice. I find myself replaying the last year more often these days. It is hard not to try and figure out what we could have done differently to get a different outcome. How we could have made a different treatment plan to give us more time or wonder if we did enough, said enough, fought hard enough? These things haunt me more than I can say.
BUT, the reality of pancreatic cancer is YOU will die way too young and way too fast. Ten months is a life time and so much more time than most get but I wanted MORE. I am selfish and I wanted more time. I can say with great confidence that Eddie lived life every day of those ten months. He fought the battle while living life like he had a tomorrow. We took it day by day and spent a lot of time being a family. He fought until the very last breath to stay with us. I know that he was not ready, our boys were not ready and I was not ready. But just as we did on that final morning, we make the choice to get up and to live life the best we can every day. Some days are harder than others and most days I can look back and say "There was joy in my day."
The holidays will look a little different this year in more ways than just Eddie being gone. For the first time in my entire life, we will not be with my mom and sister for Thanksgiving but with my brother and his family. I have mixed emotions about that but it will be so great to spend some time away and with them. I hear there is a fishing trip planned for the guys and the trash talking has already started. It should be fun. Then, Christmas will be here before we know it and a new year.
Zachary is moving to Colorado so he will not be with us this year. I am extremely proud and excited for him. He is following his dreams and making his own path. Christmas sure will be different with him being gone. I have been blessed to have never spent any holiday away from my boys, which means I will have to put on my big girl pants. You all need to pray for Kade, he is going to be left with me!
We packed up Eddie's clothes and soccer stuff a couple of weeks ago. I made the decision to donate his clothes to an area school to pass out to students in need. Eddie would have been so happy that he was helping some kids. I have donated his soccer referee stuff to some different organizations we have been involved with. So slowly were are getting stuff done before Zachary leaves. We just did not want his stuff sitting in his closet when it could be helping others.
I am trying to live in the present as much as possible without forgetting what got me here. I found this passage and it has resonated with me. I find myself going back to it often. They are the most visual words I have read lately.
"I cradle the scarred places tenderly and cherish the love that made the wound."
If you have ever wondered what everyday grief feels like to someone who lives with it, my best description is this. We have all seen or experienced a child laying on the floor hanging onto someone's leg while they pull them across the floor. The weight causing you to step and drag, step and drag. For me, my grief is like that, heavy, pulling me back while I take each step. It is heavy but it is comforting because it reminds me that Eddie and I loved well. I pray every day that I am strong enough to make it through the holiday season without totally withdrawing. I try to remind myself that His grace is enough!
May you be blessed this season and thank you for traveling this road with me.