Right now, at this moment, I'm in a downswing. Actually, I wouldn't even call it a downswing because that implies it is a pattern or continuing. However, right now, it is a hard moment. It's after 11:00 pm, and I'm tired. Tired always makes it harder, and sometimes it is simply hard enough.
I have struggled to understand the grieving process, at least the one in which I find myself. As I said before, Rob stopped being my husband months ago, but still, a seemingly generic thing can happen, and in seconds, I am in tears with my heart ripped outside my chest. I didn't realize until yesterday that it is still the first year, "the hardest year", when he isn't here.
He moved out eight months ago, but this will be the first March Madness in 22 years we didn't do brackets together. It'll be the first time we don't make a bet based on who gets the most games right. This is the first spring we won't drive around and look at wildflowers together. This is the first year I'll plan birthdays alone, and tonight when I came home from my class, he wasn't waiting to hear how it went, and honestly, I miss telling him. I miss how excited he got just listening to me be excited.
This is the first year I have to find a way for Anna and I to shop for Robert's birthday without him. Usually, Rob and I just split the children between us, and whoever had Anna would shop.
And even harder than all those firsts for me...is watching all those firsts for my children. My pain doesn't compare to theirs, and that hurts me more than anything.
It is hard to trust God and his purpose when my children miss their dad so much and ask me what happened that their lives became so surreal. Faith takes on a whole new tone when the sound of my children's tears or questioning prayers come down the hall in the late hours...in the hours when they should be sleeping but their heart ache keeps them awake.
But I have nothing but faith...and questions...and I wonder which is greater at the moment...and the hour is late, and I should be asleep...but my heart ache keeps me awake.
...It isn't the first time...and it won't be the last...not until all the firsts are done, the pain isn't so stabbing, and the children are sleeping peacefully again.