Tears on Earth … Joy in Heaven

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die … — Ecclesiates 3:1-2a

August 20. November 20. August 31. March 25, April 12, May 19, November 4, November 8.

September 27.

Those are milestone dates. The first two are my birthday and Karen’s birthday. The next is our anniversary. The following five are our children’s birthdays.

The last is the day the family’s lives changed forever … the date Karen died.

We’ve collectively re-lived this day, now for the 10th time. It never gets easier. And we prepare for it differently. My children — especially the girls — get quiet and start messaging on divergent topics. I, too, tend to get quiet. Maybe they get it from me.

But I did notice in the weeks leading up to today, we all dipped into our memory banks to remember anecdotes and memories of life with Mom. She was — and is — still a big part of our lives.

Karen and I were married for 40 years. That’s a lot of memories. That’s a lot of togetherness. So, yes, even though I’ve been maneuvering through life for the last 10 years, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought of Karen. It’s not melancholy. But the joy of life is dulled. As countless widows and widowers following long relationships can attest, there is a hole in your heart. It closes over the years, but you still wear the scar. And it’s not just the same going through life alone … especially after being yoked together for so many years.

For me, for example, Karen is THE reason I’m in Maine. This is where she wanted to spend her retirement. She is the behind-the-scenes {as she always was} impetus behind my writing. My novella, Heaven Shining Through, was dedicated to her. She remains an integral part of my life … despite being in an urn.

I certainly miss her. But even more, it saddens me she never got the chance to meet three of her grandchildren or her three great-granddaughters. Even as I move forward, there is a twinge of sadness Karen isn’t sharing those adventures.

There is a Funky Winkerbean cartoon I’ve saved and often look at it. Les Moore lost his wife to cancer and he is driving with his daughter Summer. She asks, “Dad … Do you still miss Mom?”

Next frame, Les responds, “There hasn’t been a day. But after a while, you begin to understand …” Jump to frame three. “… That you can’t let your grief become the substitute for the one you love.”

We always kidded each other. I would say “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone” and she would respond, “No, no, no. You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”

Once again, she was right.

We shed some tears on that Saturday afternoon 10 years ago and we have shed some — many — tears since. But our tears have to be tempered with the joy in heaven. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die …

We do have our memories and no one can take them away from us.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Watch the sunset.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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