a widow and a single mom

On February 13th I was a wife and a co-parent. One day later I became a widow and a single mom.

Two years ago when Mel was diagnosed with cancer and had to spend two weeks of every month hospitalized getting chemo I was forced to do things I didn't do. I was forced to take out the trash. I was the one who had to check the house before bed to make sure all the doors were locked. I set the alarm before going to bed. But those things were supposed to be temporary. He was supposed to get better. Even when he became paralyzed I believed that he would get better. When our air conditioner started messing up a few months ago, even though Mel was in the hospital, I was able to text him to figure out what to do. When the water in the bathroom tub wouldn't turn off in August, even though Mel was in the hospital I was able to call him to figure out what to do. He was the one who took the car an oil change. He was the one who fixed anything around the house. He was the one who assembled furniture and toys. He changed the light bulbs. I don't know how to build a toy house. I don't know how to put together a trampoline. I don't know what to do if something becomes wrong with the plumbing. We split everything in the house. We both did the laundry, the dishes, making meals, cleaning. When I heard a noise in the house, it was Mel who would check it out. And now it is just me.

He was my best friend. I talked to him every single day. When he was healthy we text throughout the day. His phone is less than a year old and we have 5100 text messages between us in his phone. I have thousands of pictures I have taken of us throughout the years. He knew me better than anyone else. And I knew him better than anyone else. We shared our dreams with each other. When a person gets married you really do become one. And when a spouse dies, it does feel as though half of you has been ripped away. It doesn't matter if a person was married 15 years, 25 years, 50 years or 7 like I was the loss of a spouse is devastating. There were plans we had. We discussed the future and those plans are not coming to pass. Every room of my house is full of amazing memories and scenes that have taken place throughout the years.  It was his hand that I held throughout the day. It was his chest that I lay on during the night. It was his lips I kissed every morning. It was his face I saw when I went to sleep and his fact I saw when I woke up.  I was his wife. And he was my husband.

Today I watched a ton of videos of Mel interacting with the kids. It is so evident watching them how much love he had for his kids. Along with me, his kids were his world. And it is unfair that they now have to be raised with only one parent. Hannah will turn 5 in two weeks. She will celebrate her first birthday without her dad. Malachi's first tooth is ready to fall out and his dad is not there to pull it out. My kids don't know how to tie their shoes, and while I can teach them, that was something Mel was excited to do. He wanted to be the one to take the training wheels off the bike and teach them how to ride without them. I know that God will be with my kids but I can't help but think as they see fathers with their children, how much it is going to hurt my children that they don't have their dad in their life. At church when they see dad's taking their children to the altar to pray, my kids won't be able to experience that. Mel won't be there to teach them how to drive. He won't be there to show Malachi an example of how a husband is supposed to be. He won't be there for their high school and college graduations. He won't be able to talk to them as they figure out their majors. He won't be there when Malachi is preparing to propose and he won't be there to walk Hannah down the aisle. My children are forever impacted by not having their dad in their life. They only got 6 and 5 years.

And this is where all of the songs I ever sang become more than a song. If I profess to live for God then in my darkest hour right now I can't curse God. I can ask questions but I can't question His ways. I can't just sing about praising GOD in the storm and then when the storm comes turn my back on Him. I can't proclaim the importance of trusting in God and then when devastation occurs allow anger to come in. It's hard to explain the peace I am experiencing in the midst of the pain. The pain is brutal. The tears flow heavy. My heart is breaking. But there is a peace that fills my heart and my mind. I know I have many dark days ahead. And I know this road of grieving and mourning is going to be bumpy and more difficult than the last two years with the cancer. But I also have total confidence that GOD will be by my side and He will see me through.

Above all I am thankful that my husband lived for God. I am thankful that when he died he went to heaven. I can have peace because I know that Mel is not in pain anymore. He is rejoicing with Jesus. He won the ultimate prize. And he only had to live 31 years on this earth before he got to meet Jesus face to face.