There will always be one missing from the table

This morning I stood in my closet for a long time trying to decide what to wear. You wouldn't think picking an outfit would be so painful. Yet every single piece of clothing I own reminds me of Mel.

(I still have this dress. I wore it the day Mel and I officially started dating after talking on the phone and getting to know each other for a few months)

The light blue skirt that I first wore when we took Malachi to get seafood for the first time. Mel was so excited that Malachi wanted to try shrimp, lobster and crab. The dark blue dress that I only wore when we went on dates because Mel's reaction when I wore indicated it was not a church dress. The dress with orange in it that I bought after I had Hannah because nothing else fit and yet he told me I was beautiful in any size. Every outfit represents something I wore when he was in my presence. And then there are a few that he never got to see me wear. And looking at those hurt just as much as looking at the ones he did see me in.

On Thursday I received an email from the school I am attending letting me know I am receiving an award for a paper I submitted. And I wanted to tell Mel. He would have told me how proud he was of me and how smart he thought I was. When looking through pictures the other day I came across of a picture of me in an outfit he always told me how much he liked. And I wanted to show him the picture. There have been times since he passed that I have been frustrated and I wanted to tell him how I was feeling. Today Hannah told me she wanted to be a pilot when she grew up and I wanted to share that with Mel. I will never be able to text my husband again. I will never hear the phone ring and see his name on the  other end. I don't have my best friend to share my dreams with anymore.

98% of my memories from the last seven years that we were married contain him in them.We did everything together. Besides when we were at work or he was at school we were often not apart. My plans revolved around him. And his plans revolved around me. We were both quite similar in that we did not care for social events. We did not need nor did we want to be around a crowd.It was Mel, the kids and me.

Today I went to Whataburger and cried as I ate my meal because for the last few months I would get Mel a cheeseburger and cut it into 4 sections to feed him. We spent hours watching HGTV when he was hospitalized and I can't imagine watching those shows by myself. I have not had coffee since Tuesday because it reminds me so much of him. And this afternoon I spent almost two hours screen-shotting five thousand text messages that were in my phone from since July. And I wish I had 7 years of text messages to screenshot. But as I read the text messages from the last few months I am thankful that God called Mel home. I know God could have healed Him but since that was not His plan, I am thankful that God called Mel home. I would have cared for Mel in the paralyzed state he was in for 50 more years. I would have taken him to the hospital every week to get blood transfusions if that was needed. I would have woken up every two hours to turn him for the rest of my life if it meant having him by my side. But I am thankful that God saw how tired Mel was. I look through the text messages that we had since July and so many of them contain messages of him getting chemo or some medical procedure. I look at pictures when Mel was healthy and before he became paralyzed and I know how much it hurt him that he couldn't do the things he used to with the kids and me During the last two years Mel endured so much. His body endured so much. And I am thankful that God took away Mel's pain. I would have preferred the miracle but since the miracle wasn't in the plan, I am thankful that God called Mel home and didn't have him suffer any longer.

I know in my heart that we will be okay. I have such confidence in God that He is going to get us through. I know that in midst of this dark time, God's light can shine. I don't know why God chose to call my husband home, but we sing songs about heaven and so I am happy for my husband. I wish God could have called him home when Mel was 95 not 31. But I know that God will not let this destroy me. I know He won't let this destroy my children. I know there will be tears. I know there will be pain. I know that we will always be missing one at the table. But I also know that God will never leave us. I know in my time alone with God in prayer, He will speak to my spirit. I know that as my children grow up He will keep them in His arms.

 ( I took this picture a few months ago. And it hurts me that from here on out pictures will be just the three of us. We will always be missing one from the table)

There really is a peace that surpasses all understanding. I started my day with tears. I cried in the shower. I cried while brushing my teeth. I cried while reading the amazing tribute a reporter did on my husband. I cried while looking at pictures. I cried while watching my children play. I cried while reading text messages from Mel. And I know that tears will be my companion for many more days, weeks, months and years to come. But there is a peace that I am experiencing. My heart is breaking but there is a peace. It is a peace that only comes from God. It is a peace that whispers that things will never be the same but things will be okay. It is a peace that says all will be well.

All is not going to be easy.
All is not going to be fun.
All is not going to mean it is not going to hurt.
All does not mean there won't be tears.
All does not mean our heart isn't crushed.
All does not mean that our life has not been forever altered.

But all will be well.