I took the kids to the zoo today and memories of all of the times we went there as a family came flooding back. We took Malachi to the zoo for the first time when he was 6 months old and we have been going regularly since then. As we drove to the zoo this morning, Hannah said "daddy usually drove us to the zoo." The last time we went to the zoo as a family the giraffes had just arrived. We couldn't feed them yet so Mel made it a point as soon as the giraffes could be fed to take the kids by himself when I was working. That was the last time the kids went to the zoo with their dad.
I sat down to make a menu for next week since I go back to work and I couldn't believe how hard it was. I planned our meals around what Mel liked. I enjoyed asking Mel each week what he felt like eating. I enjoyed cooking for him. The day after Mel died I went through the refrigerator to get rid of old food and I saw all of the ingredients I would use to make his favorite meal. Instead of being able to ask Mel what he wanted me to cook, today I asked Malachi what he would like me to cook him next week.
Today Hannah had a meltdown because I made her eat carrots with her dinner. During Hannah's meltdown today I just realized that parenthood now falls on my shoulders and my shoulders alone. And that is so hard. I never thought I would be a single parent and yet that is what I find myself. There is no Mel and me. It is just me. Just me working. Just me homeschooling. Just me doing all of the cooking, laundry, dishes and cleaning fall on my shoulders. And then the things that Mel alone did like taking out the trash, getting an oil change, changing the light bulbs and filters for the air conditioner I have to do as well.
I have needed so many times to talk to Mel. And he is not here. When he was paralyzed I spent virtually every single minute of the day next to him as we transformed our living room to our bedroom and my office. When he was healthy and working we spent the entire day texting each other while we were at work. And now I just have pictures. I want the phone to ring and it be him on the other end telling me he is coming home from work. I want the text message alert to go off and it be him telling me how much he loves me. I want to lay down at night and have him laying next to me.
And all of this is so hard....
Psalm 121:1-2 says "I lift my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made the heavens and the earth." And this is what I do. I lift my eyes to the Lord. My heart is hurting but I lift my eyes to the Lord. Next week I go back to work and my days will be even busier but every morning I will set my alarm and I will get up to begin my day with prayer and reading the Bible. My help comes from the Lord and prayer and reading scripture is not optional it is necessary. The only reason I am not falling apart right now is because God really is giving me the strength and the comfort I need. This is far harder than the two years of Mel getting cancer treatment. The pain of losing Mel is so brutally intense. But God will see us though. He will get us through the darkest days. He will heal our broken heart. Some people when bad things happen pull away from God. But that is not an option in our family. God was good when everything was going according to our plans. But God is still good even though my husband has died. Mel won the race we all talk about and sing about and I have complete confidence and faith that God will see us through and that He does have good in store for my family.