It is difficult to believe that my sweetheart has been gone for over two years already! I never dreamed I would find myself in these circumstances at this age. Buck was a strapping, healthy, 60 year old outdoors man until the early hours of that life-changing New Year's Day, 2009. If you are not familiar with our story, you can read more in the About Me column to the left.
Our faith carried us through those dark days and continues to sustain me, as I adjust to life as a widow. Keeping a journal has been very therapeutic for me and I share my story in the hopes that it will be helpful to others going through challenging circumstances in general, not just adapting to life without a spouse.
In looking back over the months since I have been a widow, I have thought about the things that have brought healing to my broken heart. In addition to the important role my family and friends have played; humor quickly comes to mind. Most often it is delivered through my grandchildren, namely through my five year old grandson, Colin.
After returning from Buck's funeral in West Virginia, I stayed with my daughter, Sarah, and her family for two and a half weeks. Just being surrounded by all that love and the distractions provided by my family and grandchildren were very helpful. My then, 13 year old grandson, Justin, had given up his bedroom for my use during my stay there. Upon waking one morning, I made my way to the bedroom door, just as Sarah was also coming out of her bedroom with five month old Kyrstin in her arms. As our eyes met, my knees buckled and Sarah raced to support me, and guided me back to Justin's bed. I was weeping, in the throes of deep grief, and Sarah and my grandchildren all climbed in bed with me to comfort me. Colin, who was three years old then, studied my display of emotion and didn't understand why Nana was crying. In his little mind, he assumed I must not be feeling well and urgently recommended: " NANA, IF YOU HAVE TO THROW UP, RUN TO THE BATHROOM!"
Needless to say, the tears of grief immediately turned to tears of laughter and we all laughed till our stomachs hurt. Even now: two years later, if I am struggling emotionally, Sarah, Bob, (my son-in-law), or Justin might get the laughter ball rolling again by simply saying: NANA! in that same urgent tone and the abundant laughter and smiles return.
Colin is often our comic relief, even without trying. He is just a funny character, whose personality is just what I need at that moment. He loves to dress up in costumes and often makes up his own, showing up in ridiculous combinations of everyday clothes . I am inspired to giggle just by his addition of a pair of yellow rubber gloves that I gave him during one of my visits. He wore them to bed one night recently. Watching him, decked out in his jammies and my gloves as we read a bedtime story, attacks my funny bone every time! Justin is also an expert at making Nana laugh. Sometimes, he has no mercy, but I love every minute!
complete with tools, hard hat and work gloves!
Two versions of one of my favorite verses from the Bible states: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (NIV). The Message, a paraphrasing translation of the Bible says: A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone tired. (Proverbs 17:22) Although I have experienced much sadness since my sweetheart was called home, I am so very thankful for the accumulative gift of laughter and the many, abundant sources of joy that God has placed in my life!