It’s been a while since I posted. It feels like I’ve been fighting dragons and rescuing stray kittens from trees . . . You know, one of those times where it seems like life keeps throwing challenges your way. However, during all of that time, I did write things, but I just never got around to posting them. I know you get that, because I am sure you slog through those days/weeks, too sometimes. That said, here’s one of those dragons I had to work hard to keep from devouring me lately.
I never know how I am going to wake up in the morning, not so much physically wake up, but mentally. Some days I get up ready to face the day. Other days my first waking thought is how much I miss my husband. Last week I had one of those days. As I lay there, alone in my warm bed, listening to the wind raising a ruckus outside and sleet pinging against the window panes, a great emptiness rushed over me as I realized, yet again, that Brian was gone. Thankfully, it also reminded me of how blessed I was to have had him in my life at all, much less for the 29 years we were together. As the tears began to roll down my cheeks, I said this prayer aloud:
“Dear God, thank you for the blessing of a good night’s sleep. For waking up in a warm bed to a new day. Thank you for not just a roof over my head, but for a house that Brian and I were able to build together — one born of hopes and dreams and love. Even in the middle of my grief, I feel blessed in so many ways. One of those ways will always be for the 27 years Brian and I were married. I am so grateful for all the joy (and, yes, also the frustrations!) that this brought, and I would not trade that time for anything. If there were a way I could turn back time, I would find ways to be more present in my interactions with Brian, and wise enough to take the time to enjoy our life together even more; to not only speak the words “I love you” but to show love outwardly in many little ways that cannot be adequately expressed by words. I am a better person for having known and loved him. He showed me what real love looked like, and together we made it through those tough times when love extracted a high price. And, perhaps most importantly of all, he helped me grow in my faith, making it stronger . . . strong enough to now face life with him no longer physically in it. Neither of us were perfect, and, like every other married couple, we had our ups and downs. Yet, our marriage turned out to be one of the most beautiful and meaningful things of my life. Dear Lord, help me to honor Brian’s life by living each day as a reflection of that love, sharing it with those around me. Amen”
Not wanting to forget the prayer, the first thing I did when I got out of bed was to grab my journal and write it down. Sobbing the entire time I wrote, my pen dodged errant tear drops that found a place on the page, forming borders of emotion around my words. I sat there, alone in my house, with the cold wind outside reminding me that in life there are some days that are simply better than others.
A quick glance at the clock reminded me that I needed to get busy, and I instinctively threw myself headlong into the one thing that I always seem to do when my life feels like it is spiraling out of control: I clean my house. And I mean I really clean, nonstop. Cleaning can’t repair the hole in my heart that was left after Brian died 10 months ago, but I have come to realize that right next to that I have a special place, just for him, where I will always love him and hold him close. . . And of course, now I have a clean house.
I think the hardest part of losing someone isn’t having to say goodbye, but rather learning to live without them. Always trying to fill the void, the emptiness that’s left inside your heart when they go.
2 thoughts on “Dragons and Kittens”
Beautiful read for my morning wake up call. Always enjoy your words and insight.
On Mon, Feb 28, 2022 at 8:41 AM Time in a Bottle wrote:
> Julie Gentz posted: ” It’s been a while since I posted. It feels like I’ve > been fighting dragons and rescuing stray kittens from trees . . . You know, > one of those times where it seems like life keeps throwing challenges your > way. However, during all of that time, I did write” >
Thanks for being such a good friend and the number one fan of my writing. Both are always more appreciated than I have words to say . . . and that’s a pretty big compliment! LOL 🙂