Thursday, October 17, 2013

The battle


This weekend as we traveled to Indiana, Michigan, and back to West Virginia in 3 short days, we logged a lot of hours in the car. Sometimes I dread long trips because let's face it: we have 5 children packed into our vehicle like sardines, who we lovingly refer to as "the pee and flee gang" constantly asking us to stop, fighting over what movie to watch next, and just in general making our trips a little more, well....complicated. But most of the time, I enjoy the time just to sit and veg out for awhile, to listen to music, to read with my husband, and to dream, talk, listen, and grow with each other while the scenery passes by us.

As we made our way home starting at 9pm Sunday night, we had a nice silent car ride with our children sleeping almost the entire trip - which made for lots of great conversation to keep us both awake (ok, I may have dozed off for awhile...) But Steve asked me a question in the midst of our drive that really resonated with me.

"Do you ever feel like you battle wanting to live in the past versus living in the now?"

It resonated with me because I think every person reading this blog understands this battle. To be completely honest, YES. I do battle wanting to live in the past. Not because I am not thankful for my now or because I'm not looking forward to the future, but because my past is the only place that Jeremy lives. It's the only place I see him laugh, hear his voice, or watch him play with his children.

What I can say is that I've come a long way in this battle since the beginning. I used to ONLY want to live in the past. The present and the future meant nothing to me with him in it. Everything seemed meaningless without him next to me. And I still have those moments where I just wish I could go back for even a moment....just to see his face one more time.

But now, the battle is not about wanting to live in the past, but rather trying to figure out how to carry my past with me into my future. I still miss Jeremy every. single. day. Sometimes it still hurts so bad that the weight of it makes it hard to breathe. I want to be able to share with him life's ups and downs, to talk through things with him, to hear him laugh at the things only the two of us think is funny. I want to seek his advice, to share moments with him. But I also know that I love and appreciate my now and everything that comes with it - and most of it I would never have if he were still here. I try to never compare the past to now because it's apples and oranges - it gets me nowhere and it's comparing two different people.

Our now deserves just as much attention as our then. Both are precious in their own right, and we have to use what our then has shaped us to be to create a new and meaningful now.


  1. Well written. I too, struggle with this. But have found it very hard to move forward, which I must do to honor my husbands legacy, and also claim the life that God obviously has chosen for me, since that is what IS. Having said that, it's just not that easy. The past has so much comfortable having had more than 30 years together. I rarely find much "comfortable" in the present, though, I must admit, there is some of that FINALLY (33 months post loss). I miss my old seemingly easy life. We were so good together. And yet, as my new life unfolds, I must be present or I unknowingly miss the possible new treasures laid out for me. Not that in my core, do I WANT any of these, but I must keep my eyes open to see the "new plan" (that I never wanted).....but dealing with reality requires us to eventually, in our own time, to get to the place of the present. There are gifts to behold there. I read on another blog this line and it has helped me with the tension of wanting to be in the past and at the same time moving forward being present in the future. It is, "Honoring the past, but living for the now." I think that speaks well to our desire to hold onto what we had and yet, join the land of the living. Thanks Veronica.

  2. I keep this quote on my refrigerator door:

    Rich, I do not want your legacy to be that your death permanently broke me. Your life, your love and my love for you will sustain my survival.