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.