I became a widow almost nineteen years ago. Though I was still walking, talking, and taking care of our children, I discovered that my life merely became a means of surviving each day. Of course, at the age of 33 years old, I figured I would still be married and we would conquer the world together into our ripe old age of at least 90! We had plans. We had dreams. We had visions of grandeur. We were painting a beautiful picture together.
Screech! What in the world just happened? How did that picture turn into one that was unfinished, half done, and colorless? How did the canvas become blank again?
Desolate. Void. Numb. Angry. Empty. Lonely. Breathless.
After Terry’s last breath, I couldn’t breathe. It seemed that at the same time he stopped breathing, I did too. But the crazy thing is, I had to live, not breathing. I know that is probably the craziest statement ever! Let me explain. Everyday I would awake wishing he was next to me, I stopped breathing. Each time I wanted to feel his touch but couldn’t, I stopped breathing. Whenever I was riding in the car and couldn’t reach over to hold his hand, I stopped breathing. Wanting and needing to hear his deep baritone voice again, I stopped breathing. Having to walk the journey of raising our daughters alone, I stopped breathing. I was living, but dead. I was living, but merely existing.
Have you ever had that moment where you feel that life has been sucked from the cores of your being?
These breathless, gasping for air, panting, and wheezing moments began to define me. They began to set the course of what my life would be in the present and future. Every single moment of not breathing sent me into a nose-dive of depression, frustration, angry outbursts, isolation, loneliness, and I must admit it almost sent me into poverty! I lost him, but now I was also losing me. But, I wasn’t ready to lose me. Every day that my eyes would open, I knew that there was still a purpose for me to be here. I could not figure out that purpose. But, I was determined to create another beautiful picture; one that would encompass the breaths that Terry and I took together. So, with every thought of Terry bringing a smile to my face, I started to breathe again. When I recalled his touch and his gentle kisses on my cheek, I started to breathe again. When I looked in the eyes of our daughters and saw his image, I started to breathe again. Knowing that he was in Heaven where I will see him again, I started to breathe again.
I can now see the vibrant colors of my beautiful picture. I can now feel every breath that flows in and out of the core of my soul. With each breath, I know that the world will see the beautiful picture of my heart. Thank you Terry!
Please share your life changing “breathe again” moment in the comments section.