The night before what would have been our 4th anniversary, May 12, 2015, I couldn’t sleep very well. I feel like I was a little anxious with how I would handle what would have been our 4th anniversary the next day. My late husbands birthday, March 13, I felt fine the day before but cried almost the whole morning. But that is a different blog entry altogether.
I woke up May 13, to my surprise, actually at peace. Not that I wasn’t sad, because I was, but I think I was actually relieved. It is hard to explain. When my late husband was alive with cancer he was in so much pain. He put on a good face when we were out in public, or at church, or with his family. At home I saw the true Ben. I saw him toss and turn and not sleep a wink at night and then leave by 6:30am to go to work. I cleaned up his throw up when chemo made him sick. I saw the the pain in his eyes when he would pry himself out of bed. He would tell me he felt like a useless husband because he couldn’t hold or pick up our son out of his crib in the middle of the night. My whole life revolved around keeping him alive. He would try to to juice every other day with the Green Star elite but the last leg of his cancer he couldn’t do it because he didn’t have the strength. I did it. I also made smoothies and had to start grinding up his pills into the smoothies when he kept forgetting to to take his pills from the alternative medicine doctor. That is just a nutshell of all the stress and all the work it took to keep him alive.
What many people do not realize is that yes his death was too soon and was heart wrenching but the whole entire cancer journey I was preparing for the worst and processing it with a counselor/ mentor. She helped me process all the unfairness I felt, all the anger, all the “why am I going through this at such a young age?” questions I had. We even discussed what would happen if Ben did die. We had to discuss that because the doctors didn’t think he would live long.
The morning of what would have been our 4th anniversary, like I said before, I felt relieved for so many reasons. I felt relieved I didn’t have to see him in so much pain. I felt relieved I didn’t have so much stress and so much work on my shoulders. I felt relieved he is in heaven cancer free. I felt relieved I could start anew and decide what would be life giving to me this year with my son.
Isaiah 61:3 “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”
The ashes of my life I had with my late husband are a painful thing to grieve and lament. I do not like the saying that “everything happens for a reason” because I don’t think things always have to have a reason. God never said that, people say that, people made that saying up. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” God is working to make things “work together for the good.” It doesn’t say “God makes things happen for a reason and works it out for the good.” We don’t understand everything and somehow it can be redeemed and worked out for good. We may never understand why things happen but we can be sure God can give us beauty for our ashes and that he is in the business of working things out for the good in our lives.