Dear Chris…

Dear Chris,

It has been a long and… a short 14 months without you.  I have learned so much about who I am, pretty sure the girls might think I have lost my mind.  But… I think you would be proud of me anyway.  I was never good at the leader role, that was your special gift… but now I don’t have you to defer to… or a choice in the matter… it would seem.  However, I have begun the journey… and discovered God really is husband to the widow… and I have learned I have always been able to defer the hard stuff to Him.  It is even more important now, as I really want the girls to see this being worked out in my own faith.  I want them to know God is Father to the fatherless, and that they can defer the hard things to Him too. I have been brave and strong, and weak and emotional.  I never knew how all those things could exist in me.  But it is amazing how God pours into our lives just what we need, and when we need it.

I have to say in all honesty, I don’t really love single parenting… it is just not cool.  You’d be so surprised at the challenges our daughters have made and how different parenting teens is in our home.  I can be firm and not waiver, by God’s grace and strength, mind you.  I hope you’re proud.  I dislike being the heavy, life was better when that was mostly your role. Sorry, just being honest.  Oh, and the boys, they were supposed to go through you, remember?  Still figuring that one out.  Wish you were here, to help me.  And… guess what, I am ok with the girls not liking me and am even good with there protests that I am not fair.  Parenting them first, to be friends later… as you always demonstrated so well.  Your words have come in handy when being firm.  Thank you for leaving behind a tremendous legacy in so many ways.  The strength and the tenderness.  Somehow, I will learn to balance them, God has sure got a lot of patience… and so did you.

I sure do miss you, always my best friend.  By the way, have I mentioned, cancer sucks.  Such an unfair part of being humans in a fallen world.  But Chris, I hope you knew…. I was honored to stand at your side.  It was a joy to serve you and be your strength and protector as you had always been for us.  You were so determined and courageous. You made this hard place easier to walk through.  It was hard to let you go, but I am thankful to know you are healed.  Please hold Jesus hand and revel in the beauty of heaven, someday when my work is finished here… I will join you.

I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.  But your battle has made me determined to write about what I have learned because of cancer.  No, the house is not as tidy (sorry).  The dinning room table well… may or may not have become a place for me to paint and do crafts.   And the dinners don’t always look like they did. But we are taking steps forward.  Loving you always and missing you too.  Thankful to God for your memory, love and strength.

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