Today is the 11th.
It's been eleven months since Tim went to heaven.
In many ways, today was just another day in our new normal. I had the oldest home from school sick today for the third day this week. As he started feeling better this afternoon, we took an hour for him to practice his driving. He is doing great, but he doesn't enjoy it. I had the youngest at early basketball practice at school and then late riding lessons at the barn. And as usual, I squeezed in my work hours around the kids schedules.
While life continues moving forward, the 11th always hits me in a tender way. Tim is still constantly on our minds and daily in our conversations.
The holidays make the missing of him harder than I ever could have imagined. Memories flood my mind with every fire in the fireplace, every morning Bible Study, every walk into our home. We are leaning hard into Jesus right now. Loving each other. Extending grace. There is sadness.
But there is also laughter. There is ornery sarcasm and joking. There are references to old family jokes and new "sayings" that the kids recite and crack up over. Honestly, I don't always get their humor, but I love the laughter! It reminds me of their Daddy, his quick wit and contagious laugh.
I wonder often what he is doing, who he is visiting with, I envision him in a country setting with sun-kissed skin, an easy smile and a sparkle in those beautiful blue eyes of his. I imagine him enjoying time with the children from our family who had gone to heaven before him. I know he would enjoy long walks exploring nature and visiting with his Savior.
It's weird to be separated from the one person on earth you have loved most. The one person who knew all your secrets, and cherished you anyway. The one person who chose to stand by you, who stayed when times were difficult, who celebrated when times were magical. The person that could make you laugh the deepest belly laughs and could also hold you through the gut-wrenching tears. To not have the one you've experienced the most memories with; or the one who has seen you at your absolute ugliest and still claimed you were gorgeous...it's a bit much to process. The "missing" of such intimacy can be all-consuming and terrifying.
I am grateful for a God who promises to never leave or forsake me. I am reminded that there is One who knows me even better than Tim did and loves me even deeper. So tonight, as I lay my weary head on the pillow, I am focused on the One who loves with a perfect love, the One who chooses to stay with me in difficulty and triumph. The One who has seen my sin and forgiven it.
"The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace." -Psalm 29:11