In July of 2008 the unimaginable happened. My husband passed away at age 40. I had so many phone calls and caring people stopping by my home the first few weeks and I was emotionally drained. No, completely exhausted from this roller coaster ride that I was on! I thought death happened to other people?! I didn’t know what to do. My niece suggested I create a blog to tell readers what was going on in my life– this way people could read my blog and I could save my energy that I needed so desperately for me and my 6 kids. So I started blogging every Monday. I really enjoyed writing my feelings and found it healing, but quickly realized I could not write everything that was going on to protect my children.
2008 was the hardest year of my life. After 6 weeks of his passing, I didn’t know up from down. 6 months later I guessed and was wrong- nope, still upside down! But a miracle happened at the end of the year. Two of my daughters were in class at school with kids from a family that had just lost their mom. All four kids came up with a brilliant idea and decided we should get together as families because we were going through the same thing. I thought it sounded fun, so we met over the New Years weekend. This was awesome! I prayed and told my Heavenly Father everything. I know it sounds like that could take a looong time, but in just a few minutes I felt He understood my pain. When I was done I sat there in silence with tears running down my face and listened. Four words came to my mind that changed it all. He said, “STAND UP AND LIVE.”We went swimming, to the movies, ate and talked a lot. This was so refreshing– finally someone who understood what I was going through! We all became best friends and hung out a lot. If there is such a thing as “family dating”, we did it- all 11 of us for months. Matt and I got closer and our friendship turned to love.
I had an experience in May 2009 that changed my life forever. I was on a humanitarian mission in Guatemala. Seeing people who had nothing, but were so happy really touched me. About a week into this I missed my family at home so much and my emotions were turned up to HIGH. I had time to think about my past and much of it made me sad. I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer, so I went to a small restroom and got on my knees. I prayed and told my Heavenly Father everything. I know it sounds like that could take a looong time, but in just a few minutes I felt He understood my pain. When I was done I sat there in silence with tears running down my face and listened. Four words came to my mind that changed it all. He said, “STAND UP AND LIVE.” Wow so simple, yet so profound. I stood up with a renewed energy, brushed the dust off my knees, wiped away my tears and made a decision to smile and move on. I can do this.
Coming home from Guatemala I was so glad to see my family and especially Matt. Yes I agree with whoever said “Absence makes your heart grow fonder!” In June we were on one of our many family trips together and it felt like all my dreams were coming true. Matt took me to walk on the beach and asked me to marry him. My miracle. I married my best friend on 09/09/09.
Today I am happier than I have ever been. Matt and I have 9 children all together and with this large blended family brings more experiences, challenges, and mouth dropping moments! Each day we look at each other, laugh and say, “Wow, I didn’t see that one coming!” We were thinking just the other day that we haven’t had a normal date in 6 years. Hmm, maybe not even a normal day! Well I guess none of this has been “Normal” -whatever that is. I’ve had a lot to sort through in my heart and head, so Matt has been my awesome counselor and daily life coach.
I hope my experiences will give confidence to others knowing their trials can have a positive outcome– even though it may not feel like it at the time.Blogging set in motion a love for writing that has grown and developed over time. I even got a job blogging! Now that I have healed more, I am back to personal blogging and writing openly about my past, my now and the future I want to create. I hope my experiences will give confidence to others knowing their trials can have a positive outcome– even though it may not feel like it at the time.
I am grateful for this life-changing, profound experience of loss, love and light. I am grateful for how serving and reaching out to help others through with the things that I write has helped me to heal, and I am grateful for that inspiration that gave me direction and helped me to go on.