I have been seperated for nearly three years and going through a divorce for over two years. It has been a difficult experience but has brought me to a place where I am stronger, closer to God and able to handle whatever life can throw at me.

On December 14 life got very complicated. Dave, my ex was in a serious motorcyle accident. When they performed a CT scan the next day they found that he had Stage IV lung cancer. He passed away on January 29, just six weeks after being diagnosed. I have not had time to write lately but all I and my children have been through in the last two months is floating in my head and I know I won’t be able to be silent much longer.

The following is an email I sent to my friends.

All that is meant for destruction when laid at the feet of God with prayer and faith is returned to us as blessings. (Romans chapter8)

I have been through every human emotion there is in the past few months and just in the past three weeks the differing shades of grief I’ve experienced or been witness to have astounded me. There have been so many things to grieve and they all seemed so clear so vibrant as I sifted through a lifetime worth of photographs, trying to narrow them down, searching for a handful that would sum up a life. What I found were memories of hopes, of dreams, of sorrows. The loss of innocence of my children. The loss of a marriage that seem to be derailed from the start. The faces of two hopeful people I could barely remember, but I did remember them. The starting out – still seeing mostly the good in each other. The wedding photographs, smiling, dancing, laughing; sharing a joke long forgotten, but the dreams of a bright future still clear on those faces. The father holding his firstborn son as they stared into each others eyes for an hour. A train ride to San Diego. Feeding the dolphins at Seaworld. Three boys who couldn’t wait to show their parents every seashell they found on the beach “Look mommy, this one looks just like the rings of Jupiter.” The first flight in a jet plane, then the first plane ride with daddy as the pilot.

So many firsts to remember and yet so many still left to be experienced without him. A nine-year old boy, too grown up for his age, “I keep thinking about all the things daddy won’t be here for.” The heart can break in so many ways it seems, even when it’s already shattered.

A Grandmothers prayer, that her grandson would have dreams of his father in heaven – at peace. Then the answer found in the stars. The night of his fathers memorial service, Miles came to me with a picture of him and his dad that he had drawn. He does this every night now, it is the only way he knows how to express himself, to ask his mom to hold him so we can cry together. To take the time to ask the questions that there are no good answers for, “Does daddy miss me as much as I miss him?” “I’m afraid that daddy is sad.” ‘Where is heaven?” But this picture was different, every picture thus far was him standing next to his father. After two weeks the portrait of himself was the same…tears. But the expression he drew of his father had changed. No longer standing beside him, but above him now, kneeling on a cloud looking down on him and smiling. He had seen him in the stars he said, a small cluster that he knew was his father’s smiling face, telling him he was ok. Then tonight a picture of the entire solar system with him standing here on earth and his dad, beyond the asteroid belt, Saturn and Neptune, in a small circle he labeled as heaven. He is letting go. He is allowing the realization of the distance, the time, the sorrow to slowly seep into his heart. It is a painful road to walk with him, but we are not walking it alone. The prayers of the saints are poured out at the feet of God in Revelation, nothing is ever wasted with God. In the end those prayer are all returned to Him as songs of praise. (Rev 5:8)

I see that Shakespeare was right “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” I’ve spent the last few weeks looking at the scenes that have played out in my life thus far. The curtain has come down on the second act of my life, but only the first act of the children’s. What scenery will be on that stage as the curtain rises in the next few weeks is up to us.

“You have your whole life ahead of you,” a friend told me Saturday. I do. I am only thirty-eight after all, yet I am a widow and a mother of three, my life is still being written and there is much still to tell. The curtain is about to rise on the third act of my play. If I am blessed with a long life I know that I will someday sit in a rocking chair, reminiscing with my great-grandchildren at my feet. I will tell them of “the old days”, when men did not yet live on the moon and I went through trials of fire that made me stronger, wiser, gentler; and that all these years later when I look back, I can see in every one of those moments, the merciful hand of God pulling me through.

2-11-07
The memorial service was a beautiful gift to my children. Bill Baumgart, Dave’s best friend since high school, spent two weeks putting together a video of friends and family telling the story of Dave’s life. The day of the service he hadn’t slept in over 50 hours…apropos considering that is how he and Dave finished every album they ever did together. The video was filled with memories, photos, videos and songs, it is something my kids will be able to watch for the rest of their lives and catch a small glimpse of who their dad was. Bill playing piano and accompanied by a cello also obliged one of my requests and sang “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” from the new Chris Tomlin CD. I don’t know how he got through it, I was weeping, but that song always makes me weep.

Rick Elias – someone Dave considered a brother – opened the service singing “Pilgrims”, a fitting song. He also ended with “Stripped” from his first album. He did a great job of it, remembering every note though he hadn’t sung it in over ten years. He never missed a lyric though he had to dodge several Lego’s shot at him from the catapult my kids had constructed at his feet – he is a true professional.

Lary Melby (from Liaison – an 80’s Christian band) was also there as was my brother which meant all of the groomsmen from our wedding were there. We also had Doug Mathews (drums) and Marc Hugenberger (piano) playing so the band was nearly the same one as at our wedding, I thought that was fitting. It was a difficult day but a defining one. I tend to mark my life with punctuation and that day was a definite period.

Once again thank you all for your prayers and support. I have been shown again and again how truly blessed I am to have true friends, it has been noticed and felt in our hearts believe me. God Bless.

Beth

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