Awhile ago, I wrote a post on my other blog about how knowing Isaac had cancer before I even became friends with him did not make it easier to lose him. And that remains true, but as I watch other women grieve the losses of their partners, I think maybe it wasn't any easier to lose him...but maybe it is a little "easier" to move forward with my life. Easier is not really the word I'm looking for, but I think you know what I mean. This post has been brewing in my mind since the beginning of June, but it's taken awhile to process it and be ready to share. So my apologies in advance if it doesn't make sense!!
When I look at pictures of those other women and their husbands/boyfriends, I think of how different the beginnings of their relationships were from mine. They didn't have their first real conversation in a hospital. They didn't start dating in a hospital. The timing of their first date didn't depend on a hospital discharge. Their first long car ride with their significant other wasn't a trip home from pelvic surgery. Their husbands weren't loaded with oxycodone and wearing pain patches at their weddings. When they started their lives together, they had dreams of starting families, watching their kids grow up, retiring, and growing old together. Not me though. When Isaac and I started dating, we didn't dream about growing old together. We talked very openly about the fact that we probably wouldn't grow old together. He knew that even if a miracle occurred, and the cancer was healed in his body, he would always be limited.
Maybe it is easier for me to go forward, because life was never easy for us. Plans always revolved around doctor's visits. Things constantly got cancelled at the last minute because Isaac needed blood, ended up in the hospital, or didn't feel well. Most of the trips we took together involved hospitals and doctors. Isaac was often frustrated because he couldn't do the things "normal" guys could do easily. It exhausted him to mow the lawn, he couldn't drive on long trips because the pain in his hip was too intense, he couldn't carry my bags through the airport because he didn't have the strength.
But we were in love. So all of that crappy stuff was secondary to the fact that he could make me laugh at any time, would do absolutely anything he could to see me happy, loved my cooking even when it didn't turn out well, sent me email love letters, and supported me through anything. I know without a doubt that I was called to be his wife. I knew I probably wouldn't get to be his wife for very long, but that God still wanted me to be Mrs. Isaac Smith. And I'm glad I am.
Now though, I feel myself moving forward. Not "moving on", because I think moving on means you kind of forget what happened in the past. I'm moving forward. I remember sitting in our den discussing the need to call hospice, and talking about me going on with life. Isaac said he wanted to write me a letter, but he decided he wasn't going to do that because he didn't want me to feel like I had to hang on to anything. So, I'm taking everything Isaac taught me, all the hope and joy and peace he left me with, and I am going forward.
we said vows and meant them
till death do us part
and you died
and we are no longer
and i am just me
i don't know how to be a widow
i can be single
or a fiance
or a wife
but not a widow
i choose not to be defined
as someone's widow
someone's left behind
used to be
i know you loved me
and you would have moved heaven and earth
if it meant i'd be happy
and so i choose joy
i choose to let go
it doesn't mean i love you any less
it doesn't mean i don't still miss you every day
it means i choose to move forward
i choose not to dwell on the sadness
it means that i loved you enough to be happy again
because of you, i...