This post is a bit long but worth the read. It’ll put the above photos into context and paint a picture of loss, life, and loving again.
Two weeks after Laura passed away, I was perusing Facebook late at night when I scrolled past a page recommendation for Jeremy Camp, an award-winning Christian rock musician. I clicked on it and immediately learned that he had written a book called, “I Still Believe.” This memoir chronicled his life, but most importantly went into great depth about several aspects of his life – the loss of his first wife to ovarian cancer; his struggles with his faith because of the loss; and ultimately finding love again. I ordered the book without hesitation and finished it within a week.
After I finished the book, I told “Alexa” to shuffle Jeremy Camp since I had never listened to his music before, and by the third song I was literally on my knees in the kitchen, a crumpled mass of a human being trying to wrestle with all of the feelings that overcame me as I listened to the lyrics. The lyrics were powerful and profound, they cut to the core of my soul and spoke to me directly. Everything I was questioning about God and why he would allow such pain was being answered and flowing from the lyrics. From that point forward, his music was on a continuous loop in my house for easily five months. During that time, I continued to struggle with loss and my faith, but as the months went on my faith continued to strengthen along with the possibility of finding love again.
I haven’t written in a long time, but I felt compelled to let my thoughts go tonight. There were some tragic events that happened in my community this week that made me reflect on everything I’ve been through as a family for the past few years. Life is short, fleeting at times, so I came home and felt the need to write…
As the storm clears, the relentless crashing of waves begins to recede. What was once a continuous onslaught of suffocating turmoil has begun to relinquish its control.
Those moments where you could no longer breathe are short and brief. What was once a gasp for air, has now turned into a sigh of relief, knowing that all storms shall pass.
As I look upon the horizon, I know that tomorrow brings a new day. A day of hope, love, and renewed life.
I put a lot of heart into how I wanted The December 5th Fund logo to look. I’ve been developing brands for over 20 years now, and this is the first logo I’ve done that means so much on so many levels.
Laura’s favorite movie of all time was “Say Anything”.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
My son and I have deep conversations before bedtime; it’s made me realize how introspective my little 8yr old is. This week, he asked a question that left me at a loss for words. He said, “Daddy, is it true that if you love someone more than anything in the world, they’ll only be in your life for a short time? And, if you’re miserable with someone, they’ll be in your life forever?”
Did he just ask if it was worth falling in love?
I spent this past weekend in Nashville, TN attending a wedding with my children. This trip was our first road trip without Laura, and the ride down was challenging at times, even lonely. Challenging because we took a vow almost 12 years ago to “share all that is to come; to speak and to listen.” Two things I can no longer do with her.
I never gave our wedding vows much thought until I listened this past weekend intently and let each word sink in. The prose, albeit simple, is beautiful and encapsulates the joys and pains of marriage. One passage that stood out to me was, “To Inspire and To Respond.”
So basic, yet so profound.
A dear friend of mine wrote a beautiful tribute to Laura that she shared during the service. It talked about Laura being lightning and grace. Powerful, full of energy, yet elegant and welcoming to everyone. It’s difficult to put into words the aura that Laura possessed. She glowed, even when she was at her worst. She was a firecracker one minute, then a shoulder to lean on the next.
I miss that immensely. Yet, I see it every single day. I see it in my children, they are my lightning and grace.
The fog creeps in unexpectedly and engulfs you. At first, you panic because you can’t see what’s in front of you, then the coldness begins to set in. It’s almost bone-chilling. A chill that seeps into your soul, so deep that you feel like you’ll never feel warmth again.
Frantically, you take a step forward, then another. You can hear things off in the distance, but they’re too far away to discern. The fog suddenly feels thicker, almost suffocating. Yet, you keep walking. Alone.
You stumble. You fall.
I feel like I need to write the hardest, but easiest post first.
December 5th, 2015 will forever be known to me as a great day. It wasn’t just any great day, it was ONE great day in particular. My wife had been battling cancer for over two years now and her health was steadily declining to the point that she was having considerable pain every time she would walk.
I’ve been told to hang in there quite a bit since my wife’s passing. I’m even guilty of telling it to people. Have we ever taken a step back and thought about that phrase? I see it as hanging on for dear life and hoping you don’t fall into some dark abyss. I know people care about me and sometimes the only thing to say is, “hang in there”, which I greatly appreciate, but…
That’s not an option.
I plan on climbing until I no longer have to climb. Who knows, I may never reach the top, but I’m not going to hang in there and do nothing. Life is too short and precious to “hang in there”.
For anyone else out there battling something – reflect on the difficult parts, savor the milestones, learn from the good and bad, but most importantly keep climbing.
I’m blessed and I’m grateful.
I have a great circle of friends & family along with a huge community who are always circling around my wolfpack of 3 to make sure we’re okay. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve reflected back on the generosity we’ve received while going through these difficult times.