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Big Girl Pants

It’s been a week. A long short forever week since he died. To paraphrase Edna St Vincent Milay, “Life goes on though good men die. Life goes on. It’s time to discover why.” My aching body and broken heart isn’t ready to move on, but remembering his courage in face of his disabilities and illnesses, it is time for me to step up to this new challenge as he demonstrated over and over that one keeps going one step at a time. I intend to make him proud of me.

I draw on my ever helpful 12 steps. Today I am taking the first step by admitting I am powerless to change what has happened. We both grew old, but hIs body wore out before mine. He died and now I am alone. Yet I know dwelling in grief will be unhelpful. It will make life difficult and even unmanageable. So, I’m reaching out to my Higher Power to help ease me into this new life that lies ahead (step 2). Turning my life and my will over o the loving care of the God of my understanding.(step 3) will help me let go of my pain and trust in what is to come even as I recognize that waves of grief will wash over me for days and weeks to come.

Louise Armstrong sings “What a wonderful world” in the background and I know myself as incredibly blessed. I give myself permission to live for the both of us now. Yesterday my daughter and I went birthday shopping, then to our financial advisor and to a friend’s for some nurturing and food. Today another friend and I took a load of things to our churches’ material aid center. When we passed a nursery bright with spring pansies, we stopped and bought plants, not just pansies that always make me smile, but several other colorful plants to brighten the future. Then we went out to eat and had ice cream. He loved ice cream.

Long ago I learned that “I can’t” is simply an excuse for “I don’t want to.” I will need to be discerning about what I start doing. There will be many times when I will choose to say “I’m not ready yet” but there will be other times when I will need to force myself to pick up the pieces and move on. I will always miss him, but I will always carry him with me because I refuse to be someone who chooses to dwell on what was. Instead I am choosing to pull up my big girl pants and focus on what is yet to be. After all, I already know that the gift of memory will allow me to take him with me into God’s open future. Gratitude, I know deep in my heart is the gift that keeps on giving.

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