The Saturday following Mark's death my Grandpa came by. I had called him that morning to talk to him, I wanted to know if he had gotten to the point yet where he woke up and didn't immediately feel completely devastated. It had been a few months since my Grandmother had passed, his wife of 66 years. He couldn't understand me through my blubbering, so he asked if he could come over. When he arrived I tried to ask him how I was supposed to go on. I tried to ask him what I was going to do next, how to deal with the loss of your spouse, your life partner. My grandpa is a wonderful man, he is gentle and kind, and patient. He loved his wife more than any man I have ever seen, I asked all of these questions knowing that he probably didn't have any idea himself. He sat at my dining room table and he held my hand. I can't lie and say that I remember every word he said, but there are a few things that stand out. He told me that he can't imagine how I felt, losing my husband at such a young age, having to raise my kids alone, but he promised me that no matter how long we would have had together it still would have felt too short, even 66 years felt too short. He told me that there will be days I forget that Mark is gone, that I might need a reminder, that even he had just bought my grandma her Saturday morning muffin that day. I tried to look ahead at the likely to be 60 more years on earth and tried to imagine that length of time without Mark here. That is when this journey seemed so impossible. The last thing my grandpa told me that morning is that when I miss Mark I should look to my children.
My children are half of Mark and they will tell me the things that he would want me to know. I can't explain it, but I think he is right. I think that Mark has been able to speak to me through our children, and I am not even sure that they know it. I try to cherish the small quiet moments that when I am my most broken my beautiful children step in. The first few weeks I recall sitting on the floor crying, and Samara (at not even 2 years old) would come and put one hand on my back and brush my hair back with the other and say in her tiny little voice "Its okay mommy, don't cry." I remember walking with Hezekiah talking about the walks we used to take with Mark. Hezekiah is quite blunt, kind of like me, and he said "Mom, Daddy is dead." Before I could even respond he added "But you know what the best thing is?! Daddy is alive in heaven with Jesus!" Our children have been my constant reminder that I am stronger than I think, that I am never alone, and that we will make it through this together. I believe that there is a thin wall between heaven and earth, perhaps for children the wall is just a little thinner.
"And I can see the light in the darkness
As the darkness bows to Him
I can hear the roar in the heavens
As the space between wears thin
I can feel the ground shake beneath us
As the prison walls cave in
Nothing stands between us
Nothing stands between us"
Another In The Fire
Words and Music by Chris Davenport & Joel Houston
© 2018 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7124907