Well, here we are, we have made it through the holidays. In a way I am glad that Christmas was the last of the major "firsts" that we have made it through. There are so many people who have to figure out how to deal with a first Christmas without a loved one so much quicker than we did. We had almost a year to be able to cope with it.
The kids and I had times that were very hard, times where we reflected some, times when we kept to ourselves to try to work through all the feelings that we were experiencing. But God was and is so good to us and has given us the strength and the courage to get through the toughest times.
We are now coming up on the first anniversary of Curtis' death on January 29. I have spent much time thinking and praying this past year. I have thought about Curtis' life and about his passion for God. I have thought often about how he sought God even when he felt like he had failed. I have thought about his last month here with us - including our trip to Disney the first week of January 2011. I have thought about how quickly he deteriorated. How the last week of his life included hospice being called in, how his will to live was challenged so greatly. I also remember his last day where he was able to spend most of the day with his siblings and his mother. How he was so glad that he got to see them. I remember his last hours, as he was rushed to the hospital not being able to breathe. I have read back over the first few posts when I started writing, and I described his last hours. Thinking back on that time, we had no idea that when we called the ambulance that he would not return home. We had no idea that we would not hear him talk to us logically, to tell us he loved us. We saw the tears coming down his face as the ventilator tubes tried to help regulate his breathing. As the doctors told us that things were really bad, we struggled with trying to come to grips that he was really in dire straits. As we came home that night, thinking we would come back to the hospital the next day and be able to see him, we thought that he would make it. But when we were called back to the hospital after a few hours and were told that he had crashed and they had brought him back but asked my permission to stop the life saving efforts. All these things I remember as we come upon the anniversary of Curtis' death.
As I approach this date, I have a choice to make. I can continue to keep going over all the 'what if's', all the 'could haves' all the 'should haves'. I can choose to be a slave to the grief. OR I can choose to move forward with my life. I can choose to discover a new life. That doesn't mean that I will ever forget Curtis. He will live on through the lives of our 4 beautiful children. I have come to that point in my life where I have decided that I will choose to move on. Now that may sound harsh to some of you. You may think that I am cruel, but I am not. I had almost 21 years with Curtis and they were filled with alot of ups and downs. Me choosing to move forward with my life doesn't mean that I won't still miss him. Of course I will miss him, but the pain has gone from a constant stabbing of my heart the first few months after his death, to a constant dull aching, and now it is not constant, it is more like an occasional dull ache. To me, that tells me that my God has carried me through this year and will continue to carry me as I head into this new season of my life.
Death did not come with a handbook that said I have this timeline that I have to go by. No, there is no set time, no guideline that says I have to stop grieving at the year mark. For some it may be 2 years, 5 years, however long it may be. I still grieve from time to time. I still shed tears at times when I think about Curtis' laughter and his love for his family. But I truly believe that he would want me to continue to live. To make the best out of my life and to walk down the path that God has laid before me.
So unless I write more before January 29, this will be my final post in this blog. This chapter of my life was full of curves and winding roads. I hope that I have helped someone else along the path of grief. Even if this helps someone years down the road... I have shared my heartaches and my sorrow, I have bared my soul to the world for one reason. That is to be able to help someone who may be going through a similar path.
Thank you all so much for reading and for standing behind me and my children in this past year. I have to believe that through it all, it will be worth it.
God bless and keep you.