The Day After

Everyone is gone now. Robert is off to work. Tess and the boys are off. It's just me and the pets. The two dogs are here on the sofa with me. No idea where the cat might be; probably on the prowl.

Normally, my husband of 55+ years would be at the other end of the sofa drinking a cup of coffee and watching the news with me, but he's not there today, nor will he ever be again. Jerry died last Friday, February 7, which is our daughter's birthday. We had his memorial service yesterday. We always picked a day and celebrated the two birthdays together, and one would think that would be a depressing prospect for the future, but our daughter is a person of great faith and great strength. Of this seemingly tragic coincidence, she says in the future we will celebrate her birthday and her Dad's REbirthday. I like that thought!

The last few days have been unbelievably full with friends and family coming and going, and now it's just me. If I'm not very careful, I will sink into the depths of despair, but this is something I mustn't allow myself to do. To do so would be to forget God's promise of a new tomorrow, and I believe in tomorrows. I have no idea what form it will take, but I know our God is good and all of His tomorrows are good for those who seek to do His will.

    That's not always an easy task, of course, and we often fall short, but our God is not only good, He is a God of love and grace, and He understands that sometimes we fall short of the goal, and He forgives. The main thing is that we keep trying and remember: "With God all things are possible."

When I think back over the last month, and ironically, it was exactly one month ago today, on January 13, that this odyssey began, the specific events are a blur. The one thing that is crystal clear in my mind is the extraordinary love shown to Jerry during his illness and to our family since his death. For me, each time a minister visited or brought communion, friends and family called, sent cards, or brought food, I felt the loving arms of our Savior enfolding me, and I am sure Jerry did, too.

So...today it's just the dogs and me, and I'm very sad. The chocolate lab is pretty old now and she seems to suspect that perhaps Jerry won't walk back in the door, and she's a bit testy, but then, so am I. I've written a few "thank you" notes. I need to write more and I will, but not right now.

- Jane Sharpe