How are you doing Andrea? I get asked this question daily. Thank you for asking, I
appreciate your concern. Its comforting to know that I am still in your prayers. The 1 year anniversary of Peter’s death was on December 30, 2013. It’s hard to believe it has already been a year, and yet it feels like forever ago that Peter was here. The time frame is grief is warped.
This past year was a time of many firsts. My first round of holidays without Peter; Valentines, birthdays, anniversary, Fathers and Mothers day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My first trip away from home without Peter to come home to. First night without him in our bed, first night alone in house, first time to write the word widow next to my name. There are hundreds of other firsts that I went through in the transition from we to me. Most of them I did not like.
It was a year of reflecting on Peter, and our lives together. It was a year looking at photos, family videos and listening to our favorite songs. It was a time of seeing Peter’s clothing in our closet every time I open it, and sometimes just putting on one of his sweaters to feel close to him. It was a time of reflecting back on our
3 1/2 year ALS journey. I kept journals of it, and I went back and read them. It is a story to tell…with such sweet memories during a very difficult time. Perhaps one day I will share our story…a story of Peter’s incredible spirit and courage and of God’s tender care. I wrote Peter a letter at Christmas and told him about my year. I think I cried an entire box of Kleenex. This first year of grief, I gathered up as many precious memories and moments with Peter that I could. I just let them soak into my heart and soul. I cried a lot of tears.
This past year was a year of survival. Just living one day at a time, seeking God for daily comfort, and only doing what I could. No two people grieve the same, each person must listen to their heart, and only do what is right for them. For me, returning to work at the Bookstore was best. It gave me a schedule to my day and week, it surrounded me with the blessing of the church staff, it immersed me in Christian resources, and I heard worship music all day long. In my fragile state it was the perfect place to begin my healing. I almost quit near the end of Peter’s illness but he told me,” Andrea don’t quit, you will need this after I am gone.” Thank you Peter for your wisdom.
It was a year of being thankful. I am so grateful for the gift of my family, Ryan, Julie, Elizabeth, Rob, Chelsea and our extended families. I would not have made it without your love. I am so thankful for friends, for their comfort, their invitations to join them, for the miles of walks, for the wise counsel of godly friends, and for just being there when I need to cry or talk. For the grief counselor that has given me wisdom, direction and advice as I navigate the waters of grief.
My heart overflows with thankfulness to our heavenly Father. Jesus has been my rock, my refuge, my shelter, my provider, my comforter and my protector. He is healing me one day at a time. He can restore my life. He can raise beauty from ashes, he can create good from sadness and sorrow. He can continue to use Peter’s life and story to grow his kingdom of believers.
I am now at the beginning of year two without Peter. I know it will be different than year one in many ways, but the same because I miss Peter. I will always miss him. Our family will always miss him. We carry a part of him with us everyday. We are who we are today because he was in our lives. I am starting to see a small ray of light on the horizon, a ray of hope for my life. I am starting to feel a little more open to new things that God is bringing into my life. I am living with a sense of hope for my life. God must have a plan for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I put my trust in Him and his plan for my life.