2.14.16 My Valentine card memory

As I looked at the rows of Valentines cards at the store, a deep sadness came over
over me. What if this would be the last time that I will be able to buy a valentines card for Peter? It is something that I had taken for granted in the previous 31 years. Buying a valentines card, how simple and common is that? As the fear and pain of the possibility struck my heart, I wanted to purchase the whole row of cards. I did not want to lose the privilege of buying a card for the one I love. I purchased 14 cards that day.  I gave one to Peter each day leading up to Valentines Day. Here is the picture of all the cards on our mantel. The other picture is one of Peter and I on a very happy vacation. I share this memory for myself, and to remind others not to take for granted the simple expressions of love like….a valentines card. It was our last valentines day together, as Peter passed on December 30th of that year. I still have all 14 of the cards, I treasure them but more than that I hold dear the memory of who I bought them for. Happy Valentines Day precious Peter…I miss you even more today.

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1.13.15 Wake up and Live

As this new year 2015 begins I have been reflecting on where I have been, and where I am going in my grief journey. Peter passed 2 years ago on December 30, 2012. It seems like forever ago that he has been gone, and yet it seems like just yesterday he was here. Time is warped in grief. The first year without Peter was a time of deep sorrow, intense sadness, and so many tears.  I just needed to get through one day at a time…and survive.

My second year was actually harder than the first in many ways. The heartbreaking realities of my life were coming into focus; Peter was not coming back to us, my kids would be without their Dad, and our families would be without Peter. I also had a new identity now, as a single person; with all the loneliness and responsibilities that accompany it. I had to began to learn how to live alone, after living with the love of my life for 33 years…a daunting and painful task.  I struggled with my new identity, and I am still discovering who I am without my husband.  I asked myself life defining questions like; What is most important to me? What gives meaning to my life? How do I want to live the next 30 years? What is my purpose now? What relationships are most important to me?  It will be an ongoing process of self discovery to find answers to these questions.

As I begin this third year, I realize its up to me to begin the process of rebuilding my life. I am beginning to have the strength and courage that it will take to embrace new things; ideas, friends, relationships, dreams, passions, challenges, travel, and activities. With my cautious personality, I can easily let fear creep in and stop me from growing….keeping me in the safe and comfortable zone. But is that the full life that God has for me?  Peter was a  balance and compliment to my “cautious Katie nature”.  He loved adventure, spontaneity, newness, people, risk… and lots of coffee. I was reminded of this when I looked at this photo of Peter. It was taken at his favorite coffee shop in Sun Valley.  The sign next to him reads “Wake up and Live”, its as if he is giving me direction for my life now. He would want me to live a fully caffeinated life, to “wake up and live” my life to its full potential.  He would want me to embrace all the plans that God has for me. Thank you Peter for your encouragement even now. I promise I will try to be brave like you.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”           Jeremiah 29:11

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9.6.14 Together in heaven

Peter’s dad Oliver Kern Devin passed into eternity today. He was a beloved husband, father, Pop Pop, mentor, friend to many, and a gifted artist. He was a man of great faith, and his legacy lives on in his family. He will be missed dearly, he made the world a more beautiful place.  It gives me comfort to know that Peter and his Dad are together in heaven. How I would have loved to see that reunion. I am sure they are doing the things they loved here… only heaven style: golfing, eating, laughing, cooking, discussing politics and enjoying each others company. Our world has lost 2 great men, 2 family men, and 2 men who loved and served the Lord. But our loss is heavens gain. Until the day we meet again….

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