As I walk along, signs dot the path to my right and left. Some of the signs warn of rocky terrain on the path which is not nearly as treacherous as it used to be. Other postings are announcing positive, continued progress in the journey.

It’s been awhile. I’ve gone through much. Even Elisabeth Kubler-Ross would agree I have achieved “acceptance.” This does not mean that the sad moments and processing have ended. Oh, no. Each life decision includes an amount of re-processing…to some degree. I continuously find myself enjoying happy memories, struggling with purpose, and fighting nightmarish visions of our hospital stay, and…I probably always will.

This coming weekend, February 7th to be exact, will mark 18 months since Jana died. A year and a half. Man. Hard to believe. So much has happened in that time. I have changed. I am different. I am…better. I am a man who has learned important aspects to life. God has blessed me with wisdom.

The Lord is good, His mercies last forever. Now, tears come to my eyes contemplating the goodness He has shown to me rather than the trouble my heart has endured. God has not forgotten me, He has not left me…never did He leave my side. I went through every gyration of a suffering widower…He carried me through.

I love knowing that individuals continue to view my posts. Sometimes, I will go back and revisit my own pain-filled writings. I remember that man… My prayer, from the beginning, was for my very public suffering to be used in ministering to others. We all step through this type of heartache from time to time. It’s called life.

Life has highs, too! In God’s perfect way, He has brought a wonderful, Godly woman into my life about 5 months ago. As a widower, I find myself needing to process all the aspects of a new relationship. So many things to consider, and…my lovely companion is more than ready, and able, to successfully help me navigate all these things. I am grateful to God for such a woman!

Today, with my daughter’s help, I packed up some of Jana’s clothes. We agreed that this was a task we could have accomplished some time ago. Emotionally, I was more than ready to tackle this. Don’t get me wrong, it is very difficult to bag up my beautiful wife’s sweater that she wore on a date night, the jacket she used to fight the chill on a late night ice cream run, or pack up the bag she used to carry her bible to church.

In the middle of her hanging clothes, for whatever reason, was a pair of black slacks that belonged to me. I took them off the hanger, and glanced at Allyson. She looked at me expecting an explanation. I said, “These were my suit pants I wore for our wedding.” She looked at me, wondering how I would navigate such a decision. After a quick moment of thought, which included relishing the moment in 1998 when I said “I do” in these slacks, I told her, “Put them in the ‘to go’ pile.” It’s time to move forward…

I’m ok with these things. This is my signpost. This is the realization that allows me to enjoy today, and find hope in the future. Jana is in the arms of Jesus! I have work to do. I will live life, enjoy the blessings God gives, and comfort as I have been comforted. This service to the Lord is my work and my joy.

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