These days, I am often asked these questions: “How are you?” “How are the children?” or “How are you holding up?”
Honestly, I am not quite sure how to answer these questions. I have settled on “I’m/We are okay.” simply because “We are not doing good.” would be a lie. God has blessed us far too much for this to be the case. However, “We are good.” seems like too much of a stretch to adequately capture our reality.
I am a novice in grief. I can tell you that I have never felt that I needed God more or desired his presence more than I do now. I can tell you that I don’t think I have fully processed the implications of my husband’s promotion into heaven. It was just yesterday that a new wave of emotion overcame me as it dawned on me that there is no other person on this earth that was there to share, first-hand so many of the moments I experienced with my friend and husband, Kenneth Hutchinson.
I will never again turn to anyone, chuckle, and say, “Do you remember when I was pregnant with Noelle and we got in the elevator of our apartment on Touhy Avenue and our neighbor got in the elevator behind us, took one look at my belly, and said, “You look like a stuffed turkey at Thanksgiving!!! Can you believe she said that?!”
Or, "Remember when I was pregnant with Bella and we would run out late at night to Dunkin Donuts to buy those Cappuccino Blast?! The employees would see us coming and just ask, “‘The usual!?’”
“Do you remember the first time we went to my auntie’s house for Thanksgiving?! We were lost for hours! It was so dark. We were wandering around frustrated and then the police pulled us over?! Kenneth, and as the police officer was walking up to the car, you started singing some old slave song: ‘Tis the Old Ship of Zion’ and I burst out laughing so hard! That was crazy, wasn’t it?!”
“Remember when Noah hid that rotten egg behind the couch? We kept walking past wondering what that smell was and couldn’t figure it out. Eventually, one of the other kids found it and we tried to ask him why in the world he did that?” “Right, and he couldn’t quite explain it, but it had something to do with him reading the book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ at school. Look, that's YOUR child!"
“You remember how you would hold Noelle when she was a baby and was screaming her head off crying? You would sing, ‘It’s alright. It’s okay. Daddy loves you anyway.’ But, she wasn’t having it. She just kept screaming!”
These memories that only he and I would remember or be able to recollect are precious. They are vast. To no longer be able to speak of them with the only person that was there and could truly appreciate it or understand it for what it was, besides God, is an extensive loss. This is what I am learning about what it means to lose a spouse.
This is also what I am learning about the significance of being sure to enjoy the “little things” that make our lives, our lives and being sure to appreciate the ones we share it with. I feel thankful knowing I did appreciate all of it and my husband while he was here with me.