I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Philippians 1:3 KJV
As I write this article, it has been 1,797 days since my beloved husband went Home. I was married for 1,749 days to this beautiful man. He has been in Heaven forty-eight days more than I had the pleasure of being his wife.
When my husband died, there were so many things that reminded me of him that in order to keep my sanity, I felt I needed to put them all together in a very special box. Then I could go to those items when I needed to and not be surprised by them. So many little items that make up a person’s life. When that person no longer needs them, they have so little value to the world, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. For example, his sunglasses and his eyeglasses; his work picture ID badge; his business cards; his deodorant; his driver’s license; his soft leather wallet. When I open the lid to this very special box, I am transported back to him. His smell, the little things that made him who he was, his unique print – remembrance of him.
There are other items in that box – letters from the nursing staff at Duke (where he passed away) expressing condolence, the bulletin from his promotion ceremony (funeral), sympathy cards. These items remind me that this really did happen. I had the most beautiful life and God asked me to take a knee for Him. I probably won’t know why on this side of Heaven, but these items remind me of those dark days after he left this earth.
I went to this special box so many times in the early days following his departure. I would fall asleep in the midst of all of the items on my bed, longing for a different ending. I have also recently learned that my daughter would go into my room when I was not there and open this box and go through the things in it as well. As the days of the calendar have ticked off, I don’t go to the box as often.
Tonight, I opened the box for the first time in a long time and his beautiful smile wafted through my mind’s eye. His lovely voice and its cadence when he called my name came to memory. The glasses, soft wallet, work ID badge all brought to mind the many nights he took those items off as he readied for bedtime and they sat watch on his nightstand.
My life has purpose and I mean something to the Savior. He knows the number of hairs on my head and with His very hands, He molded my heart and created my soul. He knows how much it hurt me to ask me to let go of my husband’s hand and to walk into a future without him. He knows as I go through his belongings how much my heart longs for that companionship and love. He knows that I also know all things work together for good and I am not to lean on my own understanding but to trust in Him.
So, as I remember my husband and honor his life and love of Christ; I am also looking forward to the purpose that God has for me. His plans are good ones. He loves me and calls me to remember but also to walk forward. I encourage you to walk with me.
Dear Lord, Thank you for allowing my life to cross with my husband’s life. I am better for it! Thank you for allowing me to have wonderful memories of our time together. Thank you for loving me and for walking with me each step of this journey and for providing beautiful sisters as traveling companions. Amen
Sherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc. Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia. She works in the professional community management industry and is very active in her local church. She has one daughter who is 19 years old and a college freshman. She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon. Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft. God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey. She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life.
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Are you finally healing and want to read more on this part of the journey? Turn Back and Strengthen by Elizabeth Dyer.