It was December 4th, 2013. It had been 267 days since the love of my life died right in front of me. It was 267 largely sleepless nights. I had made myself put one foot in front of the other…day after miserable, lonely day…for 2-6-7 long $&@#%€* days. I was tired. I was broken. But I was trying.
On this day, I went to work. It was normally an hour commute each way, but on this particular day, the skies opened up and snow started falling at an alarming rate. The further west I drove heading home, the deeper the snow became. When I finally pulled up in front of my house, there was nearly 18” of heavy, wet snow in my driveway. I slogged up the drive and got my snow shovel out. You know…the one with MY name on it…not Mr. Virgo’s. He was gone. Two-hundred-sixty-seven days of…gone.
I shoveled for what seemed like hours. I was numb…physically and emotionally. I could hardly make a dent in the snow removal. I barely got my car in off the street when I gave up and went inside. I marched straight to our…MY…bedroom. I stood in front of the picture of Mr. Virgo and yelled at him. I screamed. I cried. I ranted and raved. He had a lot of nerve leaving me like this…with this house and this mess and this…LIFE! I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I was just so $&@# tired. I didn’t care if I lived or died, to be perfectly honest.
That was a particularly dark and dreadful season in my life. There were a lot of people who helped me through that. I had support from those who loved me and from complete strangers in several widow’s support groups on Facebook. I’m only active in a couple of them now. I see myself there now as a symbol of hope, having survived the worst of it.
The other day, one of the women in the group said “No one will ever love me like that again”. I couldn’t let her go on thinking that…believing that. I know early on…I couldn’t imagine loving again. If for no other reason than I was sure another loss like that would surely kill me. Then time passed, wounds scarred over, and color started to filter back into my life. I started to think…maybe I COULD do this again. I prayed a lot about it and asked God to place a worthy man right in front of me. And…He did.
I wanted this woman to know…your heart can beat again. You can open it up. You can give and receive love. It’s been almost five years since my world fell apart. And, while this man is so different than my late husband, he loves me “like that”. I feel the same joy true love brings. I feel the same hope, warmth, trust. This one is far more passionate…partially because I’m acutely aware of what I lost and I find this so precious. Which brings me to the biggest difference. Fear. When my husband was alive and I used to have the fleeting thought…”What if he died?” I had absolutely zero understanding of what devastation that loss would bring. Now, I know exactly what that loss brought to me. I still don’t know what losing this man would be like, but I have a $&@# good idea. I try to keep the wolves at bay and live in the moment, but they’re always howling in the woods somewhere.
God did not create in us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 is one of my go-to verses when I’m feeling weak and out of control. Mr. FixIt is having some reconstruction surgery on his hand Thursday. Even though I worked most of my career in medicine and was married to a physician for two decades, since losing Mr. Virgo, I don’t handle medical situations very well…especially when it involves someone I love. I read 2 Timothy, and asked a friend to come join me at the hospital for coffee and a chance to catch up. I know it’s not a huge invasive surgery, but I know things can happen. This man loves me…”like that”. I will do my very best to support him in whatever comes our way because…I love him “like that”, too. ❤️
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV