Standing at the coffee bar at a hotel the girls and I stayed at for a night, I heard Pat Benetar’s, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” over the speaker in the lobby. I could see Jana singing along with the chorus, because that’s all we really know of the song anyway, and putting on her 80’s singing face (kind of a grinding, hair band angst look, singing into a fake microphone). Immediately I enjoyed the moment, then, just as quickly almost came to tears. These memories!
The memories help me feel “closer” to Jana, but the closer I feel to her the more saddened I become as, proportionately it seems, I realize our separation. But, I cannot abandon my memories! They are all I have. I know, as C.S. Lewis says, they have already started to fade, the moment she left this earth.
“I must think more about H. and less about myself.
Yes, that sounds very well. But there’s a snag. I am thinking about her nearly always. Thinking of the H. facts – real words, looks, laughs, and actions of hers. But it is my own mind that selects and groups them. Already, less than a month after her death, I can feel the slow, insidious beginning of a process that will make the H. I think of into a more and more imaginary woman. Founded on fact, no doubt, I shall put in nothing fictitious (or I hope I shan’t). But won’t the composition inevitably become more and more my own? The reality is no longer there to check me, to pull me up short, as the real H. so often did, so unexpectedly, by being so thoroughly herself and not me.”
Excerpt From “A Grief Observed” C.S. Lewis
There has always been a third party in our marriage. Jesus. We came together through Him, gave our hearts to each other, through Him, and represented Him and His bride through building the foundation of our marriage on Him. We were not perfect, but we are forgiven and lived seeking His righeousness. Now, I can still rely on that “third party”, or, better said, the cornerstone of our relationship, Jesus Christ!
“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3
These tough moments continually arise. Some of the time, I get overwhelmed with my memories, other times, I remember verses like Phil 1:3, and I thank God for my memories of her. I can talk to the Lord, He still works between us. Reliance on Him is imperative for my days. I can easily become so heavy with my memories and sadness that I don’t know what to do. I feel like a caged animal, and, at times, the cage feels as if it slowly shrinking. Only Jesus can take this intense burden from me, especially as I remember His promises.
Dear Lord, please help me to remember your eternal care for Jana and I when the sorrow gets overwhelming. I thank you for my wonderful memories and the moments that you gave for so many years. I appreciate each and every minute. Please help me to appreciate my minutes as I continue to live the life you have given me. Amen