Jana knew that I loved her tremendously. She had no doubt that I cared for her and would be by her side no matter what life brought. I know she loved me in the same way, and it would have taken my death for her to leave my side.
These days I am considering the simple behaviors that illustrate my new life. I am working towards things like taking my ring off, connecting more with single people, and thinking more about my physical self (lots of reasons for this, but among them is wanting to look good. *There is a place that is easy to fall into physically when you are married, father of older children, and almost 50 that just screams “comfortable!”) And, I am making these changes because I want to. I do what feels natural in my progression.
My new activities come with some angst. I run my own feelings through the ringer, and it’s all too easy to apply the guilt. But, this is where I must tell myself: Jana knew I loved her! The changes in my life, and future changes, are not statements on how much I loved Jana. Permission to enjoy life, pursue experiences, and embrace the “new” must be given – to myself!
I will take Jana with me into these new life situations. I take her in my memories, in the things I have learned from her, and in how she has been instrumental in shaping me into the man that I am today. She taught me how to be a husband, she taught me how to be a more compassionate father, she taught me how to love another… No matter the relationships I entertain in the future, I will take her lessons with me.
Jana is home. This morning, I found myself talking out loud on my drive in to work. At one spot on the highway coming into our small town, I can look across a couple of empty pastures to the back of the cemetery where Jana’s body is buried. Several monuments and markers can be seen for just a half mile or so before the cemetery is out of sight behind houses. I reminded myself that she is not there, she is home…then I said, like I have assured her so many times before, “I’ll be home soon.”
LORD, what is a human that you care for him, a son of man that you think of him? A human is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
God, I know You love me. You love your children. Jesus, it is through you that, one day, I will be home, too. For now, please strengthen me as your servant. Time is short, Your work is great – I pray for faith in doing your will. Amen.
See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children-and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him.
1 John 3:1