Tuesday, August 23, 2011

.. and there it is.

It is as painful as it looks.

I was thinking back to that night I rolled over in bed, half awake, and saw Matt praying on his knees. I wonder what he was praying for. I will never forget that image. He occasionally checked up on me in the praying department. I gauge things that happened before his death by how long beforehand they occurred. I usually say, "Not long before he died" when I think something happened within a month of it. Could even be within a week. I'm not sure. I just know it seemed close. What I'm about to say is one of those things. I can't remember where we were... if we were at home or in the car. He asked me if I prayed. "Do you ever pray?" is what he said. I told him... yes, as a matter of fact I do. Not very often... it was usually just whenever I had a moment alone. He asked me what I prayed about. I told him mostly I just gave thanks for everything I am blessed with. And for the Lord to continue to bless us with good love and good fortune. He said, "Good, I am glad to hear that."

Sometimes I feel sad that Matt was taken so young and I think about all the things he will miss. Then I think, "This has nothing to do with Matt." He WILL be there for all the "things". He WILL always be with us. This has to do with us. This is something that happened to us, not him. Matt was brought home. Now he's waiting for us, watching us, guiding us. It is up to us to reach out to God now and prove to Him that we are at His mercy; we will grow in faith and let Him guide us. This tragedy is bringing us closer than ever to each other and to God. I feel closer than ever to God because my husband is right there with Him now. And he is guiding me to a stronger faith just by being there. I hope he knows it.

I started reading more of 90 Minutes in Heaven. After his description of Heaven ended and the story of his recovery began, I stopped reading for a while. I thought, "What's the point in me reading the rest? The part I really cared about is over. He survived his accident and Matt didn't." But I picked it up again yesterday and read a LOT. It opened my eyes. This man was angry with God for showing him Heaven and then putting him back on Earth. He went through agony for a year on his way to recovery. He frequently questioned why he was back here. He frequently wished he was dead. Then he realized that he was put back on Earth to share his story and bring hope to others. And that's exactly what his book did for me. I shed some tears while reading. And I'm really glad I picked it back up.

The white board in the laundry room still looks like this:

Back when life was good. I don't think I'll ever bring myself to erase it. Someone else will have to do it for me. Kind of like Matt's place setting at the dining room table. Just disregard the fact that we rarely cleaned up the table the same night we ate dinner... but his plate and silverware were just as he had left them the night before when I came home a widow on Wednesday. I could not bear to clean it up. I cleaned up everything around it. But I didn't touch his. It's a good thing someone else did it because it would still be sitting there now if they hadn't. Just like the ironing board in our bedroom. Granted, that won't attract bugs, but I dread when the time comes to take it down. Matt was the "iron man" in the family. I never ironed. He was all about it. So he set that board up to iron and I don't want to take it down. But I will soon. It's in my way and most everything is off of it by now.

I feel like I just keep getting one more step away from him. Every little thing I do is one step further from the life we had. So I hang on to as much as I can until I can hang on no longer.


  1. As hard as it seems right now, try not to think of it as getting one more step away from him. Think of it as getting one day closer to him. His spirit will always live within yours and the kids. And remember, my mom, dad, Tom, and I will always bring some part of Matt to you no matter what. He runs through our blood and always will <3

  2. Stephanie, you don't know me but I think you should know how many people have your family in their prayers. My daughter and her young family are in Belmont. She actually knew about Matt's death before I did. Hang in there, be a good mom, and KEEP PRAYING!