This is a lot of posting for one day but I feel like I better catch up to the present and this is another one I actually wrote over the weekend.
We were on the airplane on Saturday, July 23... still very fresh with grief and shock. We were awaiting departure to take off for Detroit. There was a couple with a young child sitting in front of us and for some reason I just picked this out of the conversation the mom was having with their son. She was trying to entertain him and distract him while waiting for takeoff. He was probably a bit older than Noah. He must have been looking at her wedding ring because she said something like, "See my ring? Daddy has one, too. When you get older you can wear a ring like Daddy."
Matt, Noah just loves the water. He is a fearless little fishy. He jumped right off the raft into my arms with no warning whatsoever. You would be so proud. We sure wish you were there to give him his first swimming lessons. Everywhere we look, Matt, we are remind of you... we miss you more than words could ever truly express. You will be missed forever.
I made an attempt at watching The Bachelorette finale. As much as he might hate for me to dish this (or maybe not; he was pretty good about owning up to his guilty pleasures), Matt and I watched this show together every Monday. But I couldn't get through the first 10 minutes. Hearing them talk about kissing each other for the rest of their lives really struck a nerve. I was supposed to kiss Matt for the rest of our lives. But it was cut short. I don't get that luxury anymore. It was taken away. It is so very difficult for me right now to watch husbands and wives together... or even just couples in general. I had that companionship - that perfect companionship - only a few short weeks ago. I only had it for six and a half years. I thought we'd have it for much longer than that. I thought we would grow old together; I would say it's a pretty fair assumption that most people make. Thought we'd watch our children have children. I thought this was our fairytale... after all we had been through... I thought we were free.
Sometimes Noah gives me a really hard time. Typical two-year-old. It is tons more difficult now though. Matt was so good at helping me through a toddler meltdown. Noah is defiant, stubborn... but Matt and I would work together (although he was much better than I was). Now, sometimes I just want to cry right along with Noah. Sometimes I just feel so angry that I am left with two very young children to raise and teach and nurture. Sometimes I just think, "Matt would know what to do." It is so dangerously easy to slip into that dark place and just feel sorry for myself... to be angry with God for taking Matt away from us - leaving me with the gigantic burden of raising a family, financially supporting them, doing everything. EVERYTHING. Leaving a four-month-old and a two-year-old without their father. But I just have to remember that it is important not to lose faith. I must play the hand I'm dealt and show God that I accept His plan... no matter how difficult. I must continue to live as Matt would want me to live and trust in God that this is my new path. I know He will guide me and I will serve Him along the way. Never losing faith. In fact, this has only strengthened my faith. I'm not going to lie, I didn't have a very strong faith before all this. It was always something Matt wanted me to work on. I did try but I didn't feel like I tried with much conviction. I always went to Matt with my questions about religion. I sure will miss those conversations.
Another thing it is dangerously easy to do is fall into the "what if" trap. What if we had decided not to move to North Carolina? What if we had chosen that week to go on vacation instead of September? What if Matt listened to me and stayed home from work that day? He would still be here. But when you step back and look at the hundreds upon hundreds of "what if" scenarios, you realize that there are simply too many factors to pinpoint just one.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1
Sometimes I think that Matt could have survived this... but maybe he was granted a choice and decided that wasn't the best outcome for him or us. I don't at all want this to come off the wrong way... and I swear by all that is Holy I would have been right there at his side no matter what condition he might have come out in... but he had already survived a near-fatal brain injury 11 years ago. He had to re-learn how to walk, talk and eat. All basic functions we take for granted every day. He was left with a seizure disorder for which he had to take medication twice a day for the rest of his life and occasionally suffer a tonic clonic seizure, among other challenges. And he really persevered. Just look at all he accomplished. He considered those things a mere inconvenience compared to what other TBI survivors endure. He knew he was lucky. But maybe surviving another one wouldn't have left him so lucky again. Sometimes I picture him in Heaven during that hour he was being worked on in the emergency room; he was in Heaven discussing his options with God. And God granted him the option of eternal life in Heaven instead of having to go through that again. Maybe I was saved from having to make a decision I would NEVER want to have to make. I have no doubt this accident could have been... should have been... avoided, but because it wasn't, this was our ending. And it hurts me to the core. It's a kind of heartache I never knew existed. But we just have to have faith.