I know he always wanted to live a long life. He wanted to watch his children grow. He wanted to be there for all the things a dad experiences, from teaching his kids how to tie their shoes to hearing them say, "I hate you" for the first time. He wanted all of it. The good and the bad. He loved life and he especially loved life as a daddy. I don't know why he didn't get to have it. Why? Is it more painful that he didn't get to have his long life for him or for me? Is he really here... getting to see his children even though he cannot interact with them? Does he see us from afar? Is he in this room with me? Can he not see us but hear our deepest thoughts? Does he miss us? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. But I can tell you that these are the types of questions that are constantly running through my mind every single second of every single day.
Something I struggle with is being happy for other people. It's not that I'm not happy for them, actually. I should rephrase that. What I struggle with is expressing my happiness for others. A lot of the time. Not all the time. Most of the time. I'm just not in the mood. I'm praying to be able to feel joy at others' joy. But it's not coming very easily. And it makes me feel bad. But I know I shouldn't feel bad. Which is also annoying. I know I shouldn't feel bad so then I feel bad about feeling bad about feeling bad. Things are complicated.
I looked at a lot of pictures of Matt today. I created two folders: Matt & Noah and Matt & Chloe. So far, I have 114 pictures of Matt and Noah together and 8 pictures of Matt and Chloe together (and that includes one when she was still in my belly). I don't imagine the Matt & Chloe folder will grow much more, unfortunately. I'm sure there are less than 15 pictures of Matt and Chloe together out there in the world. But you know what? I'm thankful for those less than 15. I'm thankful that he was able to be with his baby girl for four months. That's better than none.
My life has certainly turned in a direction I never expected. The rug was pulled out from underneath me. I feel like this is a second life. The only constant between my two lives is our children. Besides that, everything is new to me. I lost a lot. But I can't dismiss the fact that I've also gained a lot. I lost my husband but I gained Christ (and a guardian angel). I lost my husband but I've gained stronger relationships than before. I lost my husband but I've gained a new purpose in life. A new perspective. A new attitude. Why did he have to be the sacrifice though? I lost my husband, I lost everything. I lost everything and gained everything. Things are complicated.
I fell asleep with Chloe this afternoon and dreamed about Matt. I have noticed that Matt almost never speaks in my dreams. If he does, it's very little. In this one, Matt had been dead but he came back. We were trying to take a scenic tour up a mountain but the lines were so incredibly long. He said, "We don't have to do it," and I said, "Are you sure? We don't know if we will ever have the chance again." We decided to leave but on our way back, we saw an elevator with no line. All of a sudden, everyone else was gone and it was just the two of us. We got on the elevator (which was like an elevator or a gondola, I'm not even sure) to the top of this great scenic mountain view and it was at sunset. The entire horizon was lit up with bright, hot pink sunlight. I said, "Have you ever seen such a bright pink sky? Well, you probably have," referring to the fact that he had already been in Heaven where everything is beautiful and vibrant. He didn't say anything. That was it. That was my dream.
Every night I think, "One more day down." "One more day without Matt." "One less day I have to live without him." It's almost as though I'm just waiting. Just counting the days away. Each night is a relief. I made it through one more day. I wonder if he knows how many more I have left. I don't even think it really matters. I've come to realize that one more day without him versus a thousand more days without him... it's all the same. One day without him is just as painful as a thousand days without him. It will never change. I'm learning to live with it. I'm learning that this void never goes away; you just get used to it. That's the thing about losing a loved one. There is no moving on from it. You can't move on from it. It stays with you forever.
My inappropriate sense of humor was totally wanting to embed a clip from The Sandlot here. Is that bad? Can I do that? Matt would totally get it but I don't know if anyone else would. X( Behind all of my heartfelt writing I do have a funny side. And I'm not denying that it can come up at the most inappropriate of times.
Regardless, I have to share this quote from Matt himself. I had written it on one of his folders in college to document this extremely insightful statement:
"Dude, erasers are so awesome. Do you ever think about that?" ~Matthew K. Hales