Thursday afternoon I was exhausted. I hadn't slept well and all I wanted to do was lie in the cool of the basement and take a nap. I propped up my feet onto Nick's lap, put my head on a pillow, and just glanced at the TV, thinking I would soon be asleep. I had only turned the TV on, and there was Oprah. I haven't watched Oprah in a long time, but this story caught my attention quickly. A woman dying of breast cancer, made a plethora of video and audio tapes addressing her daughter, Peyton. Life lessons, love stories, smiles, and tears are all shared on these keepsakes. Oprah had Peyton, and Peyton's father (the woman's widower) on the show. They were a beautiful family. As Peyton's father was being interviewed, he cried and spoke of a hole that will never be filled in his life because of the tragic loss of his first wife. Oprah then asked his current wife, how that made her feel. She was poised and confident when she said, "Any woman wants to be their husband's everything, but it would be foolish to believe that his past life didn't exist." She explained that everything her husband went through made him into the kind of man she wanted to spend her life with.
When it comes to the father/husband, I can relate to so much of what he knows and how death of a spouse molds you into a different person, however I disagree that Dan left a "hole"in my life when he relinquished this Earth. Of course in the beginning, it felt like not only a hole was missing, but that half of me was gone. In time, I changed my thinking. I realized that if I ever had a hole missing from my life, it was before I met Dan. When he came into my life, that hole was filled with everything I needed for a strong foundation and future.
Now he is gone, but not from me. He is no longer physically here, but I know he still looks after me. My mom said it perfectly the other day, "True love is when you want the absolute best for the other person." Dan still wants the best from me and he is celebrating me from his seat on the edge of the clouds.
Is Dan missing from my life? Sure. But I imagine the hole I would have, had he never been a part of my life, and I am thankful every day for the time we were blessed to share together.
When Dan was welcomed into Heaven, his new life began. And, as much as it wasn't planned, and for as much as I wished it weren't so, mine did too. Even though mine is without wings, yet not without sorrow, I have chosen to live it with courage. I have reopened my heart and welcomed the world and all it has to offer, instead of shutting it out and growing cold.
This winding road has lead me to new faith, new friends, new hope, and new love. I will never replace the love my husband and I shared, however there is no "hole I am trying to fill".
I think of the piece inside that is missing Dan as a pocket. In this pocket, I place daily smiles. I put memories in the pocket. I fill it some days with hugs from children and smiles from strangers. What I know is that my pocket will never be empty. I keep all of you in my pocket, and that pocket rests on my heart.
Fill your pockets, my friends. Live life positively, but aggressively, it is only ours for a short while.