"Falling in love is the easy part.
It is quite different from being in love.
If you are blessed,
you fall in love with your spouse again a little bit every day.
Love is a choice,
a decision to love no matter what the day brings.
You are in love because you choose to be in love.
You made a promise, a commitment, to love each other."
Author Unknown


Monday, December 9, 2013

1st Anniversary

 

Hello Friends,

One year ago today, at 10:12 a.m., my dear husband and best friend Mark when home to be with Jesus.

This time last year I was very despondent as you can well imagine, but I was not without hope and my strength to get through each day was and still is the strength of Jesus.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Grief was so overwhelming those first few months, and even a month or two ago I had the worst bout of grieving ever.  Sobbing so much I hurt physically. I just cried out to God to heal my broken heart and to get me through the pain. He has, He did and He is.

Grief still has a way of sneaking up on me, when I least expect it. The tears can be triggered by anything, and I just let them flow.  They are healing, they are precious to God. Remember, everyone of us grieves differently, don’t let anyone tell you how to do it.

I shed some tears yesterday as I decorated the trees as I miss Mark very much. His birthday is the 20th so we had much to celebrate this time of year.

I feel his love all around me.  I see it in so many things he did here in our little haven . My love for him continues to grow and I am thankful for the love we shared those 43 years of marriage. We grew up together and grew through lessons learned in our life and I am still learning and growing.

Through all the pain of this great loss, God has shown me so much love, He has drawn me closer to Him and He has given me a greater love and compassion for others.

I was led to a wonderful Christian group of widowed ladies and a church I enjoy very much. I was asked to be part of the staff of this group of widows, as photographer after I created a blog for them, Friends Needing Friends. This group was started by a lovely and fun lady, Dotti Ackerman.  She first started a group in NJ about 25 years ago, then came to FL and started our group a couple of years ago. She is much loved by both groups.

Meeting these ladies and becoming a part of their lives has been a blessing to me.

I am thankful for the widow friends I have made online. For the blogs of widows, and for my followers who have helped me so much during this past year. You all are a blessing in my life. I am thankful for family who have also blessed me with their love and support, and physical labor too.

Love and encouragement are so needed by widows. To be listened to, to be able to talk about their loved ones helps tremendously with their grieving.  Hugs are much appreciated too.

Nothing and no one can ever take the place of our dear husbands, they were the other half of ourselves.  We learn to live a new life, one of trust in God more than ever before.

I have read a LOT during this past year and have been blessed and encouraged and uplifted so much. The Bible has been the greatest source of comfort as well as books for widows and writings online and blogs.

I just read something in a book this past week or so and it is this ~ "We reproach ourselves when those we love are taken.  But, if we meditate, we can see how they can inspire our lives, make our years more significant by their lessons."

One of the last things dear Mark said to me was "Be kind." Not that long ago I came across a piece on you tube that really touched my heart along these same lines.

A young photographer went around NYC photographing thousands of real people and asked them what piece of advice they would have for a large audience.  One lady he came up to in pouring down rain was a widow in her 80’s, standing under a colorful umbrella. Her piece of advice was this. “I’ll tell you what my dying husband told me when I asked him what will I do without you in my life.  He told her, “Take that love you would have given me and spread it around.”

That still gets to me as I write and read the words again.  I loved my husband deeply, he was my life, and seeing this story was a gift from him and from God for me to carry on and ‘spread the love’.

I feel joy and peace on this first anniversary of Mark’s  leaving this planet. I know where he is and one day we will be reunited and live with Jesus forever. It will all be more wonderful than we can even imagine.

For all of those just coming into this new life of being a widow or widower, know that it will get easier.  You don't think so right now, and I didn't think so either, but God has been my strength, He has blessed me in many ways. I am trusting Him as my husband now to work all things out. I look to Him for guidance, help, love and healing. You can too. His love, grace, peace and healing are yours for the asking. Trust Him, He will never leave or forsake you.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

~ Remember Philippians 4:13 ~

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

******

07-05-from-nanci-john

The photo above was taken by friends of mine and Mark’s who I had told about his telling me ‘be kind’. They were up north and the husband saw the sign and told the wife to stop, back up.  You should take a picture of this sign for Rainey.  When she went to take the picture and saw the name of the church she said something like,  ‘you’re not going to believe this’.  The name of the church.

A coincidence , I hardly think so.

God works in mysterious ways,

His wonders to perform.

This was yet another gift of love from God to me,

and from Mark to me.