Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Different Time and Place

I awoke in bed...empty except for me and the still strong smell of his cologne. As I lie there warm beneath the covers wondering how I am supposed to face the day, I hear the soft noises arising from the other bedrooms. Calling my name....Mommy, mommy, mommy! Oh yeah, I have to get up....I have to go on! But how will I do it, how will I cope. And how on earth do I tell these three little ones that their daddy will never walk through the door again? God give me strength and wisdom to help them somehow because I can't even help myself right now.

As I gather them together and herd them to the living room my thoughts are confused......they are all so young, how will I make them understand what has happened. They know he's been sick and has been in the hospital for a few weeks now but the boys are only 2 1/2 and not quite 4. How much will they grasp? And how about our only daughter....she's 7 now. Old enough to know and understand. It will be hardest on her at this point. She was always such a "Daddy's Girl".

I look into their little faces and their eyes so full of trust in me that for a few minutes I just want to run away and not face them and the questions that will come. If not now, in the years to come. My throat starts to close up.

I sit them down in a semi-circle on the floor around me. I tell them that their Daddy was very, very sick and couldn't get better no matter how hard he tried. And God saw how sick and how tired Daddy was and took Daddy to live in heaven with him where he would never be tired again or sick again. And Daddy would not be coming home to us ever again; that Daddy's home was now in heaven with God. Daddy is now an angel and will be watching over us all.

The boys don't fully understand, I can see it in their eyes and on their faces. It's just what I expected. They will have more questions in the months and years ahead. Perhaps I will better be able to deal with it then. When it isn't so new to me too. Will we survive that long?

I turn my gaze to our daughter. The pain I see in her little face and in her eyes makes me wish that I could have died rather than inflict this pain on her when she is so small. She crumbles into my arms and sobs. I tell myself "don't cry, be strong for her"! It is all I can do to not break down and fall totally apart and I pray for someone else to be the strong one and take over......but there is no one else. It is my job....and there is no one to help. How I wish my folks were still alive. I wish I was a little girl myself and they were here to comfort me and handle it all. But they aren't! So I try to compose myself and pull myself together and be there for my children. Be the strong one for them.......they need me now more than ever. "Buck up girl," I tell myself, "you can fall apart later if you need to but for now put on a show for them." Let them know that everything will be okay even though Daddy isn't here.....we are still a family and you will be there to care for them.

Although it is sometimes hard to remember......GOD is with us!


Connie and Rob said...

What a moving post. I am so sorry you had to live through this pain. It is so hard to understand why things happen in our life. I lost my husband early in our marriage due to illness however, I didn't have children. People always tell you that time heals but they don't realize you are the one living each and every moment of that wound. God helped me most because I had to believe that he was in a better place.

I hope through time you and your children were able to deal with your pain and yes God is with you.


Bainwen Gilrana said...

God, Martie. This made me tear up in the reading.

*hugs* *hugs* and more *hugs* to you. What a wonderful mommy you were/are to focus on your babies while dealing with your own grief.

martie said...

Thank you so much for the kind words and understanding Connie. This happened 31 years ago and sometimes it is still painful for all of us. I think the one who has never been able to work through the pain is the youngest as he was only 2 1/2 at the time and because of his young age, has no memories of his Dad, but it has been equally hard for my daughter and other son too.

martie said...

Bainwen, thank you for the compliment, but the Lord is the one who gave me strength to deal with and help the little ones. This is the very first time that I have ever put the words down somewhere.....I always kept them in my heart and head.

Nunzia said...

OMG Martie.. I'm so sorry I only read this now. I can't tell you the chills I just got reading this. That last line... you are incredibly strong. I'll be praying for you and your family!

clew said...

I know this story through your words before and those of your daughter, but it never loses it's razor sharp edge.

You know I love you and admire you. I'm ashamed of the trivial things I get depressed about now! :)

rosie said...

Very touching! Hugs! ((((Martie)))

Bougie Black Boy said...

This was amazingly strong. . . It not only shows fear, but love strength courage and determination. The notion that we must put on this "mask" and "buck up" (as you said) to make others at ease, is all too familiar. I'll assume this story to be a reflection of many years ago in your life. And If that's accurage, I applaud you for creating such a wonderful story. (and you know my comments by now, if i don't like I'd say so!) :)

Lori said...

Even though you didn't know it at the time, your children were your strength...the reason that you had to go on. What a profound and incredibly difficult moment for you all. Faith is what is left when the world has left your side. God bless

naive-no-more said...

It was hard enough experiencing it as a child, but what I didn't know then was how hard it would be for a mom. Now that I have children, I don't know how you did what you did.

You made us feel safe. I remember asking you what would happen if you died too. Your response was always, "God knows you need me, he won't take me too." That was all I needed to hear.

Years later as an adult, I can't imagine the impact those words must have had on you. You couldn't promise that God wouldn't take you, you had no idea what would happen, but you knew it's what I needed to hear.

This was a beautiful post. Sad too.

Nicole said...

Oh Martie...what you must've gone through in those early years. It's hard to be strong when all you want to do is crumble but you did it. What an amazing gift you were to your children.

martie said...

No Nicole, they were an amazing gift to me and I thank God every day for them, even now!

BonnieBlueFlag said...


I cannot tell you how much I admire your strength in dealing with the loss of your husband, and the raising of very young children without their father. There must have been times, when you felt the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I sincerely wish you great happiness and love within the family you have today.