Once upon a time, God brought you into my life. I was lost, afraid, and had low self-esteem…a victim of abuse most of my life. I once thought my life would never be like the fairy tale I’d longed for as a child, but God knew better.
You loved not only me, but my children, and you gave me four new stepchildren to love. We had a beautiful blended family.
There were times when we didn’t have enough money to meet our obligations, but God saw us through. There were times when our hearts were broken over family issues, but God saw us through.
We lost loved ones and cried together. We hugged. We laughed. We found joy in little things. We did everything together.
We celebrated birthdays, holidays, and stepping stones rejoicing with our children at their successes, and cried at their pain.
We loved. We were blessed with a forever kind of love.
We loved through the bad times and the good. You showed me the gentleness of a hug, that hands didn’t have to be rough and words didn’t have to be hurtful. When you looked at me, I knew love so deeply, so pure, so beautiful. We didn’t need a lot of money or things to make us happy. We found happiness in just being together.
It was the simple things like watching television together, laughing, talking, reading devotions, praying, and always kissing good night and saying “I love you” that will remain as memories to keep me company until we are together again.
You loved me so much, you fought bravely to keep breathing in our last hours together. We were able to say goodbye as we looked into each other’s eyes and kissed with our family surrounding us. I thank God we were all able to fill your last earthly hours with love.
Later, when we were alone together, and you couldn’t respond, I begged for God’s mercy upon us. I reminded you of the talks we’d shared about not being afraid of death, but looking at it as only a momentary stepping from this earthly world into a glorious forever home. Even then, you waited until I fell asleep beside you, my arm on your chest, to take Jesus’s hand and move on. How could you love me so much? Did you know I loved you the same?
Today as I celebrate your birthday without you beside me, I think back on all the birthdays we had together. Such happy days. Today is bittersweet. My heart is rejoicing that you no longer have to suffer and struggle to breathe, to take the many medications, to spend so many hours toiling just to live. You fought the fight bravely and with love.
I miss you. I will miss you until the day we are reunited. God still has something for me to do and I must be brave and walk the path He lays before me. I will try to be brave like you.
Today I will go to your grave and place new flowers in the vase. I know you aren’t there, but it is a token of remembrance and love. These things were important to you, and I will honor that by continuing as long as God allows.
Happy birthday, baby. My forever love.