2017: A year of new ‘firsts’

Welcome to 2017: A new year of experiences and innumerable ‘firsts’. Yet, how lost I feel in this life without my love next to me to have those experiences together. Everything is new to me — — and I am finding I don’t like it.

A new year of ‘firsts’ where everything I do or see is the ‘first’ time I am doing them or seeing them without my beloved Eric. I am truly bereft with the idea that he is truly not coming back to me. Tonight I attended my grandson Julian’s band concert, proudly sitting in the audience as he skillfully played his clarinet, when the invading thought arose in my mind that although it was Julian’s first band concert I had attended, it was also the first time I attended Julian’s band concert without his “Papa Eric.”

So, you see everything I do or see this year will be an experience of ‘firsts.’ Because, it is now his lack of presence that I most observe in all my comings and goings. I suppose in a way I took his actual presence in my life for granted, never contemplating or imagining my life without his presence. You see, he was bigger than life itself. A character that was big to numerous people who loved and adored him. My grandchildren are hurting in a way that is unimaginable. Their hearts are pierced as they continue to watch videos of their Papa, remembering time spent together and trips taken over the years. So many memories he left us with……. Hold your loved one’s so close, my readers. Love them like there is no tomorrow. Because there may not be a tomorrow……

How painful life can be without those whose very essence seemed so essential to your own existence. How difficult earthly life can be when the one you love most is not present to experience even the mundane things, not to mention life’s highlights and celebrations. How utterly grieved I feel when I consider the decades I may have left without him.

Time continues but I am rather stuck, you see. I am stuck with an immeasurable quantity of ‘firsts’ in my life. “Firsts’ I don’t want to experience. My first time back to church without my love. My first time to bed without my love. The first time I eat popcorn without my best friend. The first time I fall down and hurt myself without my knight. The first time I call for him and he is nowhere to be found. I don’t like these ‘firsts.’ I just want my husband back. I know he is soaring like an eagle now, dancing his butt off in heaven, going fast and doing all the risky things he loved. So I am glad for that. Yet, at the same time, I am lost here without him, without his calming presence.

What comfort he provided me while he was with me. We could spend an evening together in comfortable silence, looking and playing with our phones or other gadgetry while also knowing how deeply we loved one another. We were comfortable with one another in that way where it was simply unnecessary for either of us to contemplate trying to entertain the other. We could relax in our own skin and be who we were as individuals and as a couple. We had a beautiful relationship. Yes, we had our share of hardships and upsets, but we always managed to see our way through them, with the grace of God and prayer. We had each other and we were both comforted with that and with how we related to one another.

So, yes, my life will never be the same now that he has gone. It will continue to be a life of many ‘firsts’….. “Firsts” without my love for as long as I live.

How I yearn and pray that God will give me a whiff of his presence within my heart as I say my prayers and yearn for his body next to mine. I could put my feet on his legs like I did all the time, providing us both with comfort, acknowledging our love for one another even in the midst of trying to sleep. How I yearn for God to let me smell his scent just one more time. To know that he feels my pain without him and that his passing leaves a deep void of emptiness and heartache.

How I yearn for his comforting words, his patting me on my head, telling me I will be okay and that I can live through this New Year and my new life of ‘firsts.’ How I yearn for his confidence and the genuine faith he expressed in my abilities to exhibit undaunted strength in the most unimaginable and hurtful difficulties. Dear Lord, please help me feel, smell, hear and sense his love…. Yes, even this will be a new ‘first’ for me……