I feel like I should preface this story by saying it's a happy one. It might not feel like it's starting out that way but we will get there just hang with me. Last week was my first full week back at work and it wasn't an easy one as I had blogged previously. It all came to a crescendo on Friday. Friday was the day that the HR department was going to bring me the boxed up belongings from my husbands office. I dreaded this day all week. DREADED. Part of the reason was just the finality of someone bringing you all of your loved ones things. The other part of it was how much I knew my husband loved his job and it has grieved me so much that he lost his life when he was just hitting his prime in both his personal life as well as his career. So many people just exist in their life but Joel was thriving. I knew that it would be a really hard day so I had my friend that I work with meet them out at my vehicle to load his things. It was hard for her. She came back into our office and was crying at the sight of his things and our family pictures in frames, now labeled in boxes with his name written on the outside in a big, black sharpie scroll. As I finished out the day I braced myself when I stepped into the car for what I would see. The first thing made me laugh and I needed a laugh. Most of the boxes had lids except for one and at the top of that one box was a big box of....frosted flakes! Due to Joel's cancer issues we eat extremely healthy at our home. I am talking completely vegan, nothing processed, all whole grains and very little sugar. Nothing about frosted flakes falls into those categories. The box was pretty full but it made me laugh that he had a small stash of cereal at the office for when he wanted to get a little wild and crazy where his diet was concerned.
I had made the decision beforehand that I wasn't ready to go through the boxes just as I haven't been ready to go through and change anything in our home. Everything is as it was and for the time being it will remain that way. I pulled into my garage and decided to unload all 3 boxes into a little space in the corner. Something I have mentioned before is how I would give anything for just "one more" anything from my husband. Anytime someone dies it's a weird feeling how everything about them just stops. At first I would drive myself crazy thinking "I will never have another hug" or "I will never hear another I love you" or "I will never have another dinner with him" I mean the list goes on and on. There are thousands upon thousands of things that I will never get to have another of from my husband. That thought hits me daily and feels like someone punched me in the gut every time. Now going back to the garage-I open the door of my car and carefully carry each of the heavy boxes to their designated corner of the garage. Something in one of the little boxes catches my eye, it's a teeny tiny notebook. I start to reach for the notebook and I hesitate. I don't want to go through his things. I don't want to turn into a sobbing mess, especially on the floor of my hot and dirty garage. But there's just something about that notebook pulling me towards it so I grab it and slowly open it. This is what was written on the first page:
"Baby, I just wanted you to know how much I love you and care for you. I appreciate everything you have done for me. I can't wait for the next part of our life together. Can't wait for the baby to come and spend time with both of you. I love the life I have with you and everything we have done together. I can't wait to spend the rest of our long lives together. Can't wait to have more special moments with you and our baby. "
I guess when I was pregnant, at some point in the past 2 years, Joel had written me this letter and for whatever reason forgot to give it to me. I stood there with my mouth wide open, in half tears and half disbelief. God, in his incredible goodness, had answered the cry of my heart and given me something that I so badly wanted, but never believed was possible, just one more "something" from my husband. I know that Jesus knew what a hard day that was for me. And since He cares about even the little things, He cared that I was hurting. And I believe that He, along with maybe a little help from Joel, lead me to that letter to breathe a little life to my aching heart. It was a gift from both of them. It was the goodness of God at work in the deepest parts of my pain. And even though parts of that letter hurt to read it's still one last letter, that will always be so special to me, from the greatest love that I have ever known. I will cherish it forever.