Today, at the Ultimate Blog Challenge the suggestion is to write about something that comes in fours. I’m not sure what comes in four There are weeks in a month, suites in a deck of cards, classical elements (earth, air, fire, water), and of course, the four gospels. I’m sure there are more, but I don’t want to write about any of them.
Three isn’t much better. In my teens I worked in a nursing home and the nurses there told me that births and deaths come in threes. Since there weren’t many births in the nursing home that couldn’t be proven. However, it did seem that when there was one death two more followed within a couple of weeks if not sooner.
When my children were born the babies in the nursery (back then babies went to the nursery) were some multiple of three. Maybe the nurses knew what they were talking about.
Instead of writing about fours, or threes, or any number beyond one, I thought about the one thing that we all (especially widows) need to remember . Number one is time. Time changes everything.
The saying is, “time heals all wounds.” I’m not sure I agree with that. After all it’s been 12 years since my husband left, and I still feel the pain of his death. However, time does change the perspective. I no longer cry daily over what isn’t. My hand doesn’t beat against my leg, the couch, the wall, whatever is handy in frustration. I no longer rush to be home and in the house behind locked doors before dark. No leaving lights on didn’t help.
The gut-wrenching, mind-numbing, dizzing pain, began to lessen, with time. Doesn’t mean it’s not still present or that the tears no longer flow, or I no longer hit the wall in frustration. It just means the intensity, and occurrences are less often and less fierce.
While we all have different paths, and worries, many widows ask, “how am I going to live the rest of my life without him in it?” The words might be different for some, but the question is essentially the same.
When I hear new widows say, “I don’t know how I’ll live without him,” my heart squeezes because I know the feeling and because I’ve learned that we don’t live without our husbands by thinking about it, we just, take care of business and do what needs to be done.
We do it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. We can’t live our life all at once. We can’t create our new normal in one day, or hour. We don’t find our new path on the first try. Instead, it all happens over time. We have to give ourselves time to grieve. Time to mourn. Time to hurt. And time to be angry.
The Bible reminds us of that in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down
and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
When I got married I didn’t know what the future would hold. I just knew that my best friend and I would face it. I didn’t know then that there would be trials and times when I wasn’t sure he was my best friend, or that that would pass and we’d be closer than we’d been before. I didn’t know our marriage would involve upteen moves, something I’d vowed I would NOT do as an adult. I didn’t know the marriage would introduce me to country living and I’d love it. There was so much I did not know about what life had in store for me, or how I would handle it.
When he died, I wanted to know the how. I wanted to know how I was going to move to our new place without him. Who was I going to talk to, my best friend was gone? How was I going to get the car serviced? Who would handle the little things at the house that needed attention? How was I going to continue his pig business? How was I going to live my life without him?
There is no one answer for all the questions. Time, however shows the solution.
When he died my tears gushed down my face. I cried at the smallest remark or sight. Before long the tears had slowed to gentle stream. Today the tears make occasional appearances, often slipping out the side of my eye and down my face at a simple thought or action.
Time doesn’t heal everything, but it makes it bearable and then acceptable.
When has time been your friend or your enemy?