Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bittersweet!


My purpose, my mission, my hope, is that by bringing the MWC to Houston, I will give you hope, and peace and a bit of grace to enjoy every second of the rest or your life. I can’t make it easier for you, and I don’t hold all the answers to your questions, but I can be here with you and hold your hand, and carry you in my heart and pray for you. I can do that. And I promise to do that.

New life as a widow is Bittersweet… but out of the pain, comes love and grace all for offering back to God.  Soon, we will be launching the Houston Chapter of the Modern Widows Club. I’m so excited to serve with Jana Laird Phillips as co-leaders!
My husband, Kevin, passed away three years ago. After a long hard struggle with cancer, we beat twice, the third time, it won over us. It is such a journey of love and spiritual growth for us and for all our family. While we had a wonderful marriage that lasted just over 32 years, we would have never been as strong in our love as we are because of his illness, and we all knew it.

My new life – the life I would have never chosen- is a good life, actually it is a GREAT life full of wonder and fulfillment and joy – great joy.  At a certain point in his illness, Kevin realized that he wasn't going to live. Almost immediately, he completely transformed his focus from survival to dying. He said, “OK, now it’s time to start working on dying” in his usual upbeat manner. Even more amazing to me, is that he told all his visitors... “I’m going to serve Christ in a new place”. Who can say that?? I was so amazed by his enthusiasm and faith. He never complained, despite all the pain and suffering. He had a smile for me every single day, told us he loved us and made every good effort to be pleasant and oh so loving.  I held him in my arms every single night till he died, lying right beside him in our converted dining room.  I knew some day, someday soon, I would never ever be able to hold him in my arms again.  I also know I could not be on this road, this journey, this new place in Christ for me, without surrendering Kevin to God in his ultimate will for our lives.

Now, I understand that Kevin is with me always in spirit. His light still shines in me, and through me. It’s a combination of God’s grace and Kevin’s legacy of love that survives and carries us forward. I felt his presence with me as we baptized our first grandson... as I said, Bittersweet.... It was bittersweet to stand at the baptismal font, in the back of the church where I walked down the aisle at 21,  to marry my soul mate, the man of my dreams, the father of our children, 35 years ago this month.
Near the aisle we walked down together to baptize our twin girls on our 6th wedding anniversary… 
Near the aisle we walked down just over three years ago, leading Nicole and Brian to their marriage vows. 
Standing in the church were we wed, our twin girls were baptized, where Nicole and Brain were married, and now seeing Father Ted, Brian’s uncle, hold our new baby, Andrew, over the baptismal font and cup his hand with water to cover his head with new life new hope, and grace… I stood next to our son Christopher, and could watch Nicole, Andrew’s new mother, and Claire becoming Andrew’s Godmother… and the tears just streamed down my cheeks, returning back into the baptismal font… where I found new life, new hope and grace for me too… Bittersweet.


Standing in front of that baptismal font, I could only be reminded of the legacy of love we started some 40 years ago. I met Kevin when my friend, Tricia, our photographer for this magnificent day, told me to chain my bicycle to his motorcycle.  Later, when I first met Kevin that day -- to this moment, when the holy spirit arrived and looked down on me, with our three children, our son in law, with all his family, and our new little prince, Andrew being baptized in the spirit in His love, in Kevin’s legacy of love, to a lifetime of hope, of peace, of grace…Bittersweet.

So today, I stand before you, a new creation in Christ made from God’s love; and transformed by Kevin’s legacy of love and ready to serve you. I want to lead you to a new place. Let me take you there...Make a choice, to take a chance and make a change. I will help you; I will hold you; and I will pray for you. 

Second changes are wonderful. You know how things turned out the first time and you took that chance… and now, with all that we have been through on this long, weary road you have taken, where will it lead you? 

We know we must make a choice to take a chance to make a change that will lead us to a new place where we can enjoy every second of the rest of our lives!

3 comments:

  1. Good luck on your new endeavor...may it be as successful as you are sweet!

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  2. So beautiful. I am in awe of your strength and courage and your ability to meet each day with purpose and love and a heart to serve others. I love you very much and I know that Kevin is so proud of you. God bless you as you begin this new adventure into the blogoshphere. You are off to a magnificent start!! xoxo Kelli

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  3. What an inspiration you are and will continue to be for many. I hope widows of all ages find their way to your site for encouragement and understanding. Good Job, my friend!!

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