It’s the little things
I miss his presence so much, not for ALL the jokes but for ALL the little things.
In a long-term marriage of 35 years, there is no one on earth that knows you more…the good and the bad. Many people talk about a soul mate in a mystical way but to me Mike was the love of my life and my best friend.
Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our disagreements and struggles, but it does mean we always came back stronger than before in our devotion to one another.
The loss of a spouse is like throwing a pebble in the water and watching the ripples flow out. It starts with a big plunk and every day you see the ripples keep flowing out. At each ripple you find more and more things you miss about their presence.
In each marriage whether on purpose or just out of the dynamic’s of the relationship, you take on different responsibilities. Mike always took care of entertaining the kids. I remember one time, he was in a Toys’R’Us – which we were walking through after shopping for the baby at Babys’R’Us – we were walking through some toy aisle, and he randomly had the idea that my kid needs that nerf review – and ended up spending 20 minutes looking through it picking out toy guns for the kids. I was too exhausted with the baby to consider that, but he did. And they loved it. Mike always brought the mail in on his way home from work, I go to the mailbox maybe twice a week. I just forget. Mike took the garbage out, cleaned the kitchen and had coffee made for each morning. I still at 21 months without him, HATE doing those things. Last week I bought a new coffee pot so I could have an automatic time to start the coffee at 7:00 AM but I can’t get it to work. I hate dragging the garbage cans to the curve, through the snow and ice. He never complained.
Last fall I started taking out 23-years of old landscaping. I would never have done that.
So many little things.
But most of all I miss him being here a quiet presence in our home. I miss having someone to pour out my frustrations with in dealing with challenging situations with our children. We would tell each other (being parents of five), “I couldn’t do this without you.”
But, now I have to.
When you are joined in matrimony it is said you become one flesh. In a spiritual sense you do, but it is practically worked out through the life of the marriage.
When Mike turned 50 I had a surprise skating party for him. He walked into the roller rink and as everyone said “surprise” he was stunned. He saw friends from our old church where he pastored for 15 years, kids and parents from his coaching football days. He didn’t know what to think.
I had to fool him by telling him that Andrew (our youngest) had gone rollerblading and had fallen. He was so upset because of some sport Andrew was playing and he had told him to NOT GET HURT. Mike fumed all the way to the rink but was totally surprised when he walked in to see all the smiling faces. We had a blast that day.
I have so many memories of our journey together on earth.
I “wish” he was here on what would be his 66 birthday. Of course, he would not be happy I printed that age as he looked so young…and acted even younger. As a history teacher at Belleville High School his students thought he was so old…45. He would laugh and say IF they would just add up the years of when I was in the Marines (during the Viet Nam War) they would know I was older than 45.
Not many people saw Mikes sensitive side because of his outgoing personality in public. But, he was so sensitive and aware of pain in others. He hated to see any human mistreated. He was devastated when Jamie and Lillian left us. He was only able to read Chapter One of my book I was writing because he would just break down.
Of all of our children, Jamie and Mike were the most alike in their sensitive and competitive natures.
Not only did they compete against each other in every sport they played but when Mike was getting his Masters degree they competed over grades. LOL
I wonder if they are still competing in our eternal home?
The love of Mikes life was flying and everything to do with aviation. He loved building model airplanes and 12″ action figures. I called them his dolls. Now I am slowly boxing them up and selling some of the hundreds he had in our basement. Last spring,
Last spring, Andrew and Christa were having a heart to heart talk on the deck. Andrew was struggling with how God could do this to our family. He had his head down, when all of a sudden a plane flew over our house with a tail behind it and the words “TRUST JESUS”. He looked up and said, “well I guess that is my answer.” He came running up to tell me with the biggest smile on his face.
Coincidence? I think not.
So today on Mike’s birthday as I reflect on who Mike was as a person, loving husband, father, and grandfather. I am grateful for our 35 years together and all the memories I hold in my heart. He changed me and I would not be who I am today without his love.
We will see you soon!