Three Months Gone
Tomorrow will be three months without Melinda. I can’t even begin to say how disorienting it has been without her. That’s the best word for it, I think. Disorienting. At least, that’s the word that keeps popping into in my head. We did everything together, went everywhere together, talked about everything and nothing.
I’ve heard some people say it’s wise for couples to have a “life outside of marriage,” to have some independence and personal space. I don’t subscribe to that form of wisdom. Someone much wiser said that the two shall become one. And so it was for us. Our lives were thoroughly intertwined, and neither of us would have had it any other way. Melinda was a constant presence, a true companion and confidant in every way. Life isn’t right without her. Not for me, not for our children.
Tonight, our youngest (Olivia) is attending her first formal event as a high school student. It will be the first of many “big” events to come in the life of our family without Melinda. Our daughter Hannah very capably helped her little sister find a beautiful dress and some accessories, and they had a good time shopping together. But still, a daughter should have her mother around for a special night like this.
But it’s not just the big things. I miss her in all the little things, too, all the everyday things. This is where the pain is perhaps the sharpest. When I head to the store, I find myself instinctively reaching for my phone to see if I can pick something up for her, only to be reminded that she’s no longer with us. The same when I leave the house to run an errand or even just go outside to do some yard work. I think, “I should let Melinda know where I’m going and what I’m doing.” The same again when I come home after work. I will have learned something new, met someone interesting, or experienced some good fortune and can’t wait to tell her. Or I will have met with some setback or felt some frustration or disappointment, but she is no longer there to greet me with her words of encouragement and cheerful presence. I find myself telling people, “We…” “We’ll pray for you,” “We’ll be there,” “We’re going here or there.” The word just slips out, and I think to myself, “I should have said ‘I’.” It’s not “we” anymore.
We often talked about growing old together. We liked to hear stories about couples who were celebrating 50, 60, 70 years of marriage—some of them being married longer than we’d been alive—and we talked about how wonderful it would be to have so many years together. But now, instead of marking the years we’ve been together, I find myself marking the time I’ve been without her. Three months, tomorrow. It seems so much longer.
I’m thankful the Lord allowed me to have her for 34 years, 5 months, and 22 days. I hope I was as good a husband to her as she was a wife to me.