Anniversaries create wonderful memories and signify times of celebration...most of the time. Today is an anniversary that is the worst kind: twelve years ago today I lost my wife. It is said that time heals all wounds, and that is true in a lot of ways. But Teresa's death has shattered me to the depths of my soul, and I continue to struggle every year on this date, April 19.
It had been a beautiful day, and we were out walking around the school where Teresa taught 9th grade English and Public Speaking. She had taken the year off following the birth of our daughter, Melody, in November. Suddenly, Teresa collapsed. She had suffered a heart attack, caused by an enlarged heart and mitral valve prolapse. Paramedics arrived and worked on her, and they took her to Howard County General, where she was pronounced dead. I was a widower at the age of 34, with a 5-month old daughter, after less than five years of marriage. And I was devastated.
While my faith in Christ remains strong, I struggle so much with an at times overwhelming grief. You never recover from devastating loss. Instead it becomes a part of who you are.
I know Teresa, as a Christ-follower, is experiencing eternity, and I will see her again. But life goes on here on Planet Earth, and I've chosen to continue living in hope despite my struggles.
1 Peter 5:10 - "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
Thank you, Lord, for your care and presence in our lives. Thank you for your grace and comfort. Thank you for memories, both bad and great. And thank you for giving us such a wonderful life together, despite how short it was.