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The Anniversary

Posted by Linda Handzel

June 11, 1983 is a date that will never go unnoticed in our family, because that was the day Michael and I got married. Today someone asked if this is a sad day for me. The answer is yes. And no.

Yes, because it makes me pause and wonder what life would have been like in this stage of our marriage. Yes, because life is much harder without a husband to share the load.

No, because I have four wonderful children whom God gave me through that marriage. In four years I gave birth to two daughters, and a son. Eight years later we were blessed with another son through an unexpected pregnancy.

I’m thankful that all of Michael’s children remember him, and we have funny stories to share about his quirks and habits. Sometimes we compare each of the off spring to him, noting which person inherited which characteristic. A couple of them got his athletic abilities, but all got his great intelligence. When we make those comparisons we smile, and sometimes we sigh.

Time has softened the pain of loss, but each of us carries giant scars from that one wrenching moment when he was ripped out of our arms, never to return. 

I wish he could be here to share hunting stories with Ben, and talk computers with Mike. Sarah married a man named Jon, who is so much like her father that I know they would have enjoyed each other’s company. I wish Michael could hear the incredible music that our daughter Stephanie and her husband Andrew make together, and I wish he could play with the grandchildren they have given me. 


Michael and I had a verbal agreement that we would stay married for eighty years, and then we would allow the other to reconsider. In actuality we were married two weeks shy of twenty-four years.

In all this musing I’m reminded that things change, people change, and life brings more changes than I could have ever imagined. I’m not the same person I was ten years ago when Michael was killed. But would I want to be? While I have grown in skills and in abilities, most importantly, I’ve grown spiritually. I have learned to look to God during my darkest days and longest nights. I am not afraid of facing tomorrow without Michael, because God is carrying me through this journey called widowhood.


So yes, this date does bring memories and musings. But it also brings an attitude of thanksgiving that comes from going through the depths of grief while knowing that I am being carried by The Almighty! 


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COMMENTS

“This was beautiful, Linda. You are an inspiration to me.”

“I have had the privilege of meeting this great lady this very week, and I appreciate this additional insight into your family and your great mum! Even after only a few days of knowing her, there's such a connection there, and I loved seeing the memory verse cards taped to her cupboard doors, helping her figure out lyrics to a song she wants to play on the Hammond, and hearing her enthusiastic laughter. You're a blessed woman!”

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