Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ten Thousand Times

Today.  Feels like it took a century to get here, but its ominous gray has loomed on the horizon for only a year. And I've made it through every single day that it took to get here.

I'm proud. I'm surprised--shocked really. There were times I didn't think I'd make it this long. Truthfully, there were times I didn't want to make it this long. But I promised her. I said I'd live and love for the both of us.

And I have.

My year of firsts has come to an end and I'm still here. I'm still living. I'm still loving our children and grandchildren for us both. I've survived the birthdays, the holidays, the anniversaries. I've faced the quiet house, the empty bed, the missing lunchtime phone calls and the absence of her I Love My Husband messages on my Facebook wall. From the "see me off to work" kiss to the night's last embrace, I've persevered without it all.

I'm doing my best to do my best, if you follow my logic. That includes my writing. I've had two short stories published since Myra died. The Orchid, the first one I wrote after July 17, 2013, was by far the most difficult story I've ever written. Every single sentence came about as easily as a wisdom tooth yanked out of my jaw. But I kept my word.

I wonder sometimes if I'd have been able to keep that promise were it not for family and friends. Your prayers, your words of encouragement, your patience and understanding, they made the difference--literally--between life and death. I am forever in your debt.

In the eyes of society, the state and God, I'm a widower. In my heart, I'm a husband and will remain so until death reunites us. The poem below, I wrote for my wife.


Ten Thousand Times.

10,000 times I've kissed your rings
10,000 times I've whispered your name
Knowing not what tomorrow brings
Wondering why that woeful day came

10,000 times I've shed a tear
10,000 times I've asked God why
All those times in just one year
Seldom a day do my eyes stay dry

10,000 times I've pictured your face
10,000 times I've struggled to smile
Knowing that you're in a better place
And I'll join you there after my last mile

10,000 words I've penned in letters
10,000 times I've prayed for grace
To endure this grief that fetters
And find true peace as I run this race

10,000 days were we on Earth wed
10,000 times has my shattered heart beat
10,000 ways will my soul have bled
When comes that day it's again complete


The first of 10,571 days "on Earth wed"

42 comments:

  1. Hugs.
    Hurting for you, hurting with you.
    And I am very, very sure she is as proud of you now as she ever was. And loves you as much.

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    1. Thank you. She probably loves me even more. She was special like that.

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  2. What a beautiful, heartfelt poem, Jeff. I too believe Myra is looking down on you with love and pride.

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  3. No words, my friend. You already said them in that beautiful poem. May the Lord continue to heal and strengthen you.

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  4. What an amazing, moving, and touching poem Jeff. I love how you wrote that in your heart you're still a husband. Yes you are indeed, my friend.

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    1. Husband forever. No doubt about it. :)

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  5. The five stanza poem speaks volumes.

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  6. Keep on keeping on, you are not alone.

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    1. I shall do so, Jo, even when I don't want to.

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  7. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post and poem. I believe Myra is with you at all times, walking beside you, and that she is as proud of you as she always was. Your love for her and for your family shines through every word.

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  8. You're the best kind of artist, the one who creates from his heart.

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    1. Thank you for that compliment, Richard.

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  9. That's one of the best poems I've ever read. Myra was lucky to have such a loving, devoted husband as you.

    I'm sorry you're hurting. Still here for you, thinking of you and praying for you, Jeff.

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    1. Wow, Melissa, one of the best? I'm honored. Thanks for those prayers.

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  10. Beautiful poem. I don't comment here very often, but I see your posts, and I've seen how rough this first year has been. Just wanted you to know, I've kept you in my thoughts, and continue to do so. *hugs*

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    1. It's been a rough one, no denying that. I always appreciate your visits and comments.

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  11. I feel your pain and your love. Will keep you in my thoughts.

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  12. One step at a time, one breath at a time, one word at a time. She is so pleased at your effort. Live so that when you're reunited you can tell her all about it.

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    1. Telling her about it will have to wait while I squeeze her close to me for hours upon hours. :)

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  13. A loving tribute and amazing poem. May the Lord keep his healing hand on you.

    I'd say more, but I have something in my eye...

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  14. What Jo said ... and, you've won a lifetime pass to kick anyone who says, "hey, it's been a year, you should get on with your life," right in the gonads.

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    1. Thanks for confirming I have that right, Widder. It's certainly been an effort.

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  15. Just remember that God loves both you and your wife 10,000 times more than you can even imagine. I would say that it'll all be alright in the end, but there is no such thing as "end." And so I say, if not already, it'll all be alright soon.

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  16. Such a heart wrenching poem, yet beautiful.

    You've honored Myra well, my friend. I'm certain she is proud of you. Will smile when that book is published one day, dedicated to her.

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    1. Great big dedication indeed. Sure wish she'd have been able to hold it though.

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  17. Hi Jeff,

    And through the wonder, the hope within your poetry, you smile in the knowledge that no matter what, you and your beloved are always together. Bless you and I know we all cheer you on. Stay remarkable, good sir.

    In peace and kind wishes,

    Your friend, Gary

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    1. You always arrive and then leave me with reasons to smile, Gary. Rare gift you got there. Rare and appreciated.

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  18. This is so beyond beautiful, Jeff. I have real TEARS right now. Tears!!!!! Myra has become a part of all of our lives. Really. I feel the love. And I FEEL her incredible spirit. I'm proud of your strength. Proud of your ability to persevere. You really are a light, Jeff. And such an example. Your updates mean a lot, and I pray you keep us in your life!

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    1. I know Myra appreciates how supportive everyone has been of me over the past year. And she'd love you, Morgan. No doubt about it.

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  19. Beautiful poem Jeff, so much love xx
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe
    xx

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  20. I'm proud of you. I hope that's not silly.

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    1. Not silly at all, Adam. My thanks to you for it.

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  21. Your writing is always so beautiful when it comes to your marriage. I hope you know what a wonderful testament that is to the love you two share! I'm so glad you kept putting one step in front of the other and made it through a year. More encouragement coming your way for the days and years ahead!

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    1. Oh, Nicole, thank you so much. Your continued encouragement is both needed and appreciated--more than you know.

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