Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Few Who Knew Us Then
I wouldn't say that I'm old, not by a long shot! But I have experienced some things in my life that remind me of the way my life might be when I'm older.
I was thinking today about my dad. He's in a nursing home because he has Alzheimer's and it is a sad, sad world in there. So many rarely see their families anymore, and so many only have their memories to keep them company.
Would it surprise you to know that I have moments like that? I had a marriage once with a fellow named Jim Brown. He was my best friend, and my Knight in Shining Armor. We went everywhere together and did everything together and bought a house and had a son. I touched his face when he slept at night and he was real. But when our son was two, Jim was diagnosed with a devastating cancer. Though he fought with all his might, he lost his battle to cancer and won his victory in Jesus. He went home to be with our Father in Heaven on September 26th, 1995. It seems like a lifetime ago now, but in a way, every September, my mind goes back along those familiar halls...to our car and our home and our music and the life we held so dear together. I feel like people in the nursing home: few in my life now ever knew us then...few ever saw us together or laughed at our wedding, shared a pizza and jokes with us around our table.
Sometimes, I feel disloyal to my husband, Arlen, and the wonderful life we went on to create, when I talk about my life with Jim. Arlen understands, but many others view my talk as "living in the past". Yes, Joseph and I picked up the pieces and God helped us patch our hearts back together and we lived on. But there will never be a day when I don't miss Jim. There will never be a day that I don't see him in his son or suddenly have a moment of wondering what he would be like now.
Like those folks in the nursing homes who have only their memories to commemorate life's biggest moments, I have a mental photo album of memories with Jim that only he and I shared. I realize with a start that he was the only other person (who knew me) that was in the room when Joseph was born...I only shared with him the first time "we" gave Joesph his bath...the first time Joseph spoke...the first time our son laughed...the first coo...and so many other moments that are personal to a couple with their first, and in my case, only child. These memories are bittersweet and I find myself wanting to say to Arlen, "Remember the look on Joseph's face when he ate his first cereal..." but then I pause as the realization hits me that, no, Arlen would not remember. And I always feel a little sad.
So today, I want to introduce you to that other couple: to Jim and Dee and the family they were way back then. I've added a few photos from those days and I hope you enjoy getting to know Jim, and Dee, and Joseph Brown. In memory of Jim, I add the verse he had marked in his Bible (he never wrote or underlined any passages in his Bible but this one):
In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me. John 16:16
That promise made by Jesus to his disciples holds true for my Jim and me, too. Someday, Heaven will be my home, and then I will see Jim again.