An Ordinary Day That is Anything But
We were hanging out at our favorite state park, swimming, enjoying family time, but my mind wasn't really there. Every time I got up to get something from our bag, I'd check my phone, fearful I'd missed the call.
While my family was laughing and splashing and basking in the warmth of the sun, another family was gathered around a loved one, wondering if this breath would be his last. The contrast of the two scenes startled me as it seemed like something out of a movie. It was like I was in both places at once though I was physically in one and mentally in the other.
On the way home, my phone rang with a number I didn't recognize. My heart dropped into my stomach as I answered. It hadn't happened, but the time was drawing near. Very near.
Our beloved Jesse Miller
June 21, 1949-July 1, 2014
The news finally came a little after 8pm. "He's gone." I looked at my husband, repeated the same words and called the children to let them know their beloved Papa Jesse had gone to be with Jesus. They knew the time was coming. They'd seen him lying in his hospice bed numb to the pain by so much morphine.
No one cried. Everyone looked deflated.
This was just 12-hours ago and yet it seems a lifetime. I had imagined how I would react when I'd finally get the news. I figured I'd double up with a pain that was more than I could manage. I figured I would cry, weep even. Just two nights ago I was gathered around his bedside with his wife and son and was overcome with such emotion I was nauseous and had to leave.
Right now there's nothing.
This lack of feeling frightens me. When I was in labor with my little girl, the epidural made my legs go numb and it made me panic. I need to feel. Even if it's pain - I need to feel.
My heart is heavy. So heavy, in fact, it feels as though it's encased in lead. This lump in my chest is the only reminder that emotions may be present. If they're there, they are buried under something so deep that when it erupts I fear I may be empty.
My kids are up, life is going on as normal. But it's not normal. It seems ordinary. It's anything but ordinary. We are going to have to learn to live a life that is void of an extraordinary man. A wife has to learn to live without her husband, a son has to learn to live without his father. Friends have to learn to live without a man who was joy itself.
For me...I have to learn to live without a man who taught me what living was. He showed me what a loving husband should look like (my parents are divorced). He showed me that loving and supporting your kids doesn't stop when they graduate or turned 20...or 35. Jesse loved his friends and family with such fierce abandon. He loved his church.
He loved life and showed it with everything in him. Now, the rest of us have to figure out how to live life without him.
Right now that's a pain I don't think I can bear.