For some time now I've been contemplating numbers and their significance in our lives as "milestones" and "markers". Our lives in this world are lived on a timeline and numbers are how we organize our present, our past and our future. Ask a woman who is counting down the days until her approaching wedding day ... or the birth of a baby. Look at a scrapbook filled with memories of the "milestones" of life. We tend to use different terminology when referring to different kinds of significant moments or days in our lives. Is there a difference between a "milestone" or a "marker"? We celebrate "milestones". Birthdays, weddings, first days of school, graduations, significant accomplishments. But I'm beginning to think that we "mark" anticipation or loss, and each "step" closer to or farther away from such events.
|September 7, 1991|
Today is a "milestone" day. Twenty years ago today, Tom and I stood with his two children, my sister and his bothers, my niece and nephew, and numerous family and friends and pledged our love and our lives to each other. We spoke the vows we had each written for the other before his brother-in-law pronounced us "man and wife". We rejoiced that God had joined us together and we stood on His word that "a cord of three strands is not easily broken". We knew that we were not just two being bound together, but were being joined together with His Spirit and that would hold us together and see us through. We looked forward to spending the rest of our lives together. There were those who knew us well, who didn't think it would last. We were committed until "death do us part". The word "divorce" was not an option. I looked forward to this "milestone" ... 20 years ... it would say "God is faithful".
And He is. Even though we didn't make it to this day together. God was faithful. He gave me a faithful man. He was committed to his Lord, and he was committed to me and to his family. He loved us and he showed it in every thing he did. He served us, he provided for us, he encouraged us when we needed it, and he rebuked, disciplined and corrected us when that's what we needed, too. He gave anything he had to anyone who had a need and he never wanted anything for himself. He literally laid down his life for us and for his friends. God had once promised me that He would give me a man like King David, a man "after God's own heart". And He did. Tom was a man who sought to follow the example of his heavenly Father, and of Jesus who laid down His life for him. And, he gave me the one thing I wanted more than anything in this life, a home and a family.
|19th Anniversary Flowers|
And so, today, even though I miss him terribly and still have a huge, empty hole in my life ... even though I feel as if that cord of three strands is missing one of the strands and I'm left hanging onto the "third" strand with every ounce of strength I've got left ... I celebrate Tom and the years that God gave us together! I am so thankful that, even though I have suffered loss, I was blessed to have known the love of this man. I am blessed to be the step-mother and mother of his children, and now the step-grandma of his two precious granddaughters. I am blessed to continue to live in the home he provided for us. I am so blessed to have been given so much time with him, to have learned so much from him, and to have been his wife until the Lord took him home on March 12, 2011.
Today is also a "milestone" of a different kind. Today, the oldest of our two sons, Tim, began his first day of college! I'm so proud of him! He is so much like his father in so many ways, and as he walked out the front door this morning, he was carrying his school laptop in the computer bag I had bought new for his dad not long ago; and he was heading out to learn "automated systems and robotics", something he saw many times in operation when he would go to work with his dad over the years. Our little boy who used to love to do "electricity" projects with his dad as a preschooler, and who has always loved electronics in any application, has become a young man who is reaping what his dad sowed into his life for almost 18 years! It's so appropriate that his first day of college is the same as our anniversary. And, so, my blessings are multiplied, and I have two important milestones to celebrate today!