Well, let's start with the fact that today is April 10th which means 11 months ago was the last time I saw you, the last time I felt your skin, the last time I smelled you, the last time I felt your arms hold me, the last time I heard your voice. Since that day life has been filled with many firsts: the first week, first wedding anniversary, first month, first birthday, first holidays... and now we are one month away from the big one-- the first year anniversary. I had a converstation not long ago with a fellow widow (Karie) who has this big day coming up in a few days. We talked about how terrified we are of that day for ourselves because we know that people will look at us and say that we should be "OK" now that the first year of mourning is over. They think that day must be magic and it's like once that first year is over then we will be our "normal" selves again. It ends our grace period and people will start to expect more from us.
Why? Why does everyone else want to decide how we should act and when it should start? I mean I loved you for 9 years, don't I get more than 1 to miss you and love you and feel like my heart is still being ripped out of my chest? I don't think I helped my cause any by dating someone else for 6 months. Yes, yes I ran into the arms of a man who I thought was heaven sent-- he wasn't. He broke what little I had left... but that's for another time. Point being, I think those close to me saw this and assumed that I "Must be doing fine." IDIOTS! All of them! What I did in that situation is run away from dealing with your death. Then when he broke up with me I dealt. It was hard! It SUCKED! But it was real. And I needed it. I needed to face it and to learn to live on my own for the first time ever. I did that. I feel "whole" again, and when I say whole I mean as a person. Not my heart. Not the pain that will
always be there. I miss you. I know you know that, but I still tell you all the time. Some days are easier, but since March 14th when the first gun incident took place somehow my pain has been brought to the surface.
It's like no matter how hard I try to run, I can't out run it.
Last weekend was BAD. I was so emotional. I got a text from a friend that read "Hey Hooker. What is going on? Everytime I look at facebook you're having a mental break down." Oh and for the record becuase this is the internet and people are IDIOTS-- as has been stated already-- I am NOT a hooker! She was just joking, but I thought it funny to include that part of the text... Anyway, yes, yes I was having a bit of an emotional time.
Last weekend marked the one year of the "Easter Incident" as has been labled by me. Which leads me into the story of my tattoo... You like my segway? LOL...
Let's start with what I got; It's the Hebrew letters for hoshana. Why would I get that? Why woud I get a tattoo at all when I think they are pretty trashy especially on females? Well, first of all to those who may be offended by me calling tattoos trashy, 1. Get over it. I don't care if my opinion offends you, you should only care what your opinion is and 2. I obviously got one anyway, so... Ok, I got it because since you died Tom, I have wanted one that was menaingful and somehow connected to you. My first thoughts last year were a Gold Star or Gold Star Flag, or a cross with your initials in it. Later I also thought about getting this one. To me it's the most meaningful.
Let's briefly talk about The Easter Incident and how it was that which lead to the circumstances of your death.... Cliff's notes version of the story is: The day before Easter we got in a fight. It was a bad one. You were trying to pick a fight with me all day. I kept telling you to quit, but I knew you wouldn't. I'm not sure why, but you pushed my bottons and I snapped! I laid into you and yelled and let out everything I had been holding in for TWO YEARS. Well, you were sitting at the desk and stood up without saying anything. I knew-- I KNEW what was about to happen and I tried to beat you there. I didn't, but I fought you for it-- the 45-- it was loaded and I'm almost positive the safety was off. The way I grabbed it had the gun pointing towards me-- not intentionally, just how it happened. You pushed me off, we ended up outside, you tried to get in your truck, I tried to stop you. I told you to give me the gun or I'd call the cops. I started to while still fighting with you, but all of a sudden your eyes changed. The kids were watching from the front door and when I saw that look-- one that I never thought I'd see in your eyes-- I knew to get out of the way.
Fast forward a few hours because the other details don't matter to this story (some of those don't either, but...). I never felt so scared for your life as I did that night-- not even the day you actually did take your life. It was THAT night that I truly believed you were going to die. I called everyone-- even my Pastor to pray for you. I was convinced that it was over. So many details, left for another day, but yes, it was that night I threw myself on the ground.
I don't remember everything clearly now, but sometime around then or before then I had taken a Beth Moore Bible Study at church and she talked about how every day we were supposed to get on our faces before God. I think I tried it for like 30 seconds one time and that was it. I just felt strange or something doing it. I just had a hard time with it. Not that night. That night I was sprawled out on the floor sobbing, crying out to God to save you.
For those who don't know, the word hosanna is used as a word of adoration and praise for God by Christians. Hosanna or really hoshana in the Hebrew means "save now" or "please save." Around this time Hilsong had a song out called "Hosanna" and it happened to be playing on the computer at one point during the night's events. I kept playing it over and over. Praising God for all his blessings, but more importantly calling out hosanna-- please save/ save now to God to save you, Tommy. I needed you to come home more than ever that night. I prayed that He would save you. I was flat on my face praying for you over and over and trying to trust that He would bring you home safe. I cried that whole night. I can't explain the emense amount of relief when I saw your headlights in the drive way. He did save you that night. It took you 8 anxiety pills to calm you down enough to bring you home, but really it was God. We drove to DC the next morning for our final family vacation for the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday. The events of that night and calling the police is what set the stage for "The End."
Fast forward to a little over a month ago. I'm going to this church and they had a night of worship and one of the songs they played was Hosanna by Hilsong. The woman's voice who sang it was haunting. It was amazing and hearing it for the first time since probably you died, was emotional and I cried a bit. I played that song maybe 70 times in the next few days. At first it was a song that brought back pain and hurt, but somehow over those few days the song became one of healing and peace. I looked at it differently. I didn't feel like God had let me down by letting you die. I felt like God had saved you for 5 more weeks. He gave us an amazing gift by allowing you to come home that night. He did save you and in those 5 weeks you and I had some moments of healing and restoration and love that I will forever cherish. I will always wish and want you here with us, but I am trying to be thankful for what I call the "extra time" with you that I didn't believe we would have that night.
I guess this tattoo stands as a reminder to me what was given to us and what could have been that night as well as a reminder that God does save. It may not always be everything we want and ask for, but sometimes it's more than we think we'll get. I'm still on shaky ground with God, but I feel closer than I have since your death. I miss you and love you and so do our babies.
Love always and forever,