I can’t sleep.
As a widow, I’ve come to think of my life as BD, WD and AD. Before Dean — With Dean– After Dean.
Tonight I’m reliving those periods as I toss and turn.
I met Dean when I was very young, in Junior High science class, to be exact. We grew to a complicated, but close friendship in our teens, both dating others, and then became “almost best” platonic friends later, walking together at High School graduation in 1981. I finally developed a romantic love for Dean our Junior year of college, and we married the summer we both graduated with our Bachelor degrees.
I loved being Dean’s wife. He completed me. I had always been a “Christian” it seemed, having come to know Jesus as my personal Savior when a missionary at a kid’s crusade led me to Christ at a very young age. I guess you could say I cruised in my faith in my teens, growing with regular doses of Sunday school, Church , VBS and summer camp. I learned about love and life with Dean, through trial and error, and my hope was very powerful for our future. I had prayed for a husband like Dean, and I was blessed.
After marrying Dean I entered the WD or “with Dean” phase of my life — I felt complete, safe, proudly married, blessed with two sons, a career, a home and a plan to grow our assets along with a blossoming life portfolio. As a financial advisor by trade, I encountered market meltdowns and alternate euphoria during these times, and,through it all, I grew to lean on Dean more and more in our tough times. My husband was my trusted confidante, my life coach, my accountability partner, my tough SWAT-cop, my stress reliever and my best consultant. I fully leaned on Dean. We loved each other.
Suddenly that all changed.
Thursday morning, January 26 2012, my husband’s time on is earth came to a quiet tragic end because of a massive, unknown DVT. in seconds, that clot became an instant fatal pulmonary embolism. He died on our bedroom floor.
The next phase was a horrific blur.
I began the period of time I call AD, or after Dean.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you got the rug pulled out from under you” ? Well, that is an understatement of what happened to me . My go-to disappeared, my defender, my consultant, provider, lover, handyman, best friend, business partner and other half went to be with Jesus. The “vacancy signs” popped up all over my life ,and I had a desperate need in my emptiness. I cried out to God.
I realize now that while married, I had put my faith and trust in Dean, at times more than God. Dean was the first person I thought of when I had a need, a hurt, a secret. However, as my dear friend Pastor Cheryl Bangs says, “Our identity is not based on who we are, But rather, whose we are”. I still had God, and faith, family and friends. I was still my heavenly Father’s. He loves me.
In the “WD phase” I used to place huge value on my accomplishments, my relationships and my things. You know what? Those things are nothing! That is all a trifle compared to what God has done, before, during and after. I am growing towards a better understanding of what is important. I want my only master goal and dream to be this : to serve, love, and be an advocate for Gods love and plan. Yes, fail all the time. The truth is though, we are human, and we all fail. It can be a lonely path.
I’m be honest — In my “AD” Phase, I miss being a help mate, and I miss having a help mate. It can be lonely ! It’s easy to get down. God truly stands in the Gap. I can ask for help with the rest. I can listen to the right music, the right words, and be with the right people. One day at a time.
Changes have happened from the early life stages to now. I think God actually moved some people OUT of my life because those friendships weren’t healthy. God put new people in my life . We get second chances in making friends who share values and desire to grow in love, faith and the shared passion to pursue God.
There is power in this heavenly perspective, one That has to give me a different and blessed perspective on life. I DO have a hope. EVERYONE has a hope. That power lives within us — even when the unexpected happens, before, during and after.
These are my random sleepless thoughts.
It’s a new season of life. Never the same, but still blessed. Loved. Goodnight.