"You do not get to choose the events that come your way nor the sorrows that interrupt your life. They will likely be a surprise to you, catching you off guard and unprepared. You may hold your head in your hands and lament your weak condition and wonder what you ought to do. To suffer, that is common to all. To suffer and still keep your composure, your faith, and your smile, that is remarkable. Pain will change you more profoundly than success or good fortune. Suffering shapes your perception of life, your values and priorities, and your goals and dreams. Your pain is changing you."
- Pastor David Crosby
My pain has easily changed me in a profound way. I didn't know it was possible for me to find a more genuine happiness in myself and in others, to be more compassionate, to love deeper. I have always viewed myself as a loving human being on this earth, but looking back on my past my love has grown immensely since the loss of my husband. I experience all aspects of life with an enhanced view of reality. I treasure my time by constantly surrounding myself with those whom make my heart happy. These moments are what keep me moving. They are my motivation, my stress relievers, and what keeps me centered. I am more thankful and appreciative than I ever had been before. Simple moments in time now mean everything, whereas something that may have previously mattered so much suddenly doesn't seem as important. When life gets flipped upside down it is almost imperative to flip with it, for if you stay, you become stuck in the life that once was. I never wanted to be a person who was stuck. I wanted to live. I still want to live. I did not have the choice to keep my husband by side, but I do have the choice to continue on with his love.
Today would have marked our 12th year together. That's right, twelve. It's more of an anniversary to me than our own wedding day. Probably because we never spent a wedding anniversary with one another, whereas we spent several years together celebrating this particular day. Pain continues to find its way into my heart. There are still days I question. There are still days I cry. But I can honestly say I am at a point now where I can look at his life and celebrate the beauty of it all. The beauty that was him.
My husband gave me the most precious gift I have ever received in this life. He taught me what it meant to love another soul more than yourself. He showed me the magic that comes along with loving another. Most importantly, he took that love he had in his heart and gave it to me. How could I not look back at that with anything but warmth and compassion?
It is because of him I know my love is powerful. It is because of him I know my love is important. It is because of him I know my endless love will continue on with every breath I'm given in this life.