June 2nd, 2012~ what would have been David and my 33rd anniversary.
I woke up with tears streaming down my face, not because of a dream I had~ I have yet to be visited by David in my sleep~ but because my body and my mind must have been aware of the significance of this day, even as I slept. I cried some more during my shower.
Later, in front of the mirror, I did my best to disguise the evidence of what I was feeling; bereft, alone, full of sadness.
My first instinct was to sit by myself in a corner at breakfast, but instead, I wisely chose the table with the friendliest faces I could find; some I recognized and some I didn’t. Conversations about flying airplanes and traveling and writing flowed around me, calming me with their everydayness. To everyone else, it was Saturday, the last day of the conference. To me, the date was a stark reminder of just how much I had lost. Each time I felt at the edge of sobbing, I took the deep cleansing breath that had been suggested in a speech class the day before, given by Jane Rubietta, www.JaneRubietta.com (also known as the angel who had prayed with me in the hallway my first day when the emotions overcame me during the worship service). Amazingly, the deep breathing worked to stem the tide of tears that hovered just below the surface.
Another woman joined us, asking if we could pray for her roommate who’d fallen the night before and now felt ill. The women at the table swiftly formed a circle, and holding hands, we prayed.
“Could we add me to that prayer?” I tentatively asked after the Amen, “Today would have been our 33rd anniversary, and I’m not sure I’m going to be okay.”
As the women prayed out loud for me, tears flowed freely down my face, and with them, strength and healing.
I am going to be okay, I knew then. I will never stop missing David, it is true. But as these women reached out to hug me, to hold my hand, and to comfort me in my time of need, I thought about all the reasons I was at a Christian Writer’s conference in IL; Cecil Murphey’s generosity in giving me a scholarship, a husband’s tremendous support and encouragement in applying for it, eight children who love me and want to see me happy, good friends, loving siblings who have been overseeing my family in my absence, and a table full of women who are beautiful with the light of Jesus Christ shining through their eyes.
“Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.” –Psalm 30:5