I've been avoiding sitting at my dining room table alone. The sofa was my eating place of choice. That was until a few weeks ago when my 3 pound puppy learned to jump up on the couch on her own...and meal time was prime time for her to pull out all her tricks. I've never given her "people" food, but that certainly doesn't stop her from trying to nab something from my plate.
So, eating at the table was my last resort, eating at my table alone.
Why is that such a big deal? I mean, I'm not the only one who has to sit at a table of one. I guess it's just one more reality that what was two is now just one. It's taken me almost a year and a half to put on my big girl pants to sit there alone.
A friend asked me recently where I was in my grief journey. I think I'm finally coming into acceptance. That's not to say I won't have times of anger, or sadness, or bargaining, or all those other "grief" stages. It seems I've come to embrace my "new normal," as much as I still long for my "normal" before Tony's accident, my table for two.
It's hard to believe that a year and a half is creeping up on me - this Friday. It was this time a year ago, 6 months after Tony's death, when the numbness wore off and the excruciating pain of grief set in. I honestly didn't know if I would survive it. Yet, I had told the hundreds at Tony's memorial service via my letter that "Please know I'm going to be okay." It's as if I knew then only in vision what I now know in reality now...I was going to be okay.
I am okay.
Folks who don't see me in my everyday life find that hard to believe. I still get those sympathy calls, those sympathy emails and messages, those sympathy stares. It's the folks who continue to try to put themselves in my shoes, to imagine what life would be like if they lost their spouse tragically. And the truth is, they just can't; they don't know how hard the journey has been for me because they haven't faced it themselves. They don't know what it's like to walk through tragedy and come out okay...all because of God's strength. They just see it as overwhelming odds, insurmountable circumstances.
And it is all that and more.
But that's where my Jesus comes in. So often misused is the imaginary verse in the Bible that "God won't give you more than you can handle." Oh, yes, yes, He will. But, that's where His power comes in, His strength supernaturally takes over. That's where we learn that we are not in control. That's where we learn that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the concern and continued care shown to me. I truly believe God blesses those who care for widows, for His Word continually encourages His people to do so. I guess I'm just ready to not be the one folks feel sorry for, the one who constantly reminds folks of sadness. I'm embracing the fact that losing Tony is just a part of my story, it's not my entire story.
So I press on as one, and as I do so, I'm meditating and memorizing Philippians 3. In verse 12 it says, "Not that I have obtained all of this or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."
I'm pressing on in the story of Melissa...Melissa Edge, who I pray God continues to use to create beauty out of ashes.
Dearly loved, at a table for one,