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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Walking On The Moon

Psalm 113:3

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Ginger came up with the title to this blog the other day when we were talking. It expresses our feelings as we both learn to love again. At times it feels like we discovering a new world, as if we are walking on the moon.

It has been a while since I (Jim) have written a blog, sorry about that. I is not that I don't have things that come to me it is just that I hardly have time to sit down and write. I guess I did not realize how busy life would be. We are still unpacking the last boxes, and there seems to be a never ending list of things Ginger and I have to do. And sadly the last things we have to unpack have been personal things of Troy and Andrea. It is so strange to unpack someone stuff. The other day we were all working in the garage (that does not come as a surprise to those who know me) and I was putting away Troy's tools. I felt closer to Troy in a way, and sad that I was going through his things. It made me remember Troy was a son, and there is a mother who hurts and a father who misses his only son. He was a brother whose sister has things she would love to tell him. Likewise Ginger and I were unpacking Andrea's linens and china yesterday. The items she loved, that she used to make her home welcome and beautiful when someone visited. I was reminded her Mom lost a daughter and her sister is now an only child, a trait Andrea and Troy's sister share. Seeing and going through their things reminded me of the "others" who suffered on Nov 27th and Dec 17th. Then over the last week Ginger and I have been going through our "Boxes of memories," Boxes that contain letters, cards keepsakes, and photos of our past. A hard and difficult task. Both of us sitting in our bedroom surrounded by stacks of things pointing to a life once lived. I say all this because it is under this setting that Ginger and I discussed where we are in our life.

To be honest the past week has been difficult for me. I had struggled with being in love with Ginger and missing Andrea. I pray that my words adequately express my feelings because and do not confuse or give you the wrong impression. I do not mean to imply I do not love Ginger. Far from that, actually I have been struggling because I love her so much and to feel such love for anyone other than Andrea has been hard for me to process. I did not think I would ever be loved as Andrea loved me, yet Ginger does. For me to even type those words is a little hard for me. I spent my life loving Andrea and expressing my love for her, and now I do the same for Ginger and it seems wrong for me to have these feelings for Ginger. It is as if I would not allow myself to feel such closeness, and depth with Ginger because in a way I felt I was turning my back on Andrea. Wrongly I kept my pain to myself thinking Ginger would not want to hear what I was dealing with but also because I was trying to understand this myself. I was just a little sad and in my loneliness I underestimated Ginger's love for me.

I knew this would be difficult for me and I realized part of this is due to the timing of our marriage, and the short engagement we had. But like I told Ginger, I knew this would be harder on me but waiting to be married brought other difficulties and I felt it was far better for the kids to have a family and begin to settle into a routine.

When I lost Andrea I wondered how do you know when you are "over." I hate that expression, as if my marriage was something to dread and I wanted it to be over. Anyway, you do wonder when the pain will end, then you realize it doesn't. Then you wonder when it will ease so you can live again, because you must. I think last week for me was another step in my adjusting to losing Andrea. And I was struggling with stepping a little further away from Andrea. I was grasping to hold on to something that no longer existed. Like in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" when Bert the policeman is trying to arrest Clarence the angel and he disappears leaving Bert wrestling nothing arms failing in the emptiness. He is left with a confused look on his face. That is how I felt last week.

I will say God did a miracle when He brought Ginger and I together. It is what Ginger and I call the "Miracle of the moment," after a Steven Curtis Chapman song a friend sent me. I know without a doubt we were meant to be together, and sadly I also know the implication of what that meant in our life, the pain and loss we both had to experience to be together. But as we build memories together I begin to feel my life settle down and our family becomes my own in a deeper way each day. Ginger's love for me at times overwhelms me, the depth and commitment she has to me and our marriage amazes me, and humbles me. I may be walking on the moon right now but soon this will seem normal to me. I will learn and grow finding the balance my love for a life once lived and for the life I now have and I to allow myself to fully express my love for God's gift to me, Ginger.

Andrea told me she wanted me to remarry and I have just begun to understand the depth of love expressed in those words. I always told her I was not sure I could say that to her. It is one of Andrea's greatest expression of love to me, knowing she was facing death and thinking of the life I would live after her. She was just that special of a woman.

So I continue to live and understand all that has happened to me and I brace myself as the one year anniversary of losing Andrea approaches. It was about one year ago that we moved into our house on Randolph AFB. It is hard to believe that in just over 13 weeks Andrea would be in the hospital. It seems crazy that she went that fast. I guess I did not realize how sick she was. But that is a subject of a later blog.

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