We are back in College Station this week after spending the last week in my childhood home in CC. At our church on Sunday, a group of us sat and cried together after the service. We talked, and prayed, and remembered. One of the hardest things for me now is seeing the hurt in the eyes of the people that I love. Sometimes I feel like the grief of others is harder for me to handle that my own grief. Seeing the love that people have for us is overwhelming. It reminds me again how amazingly blessed I am to be surrounded by people who love me, love Colleen, and love Chris. We had a great week, but, even though this was the house that I grew up in, I know that my home, our home, is here – in College Station – where Chris and I built a beautiful life.
Even though it feels like it was an entire other lifetime ago, I can look around and joyfully remember the life that we had here at our home. The fist week we were back, right after the accident, I tried not to go into our home office. The office was “Dada’s room” – the room that he was thrilled to has as his own when we moved into our house. The room is all Chris. The shelves are filled with shoes from his impressive collection of Jordans, the walls covered with basketball memorabilia, and the bookshelves lined with sports biographies, vintage Star Wars figurines, and his favorite books from when he was a kid. There is no way to come into this room and not feel close to him. As I sit here today at the computer, surrounded by his favorite things, my heart aches for him.
On Sunday, my parents took Colleen to run errands and left me here to rest. I ended up not sleeping, but here in the office - his room. I took that time to do something that I had been putting off. I spent almost 2 hours reading all of the Facebook messages that people have sent me over the last month. I went to Chris’ fan page, read all of the entries, and re-watched the video from the memorial service for the first time. I logged into his old hotmail account, and read a folder of emails that he had saved from when we were first dating – over 6 years ago. And I let myself weep. I wept for myself, for Colleen, for our families. I wept for his friends, who loved him like a brother. I wept for the life that we could have had.
As I wept, I was listening to a song that someone had reminded me of right after the accident. It’s a song that I have heard before, but have never really had the context to understand. The song is a prayer, and as I listened I prayed her words. I prayed that God would lead me through this valley, this fire, to the life that he has promised. I prayed and asked for strength, the strength to not to have to understand, but just to know that God’s heart is full of love, and that he will never leave me. As I write this now, I can’t help but cry – but I don’t feel alone.
I remember in the first days I couldn’t imagine how I would feel a month after the accident. Today I can say that I feel better – more at peace – than I would have expected, but that I know now that the ache in my heart will never go away. It will stay with me as a reminder –a welcome, beautiful reminder - of the gift that God gave me when he gave me Chris. And for that, and all the other blessing in my life, I remain thankful.
If You Want Me To
The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why you brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I will go through the valley
If You want me to
Now I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
I will go through the fire
If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone
So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to