But I still miss him, even now.
Ten years is a long time. For a child, it's their whole life. But for me, it's both an immense distance and the blink of an eye. In this time, my children have gone from high school students to accomplished and polished young women, and my eldest has become the mother of a child of her own. I have gone from being a homemaker who cleaned houses on the side to make pocket money to a college student who is making plans for graduate school.
You could never have told me, ten years ago, that I would be standing here without him.
In September of 1999, my life was a very different one. My eldest daughter was a senior in high school, her little sister a junior. We had moved into a house in the woods, peaceful and pretty. My sweetheart and I were getting ready to celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary, not long after his fifty-first birthday, and we had already started talking about what we might do together once our girls had gone on to college. Life had settled into a happy routine.
Then, eight days before our anniversary, he suffered a massive heart attack. In a moment, he was gone.
Time passed, as it always does. Our daughters grew up, went to college, did very well for themselves. J married young, a good, kind man I am proud to call my son-in-law. C has a sweetheart as well, and I'm happy he is in her life. J went on to pursue her passion as a dancer after college, C went to work on her PhD.
And I went on as well. I grieved, struggled, strived to make a new life for myself. For a number of years, I cleaned houses to make a living, while searching for what God had for me. I went back to school part-time, and found that I had some real ability to write and speak.
And as time went on, as the years went by, I changed. I became more sure of myself. I learned to trust God more, and to believe that He wasn't going to abandon me. I learned to listen better, little by little, and found that He had plans for me. Much to my surprise, I found myself visiting graduate schools, and settling on Duke Divinity. And as I work to finish my senior year at State and get my applications ready, I pray for clarity. Even all these years aren't always enough to explain the call I now realize is on my life.
During rehearsal today, I was given this song to sing. And I think it says it all.