Homeschool widow. I don't like the sound of it, but it is my reality. My life as I knew it changed forever on December 10, 2013, when my beloved friend (9 years) and husband (17 years) made his peaceful transition. It was so sudden that it looked as if he was in the middle of his favorite television show when I found him. I remember feeling as if I had died inside. I was so fearful of what the future would hold for my family.
After suffering a massive stroke in 2008, my husband worked hard in many years of physical therapy to regain the ability to walk again. His strength and determination were incredible, inspirational. It was a difficult time for the family because my husband was such a vibrant man.
After his passing, I was so overcome with grief and paralyzed by fear. I wondered who would give my stepdaughter away at her future wedding. I wondered who would stand in for my sons at their rites of passages. But most of all, I wondered how would I fill the empty space in my heart. Since 2010, I have lost my father-in-law, grandmother, mother, both grandfathers, an aunt, an uncle, and then my husband. I had literally and figuratively been brought to my knees.
Only God could save me now, and he sent his angels forth in the form of community. Our spiritual community and homeschool community literally carried my husband's death with me. From day one the community stepped in and took care of everything. I was given the space to grieve and try to process what had happened to our family. I didn't have to worry about meals, my children or even funeral arrangements. Between crying spells, I would sit back and marvel at these angels God had sent to take care of me. It hasn't been quite 2 months yet, but I've come a long way. I know I still have a long period of adjustment (as I had to stop several times to cry while writing this post), but I am confident that our family will make it through. My husband always supported homeschooling, and with God's will, we plan continue to do so.
One of my husband's hobbies was photography. He took thousands of pictures. I remember fussing about all those pictures; but, now I am grateful. They tell the story of our life. I found the photo above on a day when I couldn't keep myself from crying. I sat down and stared at the photo. I could hear his voice say, "Why don't you write. That will make you feel better." My husband always had the best advice. A friend created the Eric Utsey Memorial Facebook Page and I began posting on it frequently. Writing about our love, our life, and our family is like medicine. I run the gamut of emotions while writing, from tears to joy. But, in the end, it always makes me feel better. The comments I receive from readers are so encouraging. At first I gave myself a deadline for writing. Then, I decided to write until I can't write anymore. Our love was endless, so I can't put a time limit on it.
I thank God for the opportunity to love Eric!