Oh Sweetie!!!! I really had no idea that today would hit me as it did. I think God graced me with a little ignorance about what today was. It caught me by surprise as if I had forgotten to count. I knew your birthday was on the horizon but as an Ostrich with head in sand it popped out quickly this am. At first a lump formed in my throat and I just started thinking about how I would never get to hug you again and tried to think back about when last I did and if I did it enough, or with as much attention as I should. My first thought was I will stay to myself today and not go to church and Not, not , not…… but then I quickly remembered who I AM and what you loved about me!!!
Although, you never went to church, you so loved that I did. You knew that it was a place where I could stand in faith and in unison with others professing their abundance of life and feeling and just overflowing goodness!!! It is a happy place for me and you just loved that. So I knew that in honor of you and in honor of who I am that is what I did. I went to church and yes I felt a knot a time or two, but what I mostly felt was grace around me, through me and in front and in back of me. I had so many things to be grateful for and what a perfect place to express it!!
As soon as church was over I found a tattoo place to get that cross tattoo that we talked about before you left us. Honestly I was a trifle nervous and did not know what to expect and a little afraid because people say it hurts. Well truthful, yes it hurt but seriously compared to brain surgery and child birth it was a piece of cake… speaking of which!!! I knew that I would most surely have a piece of cake today and so I did!!!
Your birthday without you is certainly not an easy thing but with God’s grace and my memory of who you are and who WE were and what we believed together, life unfolded just as it should. I focused more on the things we were able to do and not what we did not do. I focused more on what I could do today to celebrate and what was not possible.
I thanked God for you!!! I worshiped!! I embraced others! I visited with Britt and Diego and read a perfect poem from your daughter! I got a tattoo!!!! Can you believe it????? I got a dang tattoo, I got a cross!!!! I love my cross, it represents all that I believe to be right with my world. GRACE, REDEMPTION, HOPE, LOVE,KINDNESS, JOY AND STRENGTH FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW.
So enjoy your party with Jesus and all the other cool folks that get to live between the clouds and I will keep remembering why I am here and continue to follow God’s will as I understand him.
As Piper said in her video to you and you to her, ” I will love you all the time.”
Your grateful wife,
ps. Erica and I have some huge things happening at several prisons this week and your story is always on my lips because it is a story of what happens when you live one day at a time, in honesty and in love for your God and for you fellow man. I sure loved our sober home, I never took it lightly.