Until Forever, I Will Keep Loving You
- We began our journey on August 28, 1981. Many would say that our marriage ended on December 31, 2020, but that's not true. Today we celebrate 40 years of marriage, me here, where we started, and you in Heaven, waiting for me. I have been without you 240 days, 5,760 hours and ticking. But I'm still yours.
- Is it crazy of me to talk to you, as if you were still here? It still feels as though you've only gone to the store and you'll text me, what, maybe four or five times? I think I hear the back door open and you yell...Linda? And you call my name again if I don't answer fast enough. In the middle of the night when I suddenly come awake, for a brief moment I think I hear you, and then realize your side of the bed is still empty.
- Your toothbrush is still in the bathroom drawer, the clothes you wore to church that last Sunday are still hanging in the closet, your work shoes with wadded up paper in them because they got wet are still in the garage where you left them, now completely dry. I hear the engine of a lawn mower rev up and I want to look out the window and see you, but I know you aren't there.
- You always said you wanted to go first because you didn't want to be without me, but worried whether I would be okay if you did. I am okay, but different. Different because I am not whole without you. Now I understand why you wanted to go first. Though I'm living the retirement life we planned together, a home in Virginia and one here in Arkansas, I am constantly homesick...for you. You always said you could live anywhere as long as I was there. Now I understand.
- You would be proud of me, I hope. You know I hate to fly, but since you've left I've flown back and forth from Arkansas to Virginia five times. When I board a plane I know I will wind up at my destination or in Heaven with Jesus and you, and either place is more than okay with me. I've killed spiders, used a wrench to tighten the water hose that was leaking when I was watering the lawn, bought groceries at your favorite store, Kroger, brought them in and put them away, took my car, that you've never seen, to have the oil changed and many, many other things that you always did.
- Those things are easy compared to the important things I miss. Lazy Saturday mornings together, drinking coffee and talking until late morning. I miss those many hours in the car working crossword puzzles, having deep conversations, eating lots of ice cream from the many Dairy Queens at all the exits you had memorized between Arkansas and Virginia.
- I miss worshipping together, hearing your beautiful singing voice and discussing the scriptures as you prepared to teach Life Group. I miss your quiet spirit, your gentleness, your servant heart, your humor, your hugs, your protection and the way you always made me feel things would be okay. I miss watching you care for your mother. She and your sisters miss you too. Your children and grandchildren miss and grieve your absence. You are loved! Stories are shared and sometimes tears come and sometimes laughter. You left us with a lot of yourself and for that we are thankful.
You wrote to me on my birthday in 2019 and the title of this piece was how you signed the letter. So until forever, I will keep loving you. I still say we instead of I, ours instead of mine, and I still wear my wedding rings. I still belong to you. Happy 40th Anniversary!