I really have come to despise the phrase "moving on". It implies that you just pick up and move on leaving everything behind.
Now as much as I would like to obliterate the morning of the accident from my memory, that is just not possible. I will never forget leaving the hotel, driving down the road, stopping for gas. Having him kiss me, tell me he loved me, tell me I was a great mother, now those things I don’t want to forget. What I would like to forget however is the screeching tires, seeing his car spin, seeing debris hit my windshield. The smell of burned rubber, antifreeze, gasoline and blood all mixed together. Yeah, that I wish I could forget. Because really, watching your husband die in front of you…not necessarily a banner day in my life that is for sure. Yes that is what happened to me, to us.
We had taken a long weekend out of town with friends. We took two cars, we NEVER took two cars anywhere. EVER. My mommy impulse kicked in at the last minute and decided that it would be easier to have a 10 month old eat, nurse and nap in the hotel instead of at a car show (shocking to you I know!). So we took two cars. We had a GREAT weekend. Plenty of family time. Munchkin was toddling around everywhere talking away, even said “daddy” for the first time on that Saturday. Sunday morning we left and life changed FOREVER halfway home. He was involved in a head-on collision and the debris from the impact TOTALLED my car as well. I was stranded on the side of the road in the middle of NOWHERE with my son and my husband’s mangled body. I was a babbling idiot…literally….I am not sure I was capable of a coherent sentence for weeks.
But in spite of all that I have survived. I have found “moving on” doesn’t work for me as a widow. I much prefer moving forward. Moving forward for me means that I recognize that living in the past is not an option. It doesn't mean forgetting Robert or our life or all of the wonderful things about us as a unit. It means recognizing that they are a part of who I am and who I have become in this journey of grief.
I choose to move forward, to get up everyday and to put one foot in front of the other--and at four and a half years later I have done things that at the time seemed insurmountable. Everyday is a choice, this is true for
everyone. I choose to find grace and draw my strength from God. I am thankful
that I can rely upon the blessings around me. I choose to find new chapters in
my life...moving back to Chicago to be with my family, getting a new job,
starting Munchkin in pre-school, and now kindergarten, travelling with a
toddler. Getting an apartment, living somewhere where Robert has never
been. Some of these things are hard,
and man does reality sometimes slap you in the face. All of these are necessary. These are all new
chapters and even though Robert isn't a main character in the chapter he is
still there in thoughts and memories.
Sometimes I swear I can even hear his voice narrate. I don’t do things the same-actually some
things are the exact opposite of what he would have liked (my girly floral
bedroom for instance) but I like to think that I know what he would say-what he
would do. But I realize that he is not
here to do any of it and that is part of the moving on. Making choices that are best for our
family-the best for us.
So moving on...would mean leaving my memories behind...that isn't an
option...so I choose moving forward.