It’s been one year since Kaitlyn passed away. One year since I laid awake writing through tears, what I would post on here to let everyone know. Such a surreal moment etched in my memory. It certainly doesn’t feel like a year though. I feel like the wound has only just begun to heal. How can it have been a year already? Sometimes I feel like I’m standing still, and the world and time just passes around me.
I’ve thought a lot about the passing of time lately. I’ve thought about how we were married just shy of nine years when she died. I think about how nine years is one tenth of my life, and on the surface that seems like such a long time. Then I think about how that nine years now feels like just the blink of an eye. I’ve thought about individual moments and how each one seems to linger on my memory so much so that the memory lasts longer than the moment itself. I was recently able to have a conversation with the dad of a close friend. He’s in his eighties now, but when he was younger, he also lost a wife to cancer. It was humbling to hear him talk about her. Obviously he remarried, to a wonderful lady that I’ve personally witnessed him love so well, he had children, and he’s lived an entire lifetime after she passed away. When he talked about her though, there was still a fondness in his voice. I asked him the one question I’ve wanted to ask him for the last year but could never work up the courage to when I was with him, “Do you still think about her romantically?” Kaitlyn was my wife and I loved her, even though I want to get married again one day I don’t want to lose that feeling I get when I think about her. I don’t want her to slowly fade into my memory. When I asked him, he said “YES!” and began to tell me about all of the things that they had done together. I could see his joy and affection for her as he smiled telling me about their home and their life together. He told me about all of the good times that they had and about trips they had taken. Eventually, I saw the pain in his face as he told me about how she was diagnosed and passed away shortly thereafter. I’m thankful that he was willing to share it with me because one thing became very evident to me during that conversation. No matter how much time passes or how dull the details become, I will never forget the impact that Kaitlyn had on me.
As I think about this last year, I wonder if she’d be proud of what I’ve accomplished. What have I accomplished? I don’t cry as much. Is that an accomplishment? I can finally go into a hospital again without having crippling anxiety. I think she would be proud that I’m moving forward no matter the amount of improvement. It’s hard not to think that I should have done something profound in the last year though. Something to make an impact on the lives of other people. She impacted so many people, both near to her and people that she had never met. I want to live up to that legacy. I want to have the same kind of influence that she did while she was here. My prayer since she passed away has and will remain, “God please don’t let me waste her story!” I know He won’t.
In fact He’s called me to begin working on something to make her legacy live on. Over the last few months, the Holy Spirit has been leading me to start working on Hope against Hope full time. As to what exactly that looks like yet, I’m not entirely sure. I know that I want to demonstrate love and speak hope into the lives of families that were recently given a terminal diagnosis. To walk headlong with them into that moment and share the heart of God with them. I want to bring them a message of hope in the midst of hopelessness. Please be in prayer as the Lord guides me in this. I can’t wait to see how He uses HaH in the future and I can’t wait to share those stories of hope with all of you!