Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I CAN'T WAIT TO GET HOME

Milton, here for Kristy:

I am home and Kristy is in heaven. It is bitter sweet for me. She is not suffering. She is with Jesus and her mom, dad, and other family members and all those who have crossed over. But, I am here, at home, and she is gone. 

Reading through Kristy’s past posts is revealing. She spoke of life and what life might be if one of us left temporarily. Now, her leaving is permanent. I am writing this sitting in the back seat of dad’s car as we return to Jacksonville from my month long sabbatical. (I wrote the first paragraph after arriving home and then posted what I wrote in the car.)


When I left Jacksonville, I didn’t drive my car. I rode in Norma and Ron as they returned to their home in Wilmington, NC. Then borrowed one of their vehicles for my travels. 


What will it be like and feel like returning to live alone? I can’t cook. I don’t know how to do deep cleaning in our home. Kristy took care of all our clothes--washing and repairing needed items. She was such an integral part of our ministry lives. Now she is gone.


She wrote the following on her blog in August 1, 2006.


Kristy, here for Milton on August 1, 2006:



I've left my husband.


Temporarily.


I rarely leave him.


He's always said he needs me, that he doesn't want me to leave him, and I joke that "You just need a concubine," and he says a hearty "Amen!" and so I seldom leave.


I remember the first time I left him for two nights. We'd been married three years, and my parents asked if I could go with them to see my brother and his wife in New Orleans. My parents had to pass near our town and thought it would be nice if I could ride with them and see my brother's new church and home (he's a minister too; we have nearly 30 ministers and wives in our family!).


Milton reluctantly agreed to "let me go" (yes, I asked for permission).


But I felt guilty.


We're two peas in a pod.


My daughter says Milton and I are joined at the hip.


I always feel incomplete without him.


I think he feels the same way.


But it would be nice to see my brother and his wife, and it was convenient, with my parents passing through.


Ever the caring, let-me-meet-all-your-needs wife, I made sure he had shirts laundered and ironed for Sunday, yada, yada, yada, even fixed food. "Milton," I said, "there's a T-bone steak in the fridge. That's for Saturday night supper."


With a bear hug and stifled sniffle, I bid him adieu and took off for New Orleans.


Had a great trip.


Rode the trolley and saw all the sights. Even met Tom-turned-Tajah-turned-Tom at my brother's church, the transsexual who found Jesus and took back his male identity. Praise Jesus.


Came home.


Unpacked.


Went into the kitchen to cook.


My main dwelling place and proud of it.


(No wonder I used to write a weekly cooking column, "Kristy's Kitchen," for a New York Times subsidiary. I'm a confessed and proud foodie.)


Pulled out my nice new cookie sheet...


That now had a burned-in, black circle in the middle.


Well, T-boned shaped.


"Milton," I said sweetly, holding up the destined-for-the-garbage-can cookie sheet, "what's this?"


He walked over to me, took the cookie sheet out of my hands, placed it on a burner, shrugged his shoulders, and said, "I cooked my steak."


We've laughed many times about that.


Whoever heard of cooking a steak on a cookie sheet on top of the stove?


The possibility of ruined cookie sheets isn't why I don't leave him much.


I guess I don't leave him much because I hear that Bible verse ringing in my head about "cleaving," and you can't cleave much when you're away from your spouse. 'Course I realize some marriages have required separations, such as for job situations, or when you live out of the country (or far away) and need to visit your family and your husband can't get away, etc.


But for the most part, I personally think it's healthy to not be separated too much in a marriage, especially the first years.


So why have I left him now?


I'm in Tampa with my daughter and two grandsons, soaking up some Nana time, and also helping my daughter in her classroom. She's a single mom, and a third grade schoolteacher just starting a new school year in a brand new wing of her school, so it required some extra work. I took off some time from my normal duties, and here I am.


But I can't wait to get home.


To Milton.


***


Milton, here again for Kristy:


After reading her account, now you can see how difficult and seemingly impossible living without Kristy is for me. But, I know by God's new mercies every morning that I will make it.


Her first words were, "I left Milton. Temporarily....


Her last words were, "But I can't wait to get home. To Milton.


But now it isn't temporarily. It is permanent in this life. She isn't coming home to Milton. She is at home in heaven.


I kneel by by bed every night and thank God for helping me make it one more day. God's grace is sufficient even when I don't think it will be. He is faithful.

10 Comments:

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

CAN'T

BELIEVE

IT.

Hurts so bad it leaves me speachless.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Such togetherness, such love. What a beautiful picture of cleaving you and Kristy have given us. Knowing the strong bond you shared helps us see why this transition time is so difficult for you. When you love that deeply it all makes sense.

How do people make it with out the Lord to hold them up and carry them through? I have no idea, but I am grateful you are clinging to Him and believing He is faithful even when it is still so painful. This too is a wonderful example of faith and trust through the valley.

We are all praying for you and send our love. God will make a way. One step at a time.

Praying for you in NJ,
Carrie

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger lene said...

This is Lisa's mom.

Reading this post is heartbreaking.

To Milton, Jennifer and Julie, God will get you through this unspeakable greif one second at a time.

Your family is in our prayers every day.

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Gods eyes and now in Kristy's this separation is but a pause....

Please God continue to help Milton, Julie, Jennifer & Grands, get through this trail of missing Kristy. Let them feel that this temporary pause will only make seeing her again that much greater. One day at a time lord, one day at a time. Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT7x3VnrqbA

Copy & paste this link in your web browser. It is a beautiful display.

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton....your words of agony and grief are so deep, so fresh.

A retired pastor at our church recently buried his wife of 62 years. He said, "Now I am the one who has to do everything I told other grieving widows to do for years and years." So hard, so difficult. I hope your church has a grief group. So helpful.

Praying for you in California

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Lisa Buffaloe said...

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Ps 147:3)

Milton, you are in my prayers.

 
At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This breaks my heart!! I am thankful you have her words about your life, a precious gift to have.
I pray each day gets a little easier.

Teresa

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Milton, you can learn to cook and you can hire someone to deep clean. Just be sure you don't stop writing. What you're dong with your blog (yes, it's now yours) is giving others a strong testimony of loving and overlooking faults like burned cookie sheets.

Too many couples forget to love over those things. But when they read this blog, and see your open heart, it touched them, and perhaps transforms a few.

Praying for you all. Some hard days are ahead, but the Lord will be at your side.

 
At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying grace,grace and more grace be upon you,...that every need would be satisfied in your relationship with Christ,even as your marriage was a symbolic picture of that relationship between Christ and the church.
Lori McColley,
Bethel Assembly,Interlachen FL

 
At 3:49 AM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

I love your first lines about you being home and Kristy being in heaven. Such a positive way to began, even through your hurt, pain, and broken, mending heart. In a way, she's only temporarily left. You'll see her again in heaven, though she's permanently left the earth and is with Jesus.

Now, you must go on, move forward, and learn to fend for yourself without your second half. That's the hardest part. It's tough. But, with God's help, I know you'll make it. Beautiful, positive ending.

May God bless you and heal your aching heart.

Blessings,
Barb

 

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