To look at in a photograph I am still the same as I was before Jacob getting sick. My name is still the same. I still smile with my whole face and my laughter lines turn into a few wrinkles as age gets the better of me. I laugh the same (and so does our bird Chilli). My eyes are still that grey/blue colour. My hair never really changes, mousy blown/light brown with srcunched up curls the easiest style to manage. I am a wife and mum to four beautiful young adults – 3 on earth and 1 Angel in Heaven.
My weight is a bit more on the ‘chunky’ side as I’ve tended to be an emotional eater all my life. I eat when I’m happy, sad, bored and indifferent – an unnecessary comfort at times. I am the same friend I always was before. I still have the same sense of humour and drive the same car and work with the same people. I still have the same dreams for my children that I did before, for them to be happy, healthy and to lead a long life ahead with good fortune on their side. My dream for Jacob is a little more altered now, I still wish and hope that he is happy and healthy up there, watching and waiting for the day till we’ll all be together again. “I wish people could see you when they saw me. I wish they could see why I’m better, kinder, richer, more whole. Because I met you and fell in love, and even though you’re physically gone, you’re forever one of the very best parts of me.” – Lexi Behrndt.
It’s what’s hidden beneath the exterior that’s changed:
- I am a bereaved mum
- I think deeper
- I cry more easily
- I understand more deeply
- I hurt more often
- I appreciate more quickly
- I hope more desperately
- I love more openly
- I have reconnected with my creative side
- I am beginning to ‘smile’ again – seeing miracles in life everyday
I can’t rewind the clock and become who I was before, I can only grow from what life has thrown along my path. I can lay down and refuse to take another step or continue as Jacob would want me to towards a bright future with his love and guidance from afar. I choose life “and though I’ll forever long for him, I need to tell myself this; it’s okay to love him by embracing life. It’s okay if over time, the love we share looks less like heartache and more like freedom. And I also needed to tell myself this; there is no shame in that.” – Lexi Behrndt.
As I venture into the unknown future –
- I’d liketo become an advocate, a voice for parents of youth cancer patients
- I’d like to write a book to help others with their own grief in life
- I’d like to live out the rest of my life to the fullest..
- I’d like to think I’m making him proud with the choices I’m making
…honouring Jacob with every step I take.
I’m sure I will keep changing over the years. I’m hoping the days will get better, it will be easier to breathe, and I will let love win, as my memory will never erase him, nor the pain of his absence, nor the joy of his existance.