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  • Laura Alvarado-Newson

Mom, I'm gonna buy you a bird

These were the exact words spoken to me by my 14 year old daughter. "Mom, I'm gonna buy you a bird" followed by "so you have someone to talk to". These words stung a little; more so because they were coming out of the mouth of my sweet loving little Sarah who, at one point, wouldn't leave my side and wanted to hear all about my day and share about her own, over and over again. Could it be that the dreaded teenager virus has taken over? That she would rather listen to the latest Toby Mac song or watch the latest funny star wars video on YouTube, than listen to her mother's bad day? I guess so. If these words are coming from my sweet, loving Sarah, I am not looking forward to my sassy, independent, much-like-me 9 year old having an opinion about me, hahaha.

My dear sweet daughter's have to bare the residue left from our loss. I used to talk to my husband; although, he was very quiet and rarely responded to my chatter, I still talked. I would vent, ask if he was listening, he would nod and a I would keep talking. I had to accept that the conversation would be mostly one-sided, but I got used to it. I figured at least there was an adult to talk to. I'm not,by any means, insulting who my husband was when he was alive. He was just very quiet, seemed to always be thinking, focused in silence.

Being alone, being forced into lonesomeness, without being given a choice, is brutal on all levels. However I have found a treasure deep inside of loneliness. That treasure is the ability to appreciate and truly find joy in the smallest, everyday moments. I know this is spoken quite a bit, about not taking for granted today, whats in front of you, even if it includes a workday, a Monday, laundry or appointments. Love the people, the spouse , the children that God has loaned to you. Those moments when you have to cook for them, or help with homework, or just sit on the couch and watch tv together. Married people, thank God every night for allowing the opposite side of your bed to be occupied by someone you love, even if they are snoring, steal the blankets or sleep with their back towards you. Say a prayer, thanking God that you have someone to share a cup of coffee with, or pack a lunch for, or create a beautiful home for.

Us women tend to be complainers, always wanting more, always demanding, complaining. I spent my first 2 married years complaining, wishing, praying, bored with the every day; until our son was born and it was nearly impossible to maintain normal with someone so medically fragile. in between hospital stays, therapy appointments, fights on the phone with insurance companies; a day at home to clean, cook, do laundry was a vacation to me. An opportunity for normal. I learned how to appreciate early in my marriage because of the hardships, heartbreak and tears, not to mention the massive amount of effort and strength needed to care for our special needs boy.

Fast forward to now and the loss of my husband, has sparked so much appreciation of things once had. Someone to share my bed, to hold and be held, someone to make an elaborate meal for and have them sing my praises for the good food i prepared. To sit down and discuss the latest half-truths heard from our local news. Just someone there, a support, strength, a best friend and who will love me and all my flaws; and me love him and all his flaws as well. Not trying to change one another, but supporting, covering in mercy; knowing only God can transform us. I'm not going to lie, my marriage was not all of this. We had our struggles, our conflicts; however, I thank God for the good times, filled with love and for the challenging times filled with lessons and opportunity to grow and cover one another.

God is starting something new. A new chapter in my life. A chapter of friendship, love, and patience. These last 3 weeks have been full of so much joy and laughter, care and companionship. It is amazing how God can bring 2 broken people together and begin healing in both of our hearts. This relationship started long distance and is still long distance, he is driving home (2000 miles away) as I type, and I am going to miss him greatly. I am going to miss the laughter, the long conversations, sharing about our spouses, sharing about our regrets, past mistakes, sharing the good, the bad, the ugly and understanding one another. It's even weird how we get eachother.

His bond with my children is amazing. They have grown to care so much for him. These next few months will be hard, but long-distance has its perks. There will be a lot more communication, talking, strengthening our bond through conversation.

God knows what I need and it is NOT a bird!

Til next time...

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