Today marks the 6 month day that Kyle went missing. I know my title is "It's been a year," but that is in reference to Kyle and my 1 year anniversary of being together. Today we would have been celebrating, doing something spontaneous or outrageous, actually we would have just probably been happy to spend it together. We would have stopped all the wedding planning and enjoyed being able to date each other. I love that man and am grieved I cannot share this moment with him today. I still can't believe he is gone. Today it hits like a ton of bricks and all the reminders are there. A lot has happened in 6 months but a lot more has happened in a year.
Of course there is the obvious. I turned a year older, made it through more masters classes, finished another year teaching, along with coaching, and learned more about myself, others, and God. However, this year was going to be a monumental year. I went from being single, to in a dating relationship, to enaged and planning a wedding, to losing my best friend and future husband. Ooof. If that isn't a ton of bricks, I don't know what is. This year has been so full of joy yet more challenging that I ever thought it would be. It has brought me to my knees countless times. I have questions, anger, confusion, deep sorrow and pain, yet a sense of peace and understanding.
As I scroll back through messages Kyle and I had, I am thankful for the way Kyle just "got" me. As one of our friends said a year ago when we were first starting out in our relationsip, "You are two peas in a pod." He was right. We just had this way about us that made sense and clicked even if we ever tried to deny it. We loved each other as unconditionally as possible and we were constantly thankful to have each other. We loved to be in love, we loved to plan for our future, talk about our cabin's layout, the future of children and how we would raise them, and the opportunities we would be provided in order to spread God's love to others.
This has been harder than I ever expected. I am reminded of Job and with a recent conversation with my dad, he quickly reminded me of the ending of Job. At first, everything was taken from Job and there was very little left, yet he was still a faithful servant. His family died, he questioned God repeatedly, and His health was taken as well. Sometimes that's how I feel. Kyle is no longer here, life seems so challenging, my health is out of wack, I have countless questions, and all the while I can't stop praising Him. Friends have been so kind and loving, but there is always something lacking. They just aren't Kyle.
I have found myself getting frustrated with friends who have stepped up to be there for me, hang out with me, walk with me, listen, share stories, and I have walked away just feeling the gaping hole Kyle left in my life. They just aren't him. It's not their fault, I am not trying to be mean, but ultimately I want him to walk with me, talk with me, listen to my nonsense jokes, be in the kitchen cracking up and giggling while we cook dinner with/for friends. I miss him telling me to stop stirring food that didn't need to be stirred. Or me trying to convinice him he needed to stay and watch one more episode of some TV show we were watching. I miss our walking out in the woods and him trying to find recipes that wouldn't bother my health. I miss hearing from him, and knowing he was just a phone call or text away.
It sometimes is hard to be around friends we would double date with. I want him to be sitting there chiming in about the conversation. I feel his absence mostly when I am in a large gathering becuase everywhere I look around he is no where to be found. It's just me and I'm all alone....table for 1 please.... I've been single before, this feeling is different. I feel him absent when I sit by married couples at church or when they call for anniversaries so people can be celebrated. I will let never get that chance with Kyle...Ever. Its hard to see new relationships start, friends getting married, having babies, moving forward in that area. And yet I have this joy for them, I am genuinely excited. I'm not saying woe is me all the time, but I am just being real here.
I remind myself that they have joy and I once had that. It doesn't mean it won't come back around, it is just what the time is right now. I tell myself that I was more than blessed to have a man like Kyle who loved me so well. I tell myself that I still have it good even in all the tragedy. I remind myself where Kyle is. Then I can take a deep breath and know that he is not suffering here with back pain, numbness in his arms and hands each morning, pain in his neck or knees. He has no stress about finances, planning for the future, or concern for anything he once had here on earth. I am beyond thankful that he is not in my shoes. I would take this spot over and over so he would never have to bear this type of pain and loss. I would choose to love him all over again even if I knew this was the outcome. Loving him was easy. It was fun and exciting. It was eye-opening and challenging in that it forced me to grow and mature. It was work yet loving each other was our choice and I am glad we chose to love.
I don't mind asking the hard questions, or pouring out my heart. I like lamenting. I kind of say it how it is. I am a matter of fact kind of person. Like when I am talking to God. He already knows what I am thinking and feeling so I just don't understand why I should hide it. So I don't. All the while I keep reminding myself that God has greatness in store for me. He never promised that if I followed Him this life would be easy. In fact, it says to count it all JOY when you face various trials and tribulations. I thank God for everything He has brought me through even the good, bad, and ugly days. He has never left my side even though Kyle has. God is my stronghold, anchor, and strength through it all. So I am a mixture of many feelings and emotions.