I'm having an especially hard day today and I'm not sure why. Tuesday's are usually my "bad" day since Philip passed on a Tuesday. Every Tuesday since then, I get up in the morning and have no motivation, am impatient with everyone, and just generally want to be left alone.
But today when trying to book a moving truck for my upcoming move, I just lost it. I just started crying and had a major breakdown. The quote was more expensive than it was two weeks ago and it just sent me over the edge. Later in the afternoon I had to meet my mom at the craft store so I could help her pick things for the rehearsal dinner she is planning for my brother's wedding in September. I already was in a bad mood, but having to do that was just awful. I love my brother and I'm so happy for him, but it should have been my wedding we were shopping for. Our wedding date was going to be 10/17...my brother got engaged a month after Phil passed (I think largely because he saw how precious time and life are) and they planned their wedding for the same fall despite us begging him to wait until I'd had more time. He is in the military and for his own reasons they went ahead and are getting married in September. I don't blame him--life has to go on, but everything about the process has been difficult for me...because four months ago we were laying in bed together looking at invitations and planning our menu. It is just a day and just a party and I really didn't need any of those things. I just think it is a constant reminder of the life we won't get to have together.
Anyway, during all of this today all I kept thinking "Why not me? Why wasn't it me to go first or to have the cancer that literally ate away at me?" I thought this only once before, right in the beginning when we got his diagnosis in December, but not since. Today though, I just want to know "Why not me?" There is so much I don't know and don't know how to do. I get overwhelmed easily. I was normally an anxious person. I'm a little introverted. Why not me? Philip was a good man who loved intensely. He was passionate about his teaching and his writing. I don't think he ever really fully embraced how much he impacted the people he came into contact with, especially his students. He wasn't perfect and he made mistakes. But he left a mark on this world and he still had so much to offer and to give. I'm not saying that I don't make a difference to people or have anything to offer, but in his own special way, he was amazing and was just really coming into his own and realizing all he had to offer the world. He was just starting to believe he was good enough, a good man, and worthy of love. He deserved more time to experience all of these things, to make even more of difference. And I think he maybe would have done a better job at surviving without me than I'm doing without him.
I've been reading a lot lately about grief and widowhood and a lot of people say that you should never say to a widow "It was part of God's plan." This is one comment that hasn't bothered me when people offer it as comfort. I do believe that God has a plan because through this whole experience I've seen the things I've been brokenhearted or disappointed over work out. Last year, for example, I was trying so hard to get a full-time job (we were both academics in the same field, so for us both to find college teaching positions in the same town was a long-shot). I got called on several interviews and told several times told I was runner-up, but they went with someone who'd been teaching longer. I couldn't buy a full-time job and we both desperately wanted that--for me because I wanted to contribute more to our life, and him because he knew it was important to me, and for us because we wanted to buy a house. But if I had had a full-time job teaching last year, we would have bought a house and I most likely wouldn't not yet have been eligible for FMLA. We wouldn't have been able to move to Tennessee when he found out he was sick and he really, really wanted to be here on my parent's property in woods like the one's he grew up in. We would have been stuck with a mortgage payment that I couldn't afford on my own. And then three days after he passed, I got called for an interview for a job I got and needed since I wasn't employed. For some people this would be just a coincidence, but I truly feel like this was God's plan for us. Me not getting those jobs when Phil and I thought we needed it the most would have prevented me from staying at home with him and taking care of him when he needed it the most. It might have prevented me from being with him as he took his last breath. It would have prevented him from getting to come to the place he wanted so badly to be. Moving here for those few weeks with and getting the privilege of taking care of him, even though it was the hardest thing I've ever done, is something I will never, ever regret and for which I will always be thankful.
I guess what I'm saying is that I do believe that there was a plan for us and for me, even if it hurts and I can't understand it. But just because I believe this and take comfort from it, I can't help but wonder why not me? Why can't the man I love still be here and doing all the things he loved and navigating the things I have no idea about instead of me? And I know it is awful and unfair to the people who love me, but I would trade places with him...I would gladly give up life so he could have his back, so he could continue to make a difference, and so that he could watch his nephew who he was completely infatuated with grow up, so he could take care of his brother, and lookout for his mom.
Anyway, like I said, I'm just having a rough day. Who knew a moving truck and Hobby Lobby could be such a trigger? Who knew that falling apart would happen much later than I expected?