Year of Milestone Dates

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” Proverbs 20:24

Our lives are all marked with milestone dates on the calendar. We all have celebrated the big birthday numbers, or special anniversary years. I remember going to several 50th anniversary celebrations for my grandparents and great grandparents. We just celebrated my parents 50th anniversary this past February. And of course we can’t forget the big birthday celebrations, 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th….etc. etc. We have all been to parties to celebrate with those we love and care about.
For the ones that know me and have followed my journey, May, June, and July are the toughest months of the year for me. We have several birthdays, anniversaries, and angelversaries in these three months. This year would have been a big year for Kirk and me. This Thursday, May 17th, we would have celebrated his 50th birthday. Then on June 12th, we would have celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. But unfortunately on June 25th, we will mark the 7th year that Kirk went Home suddenly. These big days are hard to face alone.

Kirk was a great father, husband, son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, son-in-law, nephew, grandson, friend, and most of all my best friend. He worked so hard to provide for the three of us and always made sure everyone had what they needed, and sometimes what we wanted. He wasn’t too sure about having children but once Emily was born, she had him wrapped around her pinky finger. He loved her with all his heart and always called her his baby girl. He loved being a mechanic and was one of the best in Indianapolis. His other love was drag racing. He helped his uncle build a dragster and got to work on a top alcohol funny car at The US Nationals here in Indy. He was like a kid on Christmas morning when he got the opportunity. I was so happy for him and it was so much fun to watch him. I treasure those memories.

It’s hard to fathom that 25 years ago I was planning our wedding. It seems like a lifetime ago some days, and other days it seems like it was yesterday. Looking at our pictures now we look like babies. So young, so full of hope for a lifetime ahead of us. We were so happy and ready to take on whatever life threw at us. Little did we know we would never make it to our 25th. We had just celebrated our 18th two weeks before Kirk died suddenly. I do feel blessed that we had 18 years of married life together, but feel cheated out of a future we had talked about and planned to have. But as we find out, we are not in control of our lives. Our lives can take sharp turns that we were not ready to navigate. The whiplash fall out is devastating and hard to comprehend.

And then we start to ask why..why us? Why him? Why?

One thing I have learned is that we may never know or understand the reason that Kirk left us too soon. In Proverbs 20:24 we read, “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way.” We will never understand why our loved ones are taken from us so soon or suddenly, but God wasn’t surprised. He knows what will happen, He is already there before we are. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” The Lord is already there and with us in our pain; in our grief. He wasn’t caught off guard on June 25th, 2011 when Kirk died in an accident. He was already there, making a way for us to heal and to comfort us.

It’s been a long journey that has tested patience, faith, and trust. Finding strength to get through some days is exhausting. As time goes on, those days get farther apart. You have to give yourself grace and just breathe. Always remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

One thing I want to leave you with is something I had heard on a national news channel one Sunday as Emily and I were headed to a soccer game. I will never get into politics on this blog, but a reporter was talking about Barbara Bush and reporting on her health the day before Mrs. Bush passed away. She said, “George and Barbara have been married for 73 years. I know that 73 years is a long time to be married. But it’s never long enough.” I sat there and I have to admit I had tears in my eyes. I thought about how true that statement was. Even though they had 73 wonderful years of marriage, had the highest of highs in life, and had lowest of lows; 73 years was still not enough.

I sure do know our 18 years wasn’t enough. But I was so blessed to have dated him for five years and then be his bride for 18 years. I know God truly blessed me on January 23, 1988 when we went out on our first date, and then on our wedding day June 12, 1993, and then the birth of our beautiful daughter Emily in July of 2001.

Time is fleeting and it’s a precious commodity that we can never get back. Love while you can, be kind to each other, leave every person you meet better for having spent time with you. Always remember that today is not enough time and tomorrow is never promised. And most important, God loves you and He is for you. He is there in our grief, and He is there in our joy.

Pay tribute to Kirk by just being a good, caring, kind, compassionate person in all you do and say. Trust God and the rest will work itself out!!

Lord, thank you for blessing each of us with the gift of Kirk. He touched so many and left holes in our hearts. Lord I know you are with each of us and you are with us every single minute. I pray that You comfort each of us in our losses and that we find strength, healing, and peace through You. It’s in Your Precious Name we pray..Amen.

Thank you to each of you for loving us and for praying for us as we continue on our paths. We sure do feel them each and every day. Love to you all!!!