As we approach the 6 month anniversary of Todd's passing I have reflected daily on how Todd lived in this world and how I will continue to honor that life. There are always thoughts of Todd swirling around in my mind, hourly making themselves known. Any situation can trigger a memory; doing the taxes this year only reminds me that it will be the first time tackling it on my own. Passing over FOX through the TV guide and knowing that Todd will never be here to quote Bill O'Reilly "the factor is on---TONIGHT". Is it normal to incorporate memories of Todd into otherwise mundane daily tasks? I'm sure that it is, but even so it drains you a little of the energy you have left. When I seem overwhelmed at any point I feel thankful for my faith in Jesus Christ, for which I may never have had without Todd.
Its times like this, sitting in front of the computer, that I question how much I really want to share. But through it all I have learned that if I don't talk about the hard things they certainly won't get easier by not doing so. Todd was a reserved man in many ways and he was always cautious about what he shared with others. And as I try to live by his example I question myself to a certain degree. But for the last several months I have felt pulled in different directions about something that has been on my mind. And because I know that I am ready, PROUD of my husband, and open about some of the more intimate details- I think it is time to really tell you why I'm in such a peaceful place.
Before Todd was killed I would be comfortable saying that my faith in Jesus was lukewarm at best. I tried but nothing was fitting for me. I knew how much it meant to Todd to raise Kiley as a Christian and I was doing what I could to be a supportive wife. My understanding of Christianity was certainly lacking that is for sure. But the moment, the absolute moment that I was told that Todd had been killed there was an unquestionable knowledge that Todd was in Heaven. Little things kept happening for the next week or so, Todd letting me know that I was on the right path and that he was okay.
Most noticeably for me was the experience I had before the memorial service. I had gone out shopping for a dress for the service and picked up a few accessories at a popular store at the mall. When I got back to Todd's parents house I joined the rest of the family for a meeting regarding some details of the upcoming service. My shopping bags were piled on the coffee table and as I was listening to something Donn was saying I happened to look down and see the underside of one of the bags. On it was printed a bible verse. I thought it was strange that it would be printed on the underside of the bag and noted that I should look it up when I had a moment. Later the next day I was on the phone with Kirby and I told her about some of the things that had happened that made me think Todd was trying to tell me he was alright. Which reminded me about the bible verse and we looked it up together. John 3:16 says "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life". A gentle guidance in the direction I so badly needed to go.
I've said before that I have a lot of peace, which is probably hard to understand. My sadness is for myself and Kiley and how we won't get to see Todd again, but my joy is that Todd is in his eternal resting place in Heaven. Todd also gave me an amazing gift, he left Kiley and I each a letter that he wrote on his computer shortly after arriving at FOB Howz E Madad in early June. Deciding to share them is where I have felt pulled in different directions. I have wanted to shout them from the rooftops because of how proud I am of having such a wise and comforting husband. My struggle has been with whether they would be received by others with the same kind of gladness I have felt knowing that I have this wonderful gift. They are difficult to read. But hearing his voice again, even if its only in my head, means I can be strengthened with these words. That being said read on to understand.