Walking in the wide open spaces of God's grace

The Heart Matters

The full expression of His love

To experience one amazing love in my lifetime was a gift.  Cam came from left field and took me by total surprise.  God had it all planned before I even knew Him to gift me with a beautiful, Godly man I didn’t know I needed in my life.  He further blessed me with His strength to get through the most painfully traumatic experience of my life in losing Cam.  It took a long time, but I no longer see it as loss but as gain.  I gained faith and salvation, the knowledge of what true love is and a life of blessings in Perth.  For a long time I wondered if I could ever love like that again or if there was someone in the world that would be equipped to love me in the way I desired, with a similar intense love I had previously experienced.  A part of me believed God is capable.  Another part of me thought ‘most people don’t encounter this kind of love once in a lifetime, how could I find this for a second time?’  A dear friend from Cam’s and my church said to me soon after he died that God would return to me what I’ve lost.  I didn’t understand how that could be possible.  I’ve lost so much in Cam.  He died.  How could He return that to me?

But God is God.  He is capable.  He is good.  So indescribably good.  His love overwhelms me to the point of wanting to fall to my knees in deep gratitude.  If one love in my life wasn’t already a blessing, to gift me with another, well that’s just ridiculous.  Ridiculously gracious.  Ridiculously beautiful.  Ridiculously furious love.  But this, He has done.  God’s love for me is Kieran.  Through bringing into existence our love for each other, it is in this, that God is revealing to me the depth of His love in full expression.  Showing me what His love for me really is and how love in a relationship is created to be.  A love of who I am.  A love built on honour and respect.  A love born out of selflessness.  A love that leads.  A love that makes me feel safe and protected.  An equal and reciprocal love.

So I really haven’t been good at this blogging thing lately.  A lot has happened in a year.  Obviously.  I spent most of 2013 trying to fit myself into relationship that I couldn’t admit was wrong for us both on so many levels.  But I have no regrets, for I grew significantly in that.   It forced me to face the cyclic patterns of depression I had experienced from my teenage years and through my adult life.  Often I would deny the signs of despair, hopelessness and worthlessness as it came and went, attributing it to whatever was happening in my life at the time.  I never spoke of it to anyone.  I would simply spend too much time home alone crying, hurting, breaking silently.  During these intermittent, unpredictable cycles I would disengage from relationships and friendships and push people away.  I recognised this happening in me through my relationship last year and although I was tempted to run like I normally do, I actually couldn’t bear the thought of losing someone else.  I had it stubbornly cemented in my head that after Cam died, the next relationship was it for me because I didn’t think I could survive any more loss.  This is why I tried to mold myself into something that wasn’t right.  I’ve since realised that I can’t possibly go through life without experiencing any form of loss again.  That’s just not reasonable.  I spoke about this with a friend of mine who experienced a similar loss.  At some level we have both had the notion that because we have endured such tragedy and heartbreak, that we are somehow now immune to any more tragedy and heartbreak, that once we get to the other side of grief, life will be peachy.  That’s just not realistic.  It was a nice thought while it lasted.  Perhaps this brief notion served a purpose as one of the many mechanisms that helped get me through the grief.  I know that there will still be challenges to face in my life.  I also know that His strength and His provision of supportive people is all I need to get me through anything.

When I finally had the courage to seek help for depression, my determined self went all in.  My GP put me on a low dose of a SSRI anti-depressant of which I stayed on for 7 months.  The first couple of weeks was uncomfortable and I had difficulties focusing at work.  I felt spaced out and vague, not good when training customers.  But I persevered in determination.  I started seeing a brilliant Christian psychologist.  I’ve seen counselors and psychologists before which served it’s purpose at the time in having an objective person to confide in.  Talking stuff out is all well and good, but this new psychologist put me to work during our sessions and also giving me homework, the result provided me with practical tools to use in daily life to combat the root of the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, dealing with the underlying cause stemming back to where it all begins in the early years of childhood.  This I will keep as a topic for another post.

So in summary.  Found love, my heart was broken, God healed, didn’t think I could find another, God is good, God provides, found love again.  Amazing!  Blessed.  Grateful.  Overwhelmed.  Honoured.  I am treasured.


To live again. To love again.

It’s been too long since my last post. I really wasn’t intended to stop writing or leave such a large gap. I suppose it’s just one of those things where life gets in the way. There has been emotional ups and downs, but for the most part, the last 7 months have been positive.

The first anniversary of Cam’s death was a marked moment in my grief. A line drawn in the sand and a step across to a side of decision. Decision to live again. Decision to be happy. Decision to not let the traumatic events of Cam’s death torment me anymore. I have decided not to relive it. And so if I find my mind flickering towards those memories, I think about or do something that makes me happy, distracts me. It’s not suppressing pain or grief for I believe I have grieved well. It is choosing to move forward and live in peace. And that I am. I feel deep peace. The heaviness and pain I felt has gone. I’m very much enjoying being free from stress, sadness and anxiety. Cam is free, and so am I.

Since my last post, God relentlessly continues to bless me and provide for me. I started a full-time job as a Trainer at the end of August. It took me two months to find work after I came back from the states but it has turned out to be the perfect job for me. I absolutely love it. The people are lovely, the company really looks after their staff and after more than 10 years of indecision, I feel like I have finally found my niche. I have found my passion in training people.

In October I moved into a lovely little townhouse not far from the city and close to my office. This being my 11th move in 10 years, I am happy to settle here for a while.

I am still surrounded by amazing, caring, generous people. I spent Christmas with my family in Queensland, the first since I moved to Perth in 2010. I was able to enjoy this Christmas. The Christmas before, the first without Cam, I wanted to hide from the world, to curl up and die.

In December, a dear friend moved in to my spare room. She is the same age as me and sadly also lost her partner a week after Cam died. God most certainly put us together to share our journey and support each other in grief and moving forward in life. He knows. He knows exactly what we need even when we don’t know that we need it. It’s rather uncanny how in sync the events in our life have been since we were both widowed. She has been a blessing and an absolutely pleasure to know and live with. She’s one of those people I know I’ll grow old with, even if we live on opposites sides of the world.

In February, I turned another year older. Three years shy of 30 now.


One Year On

One year ago today my husband Cam left us to be with Jesus.  It’s been a long and difficult year.  There have been many tears, anger and sadness that seemed never-ending, wishing upon wish that things had turned out differently and that I could wake up next to Cam to find it was all a bad dream.  A deep well of grief in my existence and darkness that I thought the light would never reach.  As if losing Cam was not enough to deal with, but the way he left was incredibly traumatic.  I’ve endured countless flashbacks to those moments where we helplessly watched him decline in a matter of days and even hours.  Thankfully I don’t experience this anymore.  The last time I was overwhelmed with a traumatic flashback, I was at Bethel Church in California in the middle of worship two months ago.  As I began to get emotional and reach for the tissues, I felt God speaking into my heart and gently shifting my focus from what was lost, to what was given.  I started thinking about the good, the joy, the gifts of life and faith and the love that God has given  me through Cam.  I felt the raw grief lift off me and all that has been given to me suddenly had more weight than the pain of losing him.  I felt freedom.  I felt joy.  I felt His love deep within.  And I grabbed it with both hands and I will never let go.  No one and nothing will ever take that away from me now.  What an awesome God!  At times I still feel sadness and lonely without Cam.  But I don’t want to miss him like I used to.  Little by little, at my own pace, I’ve been making healthy progress in moving forward with a life without Cam.  Since coming back from America, I have a whole new lease on life and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

I am an organised person and I like to be prepared for whatever is ahead.  This has been especially important for me when anticipating the first events without Cam – first Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc.  While preparing my thoughts for this day, I thought that I would reflect on the events of this time last year.  But I realised, Cam isn’t reliving those traumatic memories and neither should I.  So I’m not going to.  I’m going to reflect on the happiness and love we shared and put the traumatic memories to rest.  It’s amazing the memories you hold dear even in the most tragic of times.  It’s those moments shared with loved ones left behind that I will hold on to.  An embrace at the precise moment of heartbreak that deepens a bond, the minutes when time seems to stop for an eternity shared with a sister, the care from a mother whose love knows no limits.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

Today I will not mourn what was lost, but celebrate what is given to us in Christ.


The South

I’m a bit behind with the updates so I’ll try to keep it brief. My time at the Ellel Ministries healing week was not at all what I expected. I didn’t realise the centre was on 140 acres of grassy fields, beautiful big oak trees covered in Spanish moss, a little pond (with a resident alligator) and all the space you could need to sit quietly with God. I went there of course expecting to focus on healing from grief but God had other ideas and He gave me clarity and freedom from burdens I wasn’t aware I was carrying.

Although I know God was carrying me through the most difficult days after Cam passed, I also felt quite disconnected from Him. I was angry at Him and I felt let down by Him. After Ellel, while I was driving to Georgia, I was thinking about something Cam said. Cam didn’t want anyone to say he had the “ultimate healing” if he died. His exact words from his blog are:

There is no disclaimer here, but if this carcass falls to the ground, I don’t want anyone to think or say ‘Well, he got the ultimate healing – no more suffering now’. No, this is not good enough, and it is not healing – it is being deceased, no more, kicked the bucket, passed a ‘use by’ date, carked it… dead. This is not healing, it is the hideously devastating consequence of sin in this world, and it should be hated for every right reason – it steals, kills, destroys. It is worthy of our hate, our anger, our disgust and our every effort to come against it in Jesus name.

Whilst I understand what he was saying and agreed at the time, I realised that the perspective I established from this was hindering my own inner healing. After Cam died, I naturally believed that he wasn’t healed. I was blaming God for not healing Cam. I didn’t blame God for Cam’s death, but I blamed Him for not healing Cam. No, he wasn’t healed in his earthly body even though we all prayed for this, but he didn’t die because God didn’t heal him. Like Cam said, death is a consequence of sin and the fallen world we live in. But the truth still stands that Cam is healed. In Christ, Cam is healed and whole and alive. Does is still hurt that he’s not here with us? Of course. It doesn’t hurt any less. But now my heart can heal while hurting. While I was blaming God, I was just hurting.

These verses helped me:

And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. (Romans 8:10 NLT)

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:10 MSG).

After Ellel, I spent a little over a week driving through Georgia, North and South Carolina – including Washington, Atlanta, Athens, Toccoa, Brevard, Greenville and Charleston. I had the privilege of meeting several of Cam’s Camp Greenville friends. I will never get tired of hearing how amazing Cam was through people who were touched and inspired by him. It’s a beautiful testimony of God using one of his children as a vessel to show His character, His love and grace. I am so grateful to all of Cam’s camp family for sharing their stories with me and some great photos too!

On May 10th, I took Cam’s ashes to the Pretty Place chapel at Camp Greenville and honoured his wish to scatter his ashes there. God blessed me with a beautiful sunny day. I could see why Cam loved it so much. Tears flowed as soon as I arrived, before I even stepped into the chapel. The thought that first came to mind was what a journey Cam has sent me on. I would not be standing there if it weren’t for him. He continues to be a gift and a blessing to me. Thank God he is resting in peace.

Tonight I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina and my solo road trip has come to an end after almost 3 weeks of traveling through the south. Tomorrow I’m off to New York, New York!

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Pretty Place Chapel, South Carolina


Venice

To pick up where I left off, I spent Saturday night in Venice, Florida with a lovely couple who were hosts of a spare room that they book out as B&B style accommodation using a website called AirBnB. They kindly invited me out to dinner with them and they graciously offered to take me in their car. On the way back from dinner (with bellies overfilled with Italian), we were unfortunate to be in a car accident. We were driving on a main road, a young driver wanting to turn left onto the main road from a street that was on our right (for those back home who drive on the left – think opposite), apparently the young driver didn’t see us and failed to give way, leaving us nowhere to go but head on into the driver’s side of the other car. The airbags in the car I was in went off, causing minor injuries to my two friends in the front. The ambulance took one of them to hospital to get checked out and they were discharged later that night. I was sitting in the back so thankfully I came out unscathed. Unfortunately both cars were badly damaged and had to be towed away. But, I got to see the whole works – police, firies, ambulance, flashing lights and one very serious looking state trooper with a very serious hat (did I mention he was serious?).

The massage at the Warm Mineral Springs the next day came at a good time. It was nice to be able to unwind after the events from the night before. Even if I was the youngest person there swimming in the fountain of youth.

I’m now in Tampa, Florida attending the 5-day Healing Week at Ellel Ministries. It’s only been 2 days and God is already drawing out emotions from deep within. It’s been unexpectedly uncomfortable. I suppose transformation is not meant to be comfortable. I think back to my time of transformation before I found faith last year – it was not a time where I felt warm and fuzzy. There were tears and emotions coming to the surface that I didn’t understand, frustrations and new beliefs that I struggled to accept. Thankfully then I had Cam holding my hand walking me through every step of the way. Now I have to learn to lean on God every step of the way. It’s a valuable lesson but it’s not easy when you’re confronted with pain you didn’t realise was in your heart. I’m learning more and more that he’s a gentle God and He sets a pace for inner healing that’s just right for us, and it’s not an overnight process.

Opening it up to y’all now: What have you experienced during times of transformation and inner healing?


ihopping

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NLT)

Instead of worrying about life’s troubles, sometimes we just need to sit at the feet of Jesus.

I am writing from the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri. I’ve been here for 5 days. Before that I spent 4 days in Honolulu. When I was preparing for this trip, I was worried about travelling on my own in a new country for 10 weeks. But I’ve discovered that I needn’t have worried. Although its only the beginning of my trip, God has clearly put on my path the resources and people I needed and I have not once felt alone, by either making new friends or being aware of how close He is.

My time in Honolulu was a time just to rest, enjoy being in a new place and soak up the island atmosphere. My first night in Kansas was not the best start. The hotel I checked in to was awful. It smelt bad, the staff were rude, the entrance and hallway reminded me of a hospital. I arrived at 2am so I couldn’t find anywhere else to stay at that hour. I barely slept because it felt dirty – I ended up sleeping in my sleeping bag under the sheets. The next day i checked out, got a refund and checked into another hotel down the road… Such a relief! The best part is that I quickly befriended one of the reception staff there who happened to be an ihopper and has graciously shown me around, introduced me to the IHOP campuses and kept me company during my week in Kansas. Someone shared with me an experience they had on their travels where they felt God put people on their path that seemed to be just what was needed at the time. It’s strange that they said that to me the night before I left, because I really feel that this is what He has provided me from the moment I departed Australia, everywhere I have gone.

This trip for me is about seeking God, finding new direction in my life, having new experiences and honouring Cam. To me, this includes sharing Cam with people who never had the privilege of meeting him. And although he’s no longer here with us, he continues to impact people which is just amazing and of course a testimony to who he was. I can’t get enough of sharing Cam and our story. I love seeing how people are impacted, encouraged and inspired by it. A couple I met here in Kansas wrote me a lovely note after I told them our story. Here is some of what it said:

You have awakened something in me I have not had in a long time, the ability to weep… Cameron seemed like such an amazing man. When I think of him I got Psalm 116:15-16: The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die. O LORD, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.

Last year while Cam was having chemo, we spent hours every day seeking a healing miracle from God. We took every opportunity presented to us to have prayer. On one occasion, the gentleman praying for us prophesied that together Cam and I would do great things for the Lord. Being desperate for healing, we hung onto that and other things spoken over us and dreams we had and turned it what we wanted to hear and believe – that Cam would live. Those words stuck with me, especially after he died. When anger and confusion set in, I questioned in my mind and God why this gentleman would say that. Did it really come from God or was it just a nice thing to say? Something warm and fuzzy that seemed appropriate for him to say but didn’t really mean anything? It’s been on my mind a lot since Cam died. After I received that note, it dawned on me that we are doing works for the Lord, just not in the way I thought at the time. By sharing our story, Cam is still impacting people and doing great things for God. It was a revelation that released a lot of uncertainty and showed me more of God’s steadfast and loyal character – that He keeps His promises.


Seeking days of laughter

This time next week I’ll be in Hawaii on route to a long list of destinations in America. From our very first Skype chat, Cam talked about his desire to go back to the US. After that conversation, he planted a seed in my heart and for our entire short-lived relationship we talked frequently about it and tried a few times to plan a trip to the US together. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

It was still in my heart to go to America after Cam died so I’m traveling there on my own for 10 weeks. Well, not on my own, I know that God will be with me. I feel an assortment of emotions. Excited, of course, to be travelling and seeing a new country; terrified to be travelling alone yet I’m also peaceful; I have a sense of relief to finally go on the trip Cam and I talked about so much; and sad that Cam won’t be with me. It’s strange actually, before Cam passed away, I had a dream that I was planning to travel to America on my own. I dismissed it at the time because I believed that Cam would live.

The month before Cam passed, he asked me to scatter some of his ashes at Pretty Place in South Carolina where he worked at the YMCA Camp for three summers many years ago. He had such fond memories of his time there and when he showed me a picture of Pretty Place, I could see why he loved it. So during this trip, I will be going to Pretty Place with Cam’s ashes to honour his wish.

I don’t expect to get complete closure by the end of the trip, but I do feel that it will be the start of letting go of the grief. Since Cam passed, I have obviously experienced loss. But feeling loss is also a choice. Yes, when you lose someone you love, you automatically have a sense of loss. We also need to allow ourselves to feel the loss. This may mean wallowing in self-pity for a time (not forever), crying when you need to, yell and scream (preferably in a private place away from the ears of the public – it could look a little strange), having time alone, spending time with people who you know naturally give you comfort, spending time away in a new place, revisiting old places where memories are strong, or you might pour out your heart to God or someone you trust and say “This hurts. It’s not fair. This is not what I hoped and prayed for and yet it happened. I just don’t understand why.” All these things I have been doing to allow myself to feel the pain and loss but now it’s time to start letting go. It will take time. How much time? Who knows. However much time is necessary.

The phrase I have heard the most since Cam died is “time heals.” I don’t believe this is a true statement. If I ignore what I feel, avoid the pain and don’t face the grief, things will only get worse as time passes. I am responsible for creating an environment for myself for healing and I need to work at it. I need to set goals for myself and recognise milestones when I feel I’ve taken a step forward no matter how small. Time heals, but I’ve got work to do too, and with God’s help, the pain will come to an end.

“… The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” (Psalm 30:5 MSG)


A Romantic Drama

Life.  Everyday I find something that blows my mind, takes me by surprise or goes beyond my imagination of possibilities.  Never for a moment in my short life did I imagine I’d be a 25-year-old widow.  In the space of one year, I went from being single to engaged to married to widowed.  To reflect on the long list of events that happened during that same year, blows my mind.  If it weren’t for the love in my heart reminding me of Cam’s presence in my life and the pain in my soul reminding me of Cam’s absence, I feel like I’ve lived someone else’s life.  Or it’s like I’ve watched a really sad movie that moved me, leaving me with feeling a mixture of warmth and sadness and longing.  I almost don’t believe this is my story, my life, my romantic drama movie.  It’s a strange sensation.

To recount, here’s a brief snapshot of the short time Cam and I spent together:

Aug 2010 – we began dating, well “Skype dating” actually.  I was in Queensland when Cam and I got back in touch and were taken by complete surprise at the intensity of the love that quickly bloomed between us.  A few weeks later, I decided to move to Perth to be with Cam.

Oct 2010 – Cam proposed to me.  Crazy?  A bit hasty you say?  I can understand that people would see it that way and that’s fine.  But Cam and I were living in a different reality to most normal crazy-in-love-couples.  We didn’t know how much time we would have together.  He was in remission at the time.  We had hope that a miracle would happen of course, but Cam was upfront in telling me the doctor’s prognosis was 6 months to 2 years.  It didn’t matter to me.  Any amount of time with this incredible man was worth it to me.  I loved him and I wanted to be with him for every possible second.  It was as simple as that.   Cam proposed with a beautiful song he had written and played for me at Cottesloe Beach.  It was the most stunning day I’ve ever seen in Perth – 8 o’clock in the morning, perfect temperature, cloudless blue sky, no wind, the water was completely flat and dazzling under the warm sun.  Beautiful.  Loving.  Intentional.  Perfect.  All that Cam was to me.

Nov 2010 – I moved to Perth.  Cam flew over to Queensland where we spent a week planning our wedding that was to be held in Brisbane in January 2011.  We then took two weeks to drive from Brisbane to Melbourne and across the Nullabor to Perth.  It was our time to get to know each other when in each other’s presence.  We spent hours almost every night talking on Skype for months before then, but we considered this time as another layer of getting to know each other.  So fiancé, do you like, um, stuff?

Dec 2010 – Following routine blood tests, I got my first hit of bad news while Cam received it for the umpteenth time.  The cancer activity in Cam’s body was active again.  Chemo treatment was imminent.  It was just a matter of waiting.  Waiting for a miracle or waiting for cancer activity to continue to climb and reach a certain level before a chemo trial could start.

Jan 2011 – Pain and tiredness was on the increase for Cam.  It reached the point where we went to emergency at Charlie’s a few times in January.  I think it was the first time Cam was in hospital when we watched on TV the tragic news of the floods in South West Queensland.  We also watched our wedding reception venue literally get washed down the Brisbane River (search for Drift Restaurant on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean).  Cam was in too much pain to travel, our wedding reception sunk to the bottom of a river and Brisbane city was underwater – perhaps not a good time or place for a wedding.  While seeing the funny side of all this (not many people can say their wedding drifted downstream), we decided to cancel our Brisbane wedding and move it to Perth in February.

Feb 2011 – Chemo trial starts.  We didn’t get the miracle we were hoping for.  Looking back, I was probably a little naive and in denial but I so desperately wanted to be optimistic and “think positive” and will Cam’s body back to health.  A tumour on his back had grown large enough to feel it and pain constantly had to be managed with drugs.  He was in no state to enjoy our marital celebrations so we again decided to postpone the February wedding and wait until he was feeling better to schedule another date.  It was this same day that we cancelled the wedding that I had my first car accident on my way home after visiting Cam in hospital.  It wasn’t the best day.

Mar 2011 – I think it was this month that I started to intentionally open my heart to God.  Chemo continued and the cancer levels decreased.  My heart softened to God’s love and  Cam and I grew closer, our love and relationship grew deeper.  All the while I was still resisting, challenging Cam with questions, trying to used logic to understand what it meant to have “relationship” with God.  What is a “believer” anyway?  I also started working again.  And Cam started going to the Healing Rooms in Vic Park 2 or 3 times per week.  We began to put all our energy into seeking God and a healing miracle.

Apr 2011 – I gave in.  I gave in to God, fell in love with Jesus and I finally “got it”.  I finally understood what He did for us on the cross.  So I was baptised on 17 April.  Yay!  The most memorable part of that awesome day, was Cam by my side holding my hand in the freezing water, as I declared my love for Jesus.  I really think this was the happiest time we shared.  We were so smitten and so excited to be seeking God together, building each other up in our faith (and exploring my newfound faith), pushing the boundaries of our relationship and our relationship with God.  If I could go back to just one moment in time with Cam, it would be somewhere around this time.  We also set a new date for our wedding on 2 July.

May 2011 – Cam had been in hospital a couple of times after chemo started with digestive problems.  But it was around May I think that the blood tests indicated that the chemo wasn’t working because cancer levels started to increase.  We continued to put all our trust and faith in God and didn’t let bad results discourage us from pursuing healing.

June 2011 – Blood test results went from bad to worse.  Tumour pain was rapidly getting worse.  Two weeks before our wedding, Cam’s doctor gave a prognosis of 2 weeks to 2 months.  The very next day, I quit my job.

July 2011 – I was given a gift.  A husband.  An amazing, loving, adoring, generous, inspirational, beautiful husband.  I am the luckiest woman in all history to become Cam’s wife.  Some women don’t like the idea of losing their identity when they marry.  I personally love being identified as Cam’s wife.  We had a lovely wedding, surrounded by so many amazing, loyal and wonderful family and friends.  Soon after our wedding, we had to have some serious and difficult conversations.  Newlyweds should not have the “what if I die” conversations.  We wanted to remain hopeful and also be realistic so it was a necessary conversation but so incredibly difficult.  Mind you, when I say serious, Cam’s idea of serious was to suggest putting roof racks on the Mustang to transport his casket.  Cute.  Not long after that, Cam woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain and breathing difficulties so I took him up to emergency. Doctors checked him out, breathing got better, and they discharged him within a few hours. The next night the same thing happened only it was much worse and much more frightening for us. He was in way too much pain for me to even drive him to emergency so I called an ambulance. We thought that would be the trip to the hospital where he wouldn’t come out again.  But somehow, miraculously, he became just well enough to be discharged a week later with heavy doses of hydromorphone manage the perpetual pain.  After he was discharged, we were graciously able to have a honeymoon away in Margaret River for a week.  Memories for which I will be ever-grateful.

Aug 2011 – Immediately after our return from Margaret River, Cam went back into hospital.  Two weeks later, I held my darling husband’s hand as he took his last breath.  My heart was completely and utterly shattered.  And I became angry with God.

Since then, the days have been hazy.  I’ve been living in a cloud of grief that is sometimes so overwhelming that I can’t breathe.  It’s been hard, really hard.  It still is.  And at times very dark and lonely.  But it hasn’t been all bad.  I know with absolute certainty it’s only with God’s guidance, love and grace that I have been able to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  There’s no doubt in my mind about that.  If all this had happened two years ago, before I knew God, well, I don’t even want to think about that.  Thankfully, I never have to.