This is a big anniversary—5 years since Andrew went home to be with the Lord. This means I have been widowed for as many years as I was married to Andrew. Normally, this time of year, a heavy fog smothers me.
My friend, who was a young widow, told me that it took her five years to feel normal again. I was fearful that this would not happen for me. But it turns out, for the first time, I am okay on February 7th.
I made sure to be home in America at least a week in advance of the anniversary. It's important to me to slow down and remember him on this day. But maybe it helped that I wasn’t in the country during the weeks leading up to now. Or maybe it’s because last year the month preceding the 4th anniversary was horrible. Maybe all that sadness got out of my system then.
Sometimes, I’ve heard families talk about a beloved father who passed away years ago. They do not pretend he never existed or that he didn’t raise and nurture them. They speak lovingly and wistfully. When you lose your husband, it’s similar. My love for Andrew didn’t die when he died. I will always love Andrew and I will always miss him. And just because pain may come with his memory, I will never pretend he didn’t exist or that I didn’t live that portion of my life with him. That would not honor his memory. And I’m sure you wouldn’t want your loved ones to pretend you didn’t exist either when you die.
I may not talk about him as often, because remembering the loss of him may always be painful. I may not live my life in reference to Andrew anymore. But when I do smile at the good memories and talk about them, I will never apologize for it. My time with Andrew was the most alive years of my life, and I will never apologize for them. Rather, I celebrate that God gave us that time.
Also, my children are the fruit of those years, and I am grateful. They need to know they had a godly father who loved Jesus and loved them.
When Andrew Mark was 20 years old, he turned from a life of rebellion and living for himself and fell in love with Jesus. No one could deny his overnight transformation. Something unheard of and only miraculous. Many of you witnessed this and could confirm it.
So conscious of God's forgiveness and mercy to him, he exercised the same to me and our children everyday. His life became a picture of the gospel--its power to forgive, save, and to transform.
Five years ago today, Andrew went to be with the One he loved more than anyone, more than me, more than our kids, more than this beautiful planet made by his Maker.
I loved Andrew and I always will. Always miss you, love.
Watch videos of him and check out this video of his life: