It’s been two years today since my world changed forever and I heard the words “we are so sorry, Patrick died.” It felt like a bad dream standing there as a happily married woman being told that the love of your life suddenly dropped dead at work leaving you a widow with three now fatherless babies. I had just kissed him goodbye that morning having no idea I kissed him goodbye for life. My life as I knew it, all my dreams and hopes, felt like they died right along with him.
I remember walking through those gut wrenching moments that I will never forget – singing happy birthday to my oldest turning 3, then walking in another room to plan a funeral for his hero daddy, nursing my tiny little newborn and then picking out his daddy’s casket and hearing my 21 month old crying for daddy over and over again and wondering why he wasn’t coming. It truly was Jesus who kept me afloat when I felt like I should have been drowning.
The 21 months of living alone with three toddlers, comforting children all through the night while barely sleeping because of the loneliness and pain, the days of celebrating birthdays of someone we loved on earth but would only see in Heaven and going to events where my boys would get in the car with sad looks on their faces saying we were the only ones without a daddy there, why can’t we just have him back? Those long days turn into weeks, then months, then years and brought us to where we are today.
My world was shaken but my heart was awakened to eternity in a way I’ll never forget. Patrick’s presence stepped out of my life in the most sorrowful way and Jesus stepped up in the greatest way. He never let me down, not one step of this journey.
I have walked the darkest days where it took everything in me to wake up and choose life over dwelling on death. I have felt the gut wrenching pain of weeping over the grief of my children as they asked for their daddy and tried to process what Heaven was and when they would be there, reunited again..
Night after night, I would tuck my babies into bed and tell them God had a special plan for their life and that He loved them so much all why trying to hold in the tears as I did this difficult journey by myself and wonfered why God called us to this sorrowful life.
Every day and weekend became the same as nothing broke up our days, I lived alone with three toddlers who were awake throughout the night, feeding a baby and comforting crying toddlers who grieved in their sleep, all while crying big tears of my own. But Jesus, He never let us down. Each day I could feel His strong arms carrying my weak exhausted body through another day telling me to just hold on, He wasn’t finished with me yet.
God began to heal through the raw openings of my heart to the real hope of His word. The Bible came alive and His hope would give me oxygen to breath when I felt like I was going under. Some of the best moments of my life happened in the darkness of the night through tears pouring over my sheets as I lay there by myself crying to the giver of life to give healing to my oh so broken heart.
I learned that you can believe without seeing, you can hope without feeling and you can heal without set time. Jesus proved once again to be the hope and Healer He has always been and He was enough for me and my boys. God used thousands of people to lift us up in prayer, to be His hands and feet, to feed us, encourage us, support us and remind us daily that God saw our pain and cared for us. I have never in my life felt or seen the goodness of God in a more real way than walking through the darkest days and watching the Spirit of God care for us through His presence and His people. Thank you to every single person who gave us the greatest gift through prayer, to every person who stepped up in practical ways and those who encouraged us daily when my heart was getting so weary.
The reality is that the sting of death still hurts daily and we still walk through the conflict of our hearts in trusting God’s plan and purpose and battling why a perfectly healthy 30 year old amazing husband and father would just drop dead with no warnings and no explanation.
Our hearts still long for eternity and I still don’t understand why we have walked this journey but I’ve learned to trust the Author with all parts of my life not just the happy ones. We still miss Patrick daily and long to be reunited with him, praising Jesus together. I often am jealous when I think of him and how he is whole, made new and in the actual presence of Jesus the Savior whom he loved and longed for, and the one we worshiped and prayed to together.
Many things have changed in my life but Jesus has stayed the steady Savior He has always been. He has never let me down in His comfort, grace, love, mercy and strength to make it through. I know Jesus in a greater way than I ever knew was possible because of this suffering, and I am thankful that when the pain was loud if I would stop and listen, His comfort and truth were even louder.
It may have only been two years since Patrick was ushered into eternity in an instant but it feels as if it was a lifetime ago. Today we honor the man who made me a wife and a mom, taught me what humility looked like, loved his family fiercely, could care less what people thought of him (I loved this about him) and left a legacy that could never be measured nor forgotten. Patrick is loved and missed. But today we focus not on the time missed, but the treasure of the time we had.
A life well lived could never be measured in words or deeds but in a legacy that even the grave cannot steal. Forever thankful for the legacy of my Patrick Keith Price.