365 Years per Day

Well, here it is. Don’t act surprised to find a new post here today. I’m not. What does surprise me is my apparent lack for words now that it comes to it. I even took the day off so that I could have time alone to be with my thoughts and contemplate my emotions, attempting to put them down in 10 point font.

What I recognize most is my seeming inability to cry. Why is that? Maybe because it’s been a year. Maybe it’s because I’m only closer to God now than I was then. Maybe it has to do with all the blessings I’ve received over the past year. Maybe God won’t let me stay in that place of sorrow and loneliness and anger.

But I feel like I should still cry and should still be able to cry. In a way, crying brings Stephanie close to me. And in a way, crying brings me close to God. It’s a reminder. And, for as hard as it feels to cry, it’s even harder to be able to cry. Or so it seems. It’s when I’m not trying — and least expect it — that I read something or see something or remember something. And my eyes drain.

Quickly.

And I find it hard to be sad. I really try. I miss Stephanie and I miss that part of me. I keep trying to transport myself to those days back then when I felt everything so deeply and when the thoughts just dripped from my fingers onto my keyboard. But while I have some good moments of crying hard, it’s usually hard not to be okay. It’s hard to forget how gracious God has been to me throughout all of this and throughout my life.

Every day for the past year has each felt like a year in and of itself, and yet the last year is just a blur. The days blend together better than fruit in a smoothie, and yesterday becomes the day we were still together. I’ve been saying so often that I don’t think the heart knows how to believe the loss of a loved one. It holds on forever. But it can still go on. And so I do, with or without a choice. I just wish I didn’t feel so old because of this.

I don’t have a choice because of God. Despite what came a year ago, He’s given me so much grace and so many reasons to feel blessed. Even today, as I sat alone to think and read and write, the pastors of my church came across my path — and they prayed for me. And it reminds me that God understands my sense of humor. I’m a dork and love a good pun. I call moments like that “puns of life” — what some people would call coincidence is more often God doing something really cool that makes me smile. It’s so completely random, and yet is not surprising at all in the economy of God.

So where does that leave me? I try to cry, and He makes me smile. I ache to hurt, but laugh for joy. I hate the past, excited for the future. I ask God the questions, and He tests me first. Where have I come in the past year? What have I made of my time? How have I grown and learned and made use of what God has given me, both good and bad? Those are the things I can’t stop pondering.

So much for not having anything to say.

6 thoughts on “365 Years per Day”

  1. Dearest Brad, Brady, and Halle, Oh how we all wish we could help to make the pain go away. Yet if we did, would you have grown so much and would you have helped so many people to grow also? God has been by your side walking with you and on many occassions carrying you along the way. I don’t know you or Stephanie but feel as if I do because of your blog this past year. You have shared your raw emotions and that has helped you and all of us. God Bless You and your loved ones as you continue to grow. Love to all of you

  2. Brad, As Last year on this day you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Stephanie, you and Brady & Halle have been on my mind since the begining of October. So much has changed in the past year! I only hope the best for you and your family for the future! I may never see you but I am still here for you if you need anything. God has showed me this past year that nothing is impossible if it’s his will!!! And you may not believe it but with you being open about your situation and experience has also helped me help someone else who went through a similar situation 7 months after what happened to stephanie. He, like you, God called his wife too soon(according to our way of thinking, but not according to God). And was left with four children, who are just now starting to mourn. Being that sometimes children take longer to realize what has happened and their loss. So thank you for your blog and your openess about everything! God has blessed you in ways you may not realize! So again thank you for your open heart and your open mind. I still think of stephanie alot! And I think it’s cause I have no closure on saying goodbye except in my prayers and the only regret I have is life getting too crazy and not taking the time to reconnect with her before God Called her to heaven! I do look forward to seeing her again and talking and catching up with her! Always in my thoughts and prayers!!!! :)

  3. Hi Brad,

    Can’t believe a whole year has gone by for you so quickly! Your comments on your blog remind me of the bible verse: that God promises “The oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”…God is giving you just one more of His many promises. Your love for Stephanie is a loving reminder of God’s great love for us! May you continue to feel God’s presence throughout the year and your life! You will be in our prayers always!

  4. Brad,
    First I’d like to congratulate you. I know that sounds strange but the congratulations are for recognizing and expressing how much God has been in your daily life. As you know part of the grieving process is anger. Often people can’t get past that part. God understands when we are angry at Him, He expects us to be. But by being faithful and seeking Him and His hand in each situation helps us to move on. Will we ever truly understand why some things happen? NO! Can we learn and grow in Him through the burdens He places on us? We are supposed to. Hence the congratulations…..you have served Him well in your trials. “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Secondly, the feeling that your old is normal. Life can do that to us. I prefer to look at it as being seasoned by God. Wise to His ways. I know that in numbers you are very far from old but spiritually you are well beyond your physical years. Thank you, many times over, for sharing with us all. Some of us were led to read your journey not by accident,but by design. Keep writing, He is still working through your words. May He continue to bless you daily!

  5. Hi Brad,
    I am a friend and former roommate of your sis-in-law Sarah and friend of Scott’s. I have been reading your blog since Stephanie went into the hospital last Oct. and I was wondering if you could help me. We just found out yesterday that my dear friend’s husband went to be with the Lord, via the suicide bomber attack in Kabul on Sat. She has two boys who are 5 and 6 and obviously we are heartbroken for her and are grieving for our dearest friend and her precious boys. I know everyone grieves differently and everyone needs something different in their paths of grief, but I was wondering if there were things that people did or said that stood out to you as things that really helped you get through the day or moments. Any advice you can give would be precious to us. We are absolutely covering her in prayers every second and will continue to do that. We are taking shifts with her boys who actually don’t know the news yet, but anything else that would help would be great. Thank you so much and know that you are and were in our prayers so much over this past year and will continue to be!
    Stephanie

  6. Dear Brad,

    I lost my only child, Stephanie on 10-10-10. I miss her terribly. Every day. She was only 22 yrs old and a senoir at Kansas University at the time of the accident. She met a very special boy when she was in the 6th grade and he was the love of her life. He was also taken from us on 10-10-10 by a careless drunk driver that lost his life as well. I found this website by simply googling, “I miss Stephanie”. Reading what you wrote reminded me of two special people that mirror the gentleness I read in your words. It is beautiful to see, not only what God has done for me, but to see it in others as well, shows me how lucky that we are. I hate that this happened to you Brad. I know that I don’t know you, but I am proud of your words expressed. Much love and hope!

    Sincerely,

    Shellie Decock

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