I have a secret to tell you. It’s not going to be easy to hear but I know it to be true.

You’re going to die.

I can’t tell you when or where but it’s going to happen. This is it. No pressure, but this is your life.

It’s scary to think about, which I guess is why we don’t. I stand in front of the same three coffee creamers and can’t decide if I’ll go hazelnut, vanilla or the special holiday edition. I’m not the type that can handle this type of pressure!

Will I be enough?

Am I a good enough mother? A friend? Am I “what would Jesus do-ing” enough to be on the path to the big man upstairs? I don’t workout enough. I let my toddler watch a strange show maybe from Russia on the ipad. I drink too many Summer Shandys if the opportunity presents itself. Do I forgive enough? Am I standing up for myself? Am I living to my potential?

I read today, “Every minute we spend comparing ourselves to others is a minute we spend subtly accusing God of shortchanging us.” Ouch! Bold words that sent a dagger through my heart.

There have been plenty of times that I’ve felt shortchanged.

For those of you new here, I’m Amanda. I became a widow at 30 years old with an 11 month old innocent girl at my side. Colon cancer stole my husband Joe, my life, my plans and I’m totally 100% still very bitter about it. I’m working though the steps of healing and doing everything I can to move forward, keep his memory alive, talk about him just enough to remember our love and have put away pictures to ensure I’m “moving on” at a pace that’s comfortable for those around me.

I belong to gobs of online support groups. Misery loves company and sometimes it’s around the truly heartbroken I feel the most at home.

How is this my life? I still don’t know for sure but as I mentioned– this is it.

I made the dreadful decision to go searching for the last photos of Joe’s life the other night. I scrolled back to November 2014 and made myself re-live every moment all over again. It might sound morbid but it’s the only way to truly remind myself it even happened.

My Joe died. Even as he was leaving this earth, he was reaching out for our daughter or puckering up for a kiss. I look at his face in pictures and see all cancer stole from us in his sunken cheekbones. If I look really hard, I can also see what he left me. Joe gave me a perspective and appreciation for life and love that I may never truly understand but will try to every day for the rest of my life.

November 2011 to November 2014. Our wedding, to the month we said goodbye. 

Until death do us part.

My sweet Joe, 31 years was all he got. When he died it’s like I got a tiny peek into heaven. 

I’m feeling all the pressure again as we head into the second half of the year. I’m dreading November as it will mark 3 years. Joe will officially be gone longer than we were married.

So, this is our life.  A life that’s so full of beauty and pain. I’ve had moments of such extreme sadness I’ve wanted to walk away from it all. The grief can feel like it’s wrapping around your throat.

But I’ve had a love so deep it runs through your veins.

I can’t compare where I am to where someone else is, or envy their journey because the truth is I’m on my own.

So, we live. We live a big, messy, deep and emotional life. I sit alone on the bleachers early Saturday morning and watch my little girl on the field. I feel my heart break for all her dad is missing and the pride he would feel. Just when I start to envy the family’s around me, our little 3 year old girl shoots me a thumbs up and I know—I’m enough.

I don’t know how– but I’m enough!

This is it my dears. Deep breaths.