This month begins the third year without Pam and it’s still hard to believe she’s not here. I used to post the dates on the blog 3.3.13 – 4.3.15. I stopped marking the time because it’s not really about the amount of time, it about the fact that she is not here today. To understand why it is so hard after two years you have to understand the concept of “One Flesh”. Jesus said in Matthew 19:5,6
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
Pam and I really didn’t fully know what that meant when we said “I Do”, but slowly over time as we pursued God together it started to happen. The first few years were tough, I wanted to golf, she wanted to lay in the sun, I wanted cars, she wanted clothes. There were a lot of tears (from Pam) and a lot of confusion (me). In the beginning marriage was adding something to my life to make me happy, a spouse. Over time we came to know and appreciate each other more and more. We also came to realize that our relationship was a gift from God and He had a plan for our marriage. We talked continually about God’s design for marriage. Many times it sounded like, “God said you had to…” We had a long way to go, but we kept growing in our relationship with God and each other. We were really starting to get it in the years before Pam passed. She would think about my needs nearly as much as hers and vice versa. For me when we would go to bed, I would be exhausted but knew that Pam LOVED to have her back lightly scratched, she called it tickling. That was her favorite, falling asleep getting her back tickled. At first it was a sacrifice but over time it became a joy. Anything I could do to make her feel loved and cherished brought me great happiness. Making her happy became more of a priority to me than making myself happy. I loved to surprise her, treat her, serve her and help her. She did the same for me in ways I can’t even explain. She knew me so well that she would do so many small things nobody else would even notice but that meant so much to me. And of course she loved to feed me and she was hands down the best cook I have ever known. One thing that came to mind tonight as I was walking out of a restaurant after having dinner with Molli as I was walking to my car. While I was walking I was thinking about all the things I need to not forget and just then I realized my mouth was hanging open. Pam would always catch me when that would happen and gently put her hand under my chin and lift up while smiling and kindly saying, “shut your mouth”. I had to smile.
We certainly were not perfect but our lives were really our life. Every aspect of our lives were one. She was devoted to me and I to her. We had so much fun in the safety of a marriage built on complete trust and openness. Our happiness was found in loving and serving each other as we sought God together. I loved her with every fiber of my being and she submitted to my leadership and showed me more respect than I earned. Not because I was a great leader but because that’s what God’s word said. There wasn’t mine and hers, it was ours. From the beginning we treated money that way too. At different points Pam would make more money than me or I would make more than her. It never mattered where the money came from, it went into our account, we were one.
“One Flesh” isn’t just about knowing each other well enough to be able to finish each other’s sentences, though Pam could do that. As for me, if you knew Pam, there was no way to guess what was going to come out of her mouth, not even me. “One Flesh” is so much more, so much deeper, so much sweeter. So as I was holding her hand, watching her take her final breaths, I was trying to imagine what she was about to experience as heaven opened to her and her Savior welcomed her home with pure joy. At that moment I celebrated in my heart for her envisioning her with arms lifted high squealing with excitement while at the same time I was being crushed with sorrow and sadness.
I miss her not just for what she did for me, not just for the happiness I found in serving her but because she was part of me. Because of that she is still a huge part of my life and always will be. We were “one Flesh” and in Pam’s words, “It was God’s plan for us to have these 25 years and it was sweet”. So please understand that I am celebrating for her while also grieving her loss. I have been blessed beyond measure to have shared those 25 years with her.