Robyn Alsip Arce
I struggled to remember...
I struggled to remember his feet today.
It made me sad that I was having a hard time remembering my husband's feet; it made me sad that the memories are fading. So I refreshed my memory of all of him. Then I faced the reality that some of those memories will continue to fade.
As I thought and prayed about it, this beautiful realization enveloped me...
as some of those memories are fading, others are intensifying. It is the more important ones that are intensifying.
The love I feel for him and the love I feel from him seem to grow as time passes. Although every line and wrinkle of his face may fade from memory; the memories of his spirit, his heart, and the beauty of our love seem to grow exponentially.
As I thought about it, I remembered what I had written to honor Julian on his first birthday after his death. It had been less than three months since his death, yet the details of what I wrote that day are as vivid today as they were then.
Here is what I wrote:
I honor my precious husband, Julian, and celebrate his life well lived! Today marks his 56th birthday and the first one he spends in Heaven! I love you, baby!
Happy Birthday, my love!
I celebrate and honor you today!
I thank the Lord for your birth, your life, and for every moment we’ve shared.
I thank the Lord for the gift of YOU and I lift my glass to your life - WELL LIVED!
Julian, there are so many things that make you so very special.
Just some of what I love and treasure about you...
Your SPIRIT! Always joyful, loving, and kind.
You love with your whole heart.
You never need music to scoop me up for a dance.
You walk on the outside of the sidewalk to shield me from harm.
You bring me flowers ‘just because’.
You carry a handkerchief and offer it to anyone in need.
You have a way of savoring every moment of life!
You get lost in the laughter and joy of children!
You laugh with vigor!
You see the beauty in the little things; you see the beauty in everything! You Praise the Lord always!
You smile from your very soul!
You want to be with me regardless of what we do.
You hold my hand like there is no tomorrow.
And, oh, your hugs! Your hugs are ‘all in’....you hang on to be sure your love is felt. Oh, what I’d give for one of your hugs now!
You take my breath away.
I remember a time when I came into your hospital room and with pure joy and outstretched arms, you said to me, “I’m so glad you’re here. I was just telling my mom and brother that you’re oxygen to me... and I needed to breathe!” Then you hugged me as if your very life depended on it! Yes, you take my breath away!
Thank you for your love! I feel it today as strong as ever! With your love, I will move forward. In your honor, I will find joy and savor the sweetness that is my life and is all around me.
I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in Heaven!
I love you always and forever!
Happy Birthday, cocodrilo!
These are the details that are not fading. The details of who he was as a man only grow stronger day by day.
I praise the Lord for that. I praise the Lord that when I think of my husband the love I feel wants to burst out of my very core. The closeness I feel to him - even in his physical absence - is extraordinary and overwhelming. That, my friends, is from God. That, my friends, is a blessing.
I’m ok if the memories of his feet fade because my heart is full of his love.
When I see the love of my life again in Heaven, he will have a new body and who he is in Christ will be profoundly recognizable… that is how I will know him. I will know him because of his spirit, not because of his feet.
That is beautiful.
That is what I will hold on to.
Thank you, Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:16 (NASB)
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB)
… for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Proverbs 20:27 (NASB)
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the innermost parts of his being.
— Robyn Alsip Arce, © 2021
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