It’s been 5 months. WOW. 5 months ago, the world as I knew it exploded in my face. 5 months ago, I woke up a wife and went to bed a widow. 5 months ago, my life was all about me and my goals, dreams, and desires. 5 months ago, I was blindsided. 5 months ago, my children became fatherless. 5 months ago, I saw my husband for the very last time. 5 months ago, I was whole.
I took the above picture of Kyle’s belongings a week after he died. When I went to the school where his soul left his body, I was given all of his possessions stuffed inside of one of his shoes. His big shoes. His size 17, enormous, expensive, ongoing source of jokes, shoe. Everything that was on his earthly body that he left behind. His shoes, his iPhone, a can of Wolf Wintergreen Longcut, some money, his watch, his wedding ring, sunglasses, whistle, and the play sheet that was in his back pocket. He was to play his first game as a Yazoo County High football coach the very next day against his former team, Yazoo City High. The money was the change leftover from the $40 he borrowed for gas and breakfast that fateful morning. My last memory of him is of him peeking over the shower asking to borrow it.
My last good memory that I hold so dear was from 2 nights before Kyle died (that Monday night before). We had a painter in the house painting our fireplace and vaulted ceiling, and Myla had 3 baby teeth pulled that afternoon. When I got home, the house was a wreck and furniture all out of place. Myla had 4 separate visitors to check out her dental work, I was trying to get supper ready while my barely 2 year old cried at my feet. I was in a terrible, and frantic mood. Kyle came in from work and could immediately sense my frustration. He gave me a big, huge bear hug. I hugged him quickly back and then tried to pull away, out of that position to continue all of the tasks at hand. He wouldn’t let me go. Before I could protest or get mad, he said “hang on. I’m just slowing you down. Everything is gonna be fine, just slow down”. It was just what I needed to relax and not stress about everything going in inside my house. I almost cry thinking about that. Kyle always knew exactly what I needed. He knew me so well.
I think about Kyle’s earthly possessions. He took nothing but his soul with him that day, and all material possessions were left behind. The thing that will outlast my husband is the impact he made in so many young lives, not his watch, his shoes or his iphone….what was unseen, positive and lasting. Over time and decades his personal items will decay, but the impression he made and the kind, gentle nature that he lived will outlive any earthly thing.
This is a hard reality to face. I look around my home, and it’s so earthly. I realize now that I have so many faults, and I am working on myself every day to be a different Jamie.
I found this verse that portays this so perfectly:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures of heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-20
I pray that when the Lord comes to get me or when I die that I am not found guilty of storing up my treasures here on earth but that I was a faithful servant of God, working to store up treasures in heaven. I have sinned immeasurably, but through His grace, I have been saved and must now use that gift to live a servant’s life. I want to go where my Love is. I want to be in Heaven with my people, not with my earthly possessions and pride.