“I do”

This weekend I photographed a wedding. It’s the first wedding I’ve been to since Chris’s death. I was working so I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder exactly everything that was being said, (I’m generally thinking about f-stops, lighting, photo ops and so forth). However, I did get a little teary eyed when they came to the death do us part bit. For some of us that parting comes way sooner than we think. I was giving it some more thought after church this morning. I have a number of friends that are having some difficultly in their marriages right now. I have a large variety of ages for friends, so the problems seem to differ quite a bit, as do the number of years these people have been married. Now that Chris is gone, I look at things through different eyes. Something the pastor at the wedding said made some sense to me, so I will share it with you. When you go to bed at night, ask yourself, “What did I do to make my spouse’s day better?” I think back to when Chris was alive and I remember him telling me almost every night, “Thank you for taking care of us today.” or thank you for doing this or that today. Most of the things he thanked me for were small, and I know at times a told him he really didn’t need to thank me for just doing what needed to be done. But now I see just how much those small things can matter. To him, me taking the boys to the park so he could rest was a big deal. To me, it was just hangin’ with the guys. To him, picking up the prescription on the way home from work meant he didn’t have to go out in the cold. To me, it was a five minute stop that I could probalby pickup a few other things too. So, my thought for the evening is remember the little things. Sometimes they help keep the big things from becoming so big. And give that person an extra hug and kiss every day, because not everyone gets the chance that Chris and I had to say goodbye. We never know if that person will be here tomorrow. Just think how it would be if they weren’t with you. Suddenly, taking out the trash may not be such a big deal.
I’m by no means saying Chris and I had the perfect relationship. Anyone who knows us can agree to that. I’m just trying to remind everyone to remember why they picked that special someone to walk down the aisle with, and say “I do.”

I’ve had a tougher week. Being sick never helps. I seemed to grieve more this week than the past few. I think there were a variety of reasons. For instance, Jaxson got his roster for his baseball team this week. On the roster has the moms and dads name for each child and a phone number to reach them at. Chris’s name is not on the roster, just mine. There was an empty space where the father’s name is suppose to be. I took one look at it and burst into tears.

Brenden has a spring concert coming up. It’s really his first school concert(other than his kindergarden graduation.) And I realized as soon as I got the note, that Brenden’s father wasn’t going to be there to see it. There’s a lot of end of school family activities coming up and I miss Chris going to those with me. I think that’s what it all came down to, I just really miss Chris. I’m sure we all do.

I have to get going. Lots to do before school tomorrow! Have a great week!
Hugs and Prayers!



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6 responses to ““I do”

  1. Paula

    I think of you and the kids often, whenever I miss Chris, then I think of how your life has been changed so much. I want to thank you for reminding me that I have wonderful people in my life – and that I need to let them know too. You continue to be in my prayers,

  2. Kent and Joy

    Dear Karen, Thank you for the wonderful reminder. May 1 was Joy and my anniversary. Yes it is all the little things that count. You and the boys continue to be in our prayers. We can only imagine how much you miss Chris. We miss him too! Praying for a great day for you! With love, Kent

  3. Missy Schwake

    Hey Karen,
    Great post. So relevant and important for all of us to remember. And thanks for sharing your heart. Having a dad’s name on a roster, normally such a small thing, means a massive amount more when seen through your eyes. I will thank God tonight for Scott while I’m saying prayers for you and the boys.


  4. Heather Tidd

    Thinking of you…

  5. Alicia Hunt-Welch

    Your strength simply amazes me. To be feeling all that you are must be at times overwhelming. To be able to sit down and write about it is a difficult thing. And although I’m sure Chris is thinking it….and I’m sure you can still hear his voice speak the words… let me also say, Thank you Karen for talking with your boys so honestly about such difficult, emotional and momentous thoughts and worries. Thank you for being a wonderful caregiver to them. They are blessed to have you!
    Sending Love,

  6. Cheryl Stainer

    I was reading about the “little things” and had to smile. Julia was sharing with me on Mother’s Day that she doesn’t like that phrase. She thinks it should be the “big things” we do. I was somewhat surprised, like you (Must be those Stratton genes) it just an extra little step and usually not that big of a deal. So I asked her, “What about the laundry?” I’m thinking sure they have enough of it, but it just means a little extra sorting and folding, a bigger load in the washer and dryer, but not a huge deal. Her response was, “That is huge.” She has to take medicine twice a day, I often have to remind her so she doesn’t forget (again, to me that’s a pretty little thing). She again told me what a huge deal that was to her. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

    Yeah, to us, at times, these little things can be a huge inconvience. Yet at the same time they are a huge blessing to the person we are doing them for, sometimes larger than we’ll ever know. When we’re having those days when the little things are larger than they should be, we just need to remember what a blessing they can be to the other person, whether they show us or not.

    Remembering this, over the years, with my own husband has helped me to appreciate his little things he does more and keep our relationship stronger. Not to mention remembering he’s not always perfect and never will be this side of heaven, but he wouldn’t do anything to purposely frustrate me or make me mad.

    I remember many times on this blog Chris telling us just how wonderful you were to him. I read between the lines that he was so glad that he had married you. You were his best friend. Yeah, he had other friends, but you were the one he was so glad to have by his side.

    Have a great day,


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