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Kissing Goodbye

August 5 was the last time I saw my beloved husband alive.

A beautiful sunny Sunday, nothing was out of the ordinary that day. No ominous feelings of impending doom. No whisper of imminent devastation. Life was simple and predictable.

As we wrangled four little boys for church, I didn’t think to pause and cherish the chaos. On our drive home, as Aaron taught our sons about Christ, I didn’t know to embrace its significance. When he made 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, it didn’t cross my mind to savor the mundane.

Going through the motions, each day revolved around washing dishes, calming temper tantrums, and cooking dinner. Consumed by the day-to-day demands, we were coasting through life on autopilot . . . clueless of how sacred everything would become in hindsight. We were on the verge of being blindsided.

As the kids piled into the minivan, I kissed my husband for the very last time. I can only credit God for giving me special insight to not do the quick we’ve-been-married-eleven-years kiss. We lingered in this sweet, intimate moment. In a way I can’t describe, it’s as if the Holy Spirit urged our lips to meet with delight and devotion. I know exactly where we stood in the driveway for this unrushed farewell kiss.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I backed out of that driveway the way I had a million times before, with Aaron’s face in my rearview mirror. Looking back was, ironically, all I would ever have of this man.

I never imagined that the next time I would pull into that driveway life would be so very different.

There was no whisper from God. No advance notice. No warning.

I did not know that my next view of my husband would be in a casket.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9


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