Updated: Mar 8
My husband and I met on a blind date on July 17, 1992. We were engaged in October that same year and married on June 25, 1993. We were married for twenty-seven years when the Lord unexpectedly called him home on January 24, 2021. I remember telling my mom soon after we met we were talking about getting married. I was expecting her to say, "What are you talking about? Are you crazy? You just met him." Instead, she surprised me by saying, "I told you when you met the right one you'd know." My mother was right; he was the right one for me. He was my soulmate.
Jay was lovingly known to his family and friends as "Jaybird." He was strong in areas where I was weak and vice versa. A fan of the Rocky movies, he would always say, "We fill gaps." We made a great pair. We were both educators, loved sports, and loved to travel. Most importantly we loved each other and our three children.
January 24, 2021 was a regular Sunday morning. Jay & I had coffee together and talked about our plans for the day and the upcoming week. Right before lunch, I left to go to the drugstore on the corner to pick up an online order, and when I returned just fifteen minutes later, Jay was gone. And just like that, everything changed.
With Jay gone, it felt like I was missing half of myself. I remember telling my friends, I felt like a monster truck with huge tires, and I was stuck in mud. No matter how hard I tried to get out, I kept sinking deeper and deeper into the muck. After spending a few months in the darkest depths of grief, I had to find a way to drag myself out. I had to find a way for my children, my family, and myself.
I reminded myself of three phrases I used to tell myself, Jay, and our kids when times seemed dreary or the day was filled with worry and stress. Now with the loss of my husband, soulmate, and best friend, these three phrases would become my daily motto.
A simple, daily motto makes it easier to remember the words you need to hear when you need strength, comfort & hope.
A motto uses a few words to express — and remind you of — the person you want to be. The best mottos have deep personal significance because they highlight the virtues or characteristics most important to you. And in so doing, they help you make the best decisions when you’re faced with difficult choices. (Davenport, 2022)
I hope this blog will be a place where you & I will find comfort & hope together.
Stay tuned for the next blog post to read more about how these three phrases got me through the most difficult time of my life & how they can help you too.
If you want a reminder of this daily motto, visit the store from The Jaybird Project for t-shirts, hats, and other items.