Today I hit the road, beginning my first true solo traveling adventure - well solo plus two pups. Of course, I got started two hours later than I wanted after some extra time at the DMV where I hoped they wouldn't ask questions about my spouse - and thankfully they didn't. Then I spent 40 minutes trying to find a pair of sunglasses that I know I have but couldn't find, finally deciding to just move on and get going.
My first destination was Tulsa to return a shirt and get some delicious pizza. It was the type of trip Josh and I would do often - a quick Saturday adventure over to the bigger city to enjoy some extra treats, a trip to Anthropologie, West Elm, Andolini's Pizza and maybe Trader Joes. I followed suit on this trip but as I traveled from place to place, it was like a shadow of Josh followed. I entered Anthropologie and looked to the window seat where Josh would typically sit waiting patiently as I buzzed around the store, occasionally bringing him back a shirt or item to get his opinion on. He usually would be catching up on his FIFA soccer game and we would both laugh at each other for the things we each enjoyed that were so very different. I felt his absence today in that place. Yet at the same time, being in the place allowed me to more vividly relive the joy-filled memory that happened in that exact location. As joy and sorrow blurred together, I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for the memory. Thankfully, my dog Aspen barking out the car window kept me from being too big a mess.
I continued on our previous path, stopping for take-out pizza and walked by the booth Josh and I sat in less than five months ago. (Ugh, how is that possible!) What a fun trip that was. It was a spontaneous Memorial Day weekend trip and it was wonderful. Seriously, when in doubt, just go get some pizza. :)
BUT . . . since I am on a new life adventure, I didn't want to merely walk in the shadow of memories, so I decided to venture down a new path to a coffee shop named "Foolish Things Coffee Co" - isn't that fun - where I got a Jasmine Latte (also fun) before traveling on to the Wichita, KS area to meet up with my cousin's family. I tried not to think about how last time I was in their home, Josh and I were moving across the country to Arkansas, but of course those memories are still there. Surreal is still the feeling that comes to mind.
Only one day in, I already feel peace in the movement, joy even in the heartache of this bigger journey. Don't get me wrong, it's still weird and I would still rather have Josh with me than to be going solo, but I'm trusting God with the process.
My hope and prayer is that God continues to guide me in this next chapter, that he brings clarity and peace as only he can.
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
– Numbers 6:25-27
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.