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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rice

2020 Hindsight

As this year comes to a close, I've been reflecting on all the events and happenings of these past years since my husband was diagnosed with his illness and passed away in 2019. The term 2020 represents perfect vision. It really is amazing when you think about that, and I've found it to be true that you can see things more clearly when they are in your past and you have had an opportunity to grow forward and change outlooks, even your own personal position on some things. I'm often wondering if I could just go back 5 years, how I may have responded to the bad news. Would I have changed our diet to vegan? plant-based? organic? Would I have insisted on a more strict work/life balanced life-style? Would I have more fiercely protected us from all negative influences, thoughts, people?

This year has completed my year of "firsts" without Mike. I wondered what to expect. Of course, I faced each 1 year anniversary of all those special occasions we celebrated together with feelings of deep sorrow, regret that they won't ever be the same again, and complete remorse for any time I may have failed to really grab onto this fact - that occasion may have represented a new memory that I could think of and have that exact same feeling of the joy and love I felt at that time. Everyday, I'm saying out loud "I really miss you Mike." I think about those times he would say to me in a joking way, "you're gonna miss me when I'm not here anymore" and I would laugh it off in a dismissive way, because I never imagined life without him.

This year has been the most difficult, worst year in my lifetime. There has been unprecedented turmoil in race relations, criminal injustice, health crises, economic downturn, political instability, effects of climate change and facing up to the realization of being a widow and having to navigate it alone now without my very best friend and soul mate. It's also been the year that has brought me face to face with the reality that no matter how much I wonder about what I could have done differently to prevent or delay all the suffering and pain that has been ever present in my life this year, there isn't anything at all that I could have done to change the outcome of the events and happenings of 2020.

I've come to accept that all of this was never in my control anyway. I remember telling my friend during the election that the only thing I could do to influence the outcome was to pray and vote! That's it. Because, I learned from a very young girl that God is "omnipotent." He and He alone has all power and ability to change anything he wants to. It was easy to accept that as my rationale behind why I couldn't change the unprecedented turmoil caused by all the external disturbances and commotions across the globe this year. But, when it came to accepting God's will for Mike's life, it was a hard pill to swallow. We were both very prayerful and hopeful that the limited and radical treatments Mike received would somehow, through the Grace of God, eradicate the cancer and he would be able to live a long life having his cancer stay in remission until his natural death would come. So, when that didn't happened I wondered why my husband, who loved the Lord and stayed faithful to him up until his last breath, had to suffer so long, just to die anyway.

Of course, I'm well aware that God is in control of the numbers. He gives us a number to be born and a number to die. We all will go according to the numbers God has wired into our internal DNA clock. How we go, that's another question we won't know the answer to, but that's the way God planned it. It's His will, His purpose for us. So in 2020 hindsight, I'm accepting that God's plan for Mike, His will and His purpose for his life was fulfilled in perfect timing with the numbers God gave him to be born and to die. In 2020 hindsight, I also see perfectly that all these disturbing, turbulent, chaotic, distressful events of this year, are also part of God's plan for this earth. I can take comfort knowing that His will, His purpose, His plan is being carried out with perfect timing for when this life on this earth will end too. So, I can only hope to live the rest of my time on this earth accepting God's will, God's purpose, God's plan for my life. So, as I reflect and look back over these past years, I can see clearly now - with 2020 vision!


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