The Year Since He’s Been Gone

April 8th, 2022


One of Leland’s favorite movies was Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”.  One of my favorite parts was the character Dory. Dory had the perfect answer to how I survived this past year without the love of my life. Her answer to when life gets you down is to “Just keep swimming”.

That’s what I’ve done. I just kept on keeping on. I put one foot in front of the other and just kept swimming in this pool called life. God sustained me completely since I chose to live.

Joshua (son) absolutely would NOT allow me to give up, give in and give out. He threw my words back in my face. He would tell me, “We need to honor Dad’s walk with God” or “We will make him proud” or “He taught us so much so we can’t let that go.” There were times I wanted to punch him in the face… but he was texting and not anywhere near my hands. No mullygrubs.

I asked him once when he got so smart. His reply? “I did listen to what you and dad taught me. Mom. I may not have seemed like it at the time, but I did.” That was obvious because while dealing with his own sadness, he was a ROCK helping me this past year.

Photo Bombed Food Picture

Today is the anniversary of him leaving me. Do I miss him? Every. Single. Day. Will I see him again? Thank God, yes. I have some things to say to him about leaving me here without him. It sucks.

Is he having fun in Heaven? Most assuredly. I’ve studied enough about Heaven this past year to actually be jealous. Heaven is so much more than we know. No playing harps on clouds. It’s a REAL place.

But… life has gone on. And on. And on. Walking out this temporary journey. Growing whole again. Realizing that colors are coming back into my black and white world. Smiling, laughing, living.

Knowing that life is all about putting one fin in front of the other… JUST KEEP SWIMMING.

5 Responses to “The Year Since He’s Been Gone”

  1. Stephanie Howell says:

    Hey Nanners! I sent you an email a couple weeks ago. My heart breaks for you sweet friend. Xoxo

  2. Valeria (George) Smith says:

    Nan, I was so sorry to hear of Leland’s passing. I wouldn’t have known if Les Howard hadn’t mentioned it. He was such a wonderful man and I’m so glad that you found each other. I know it’s been rough on you but I also know your faith in God will see you through. I miss you and your guidance. There’s been many times I wished I had you and Joan to remind me that I should be asking God for his help instead of trying to figure things out on my own. Just know that I’m praying for you! Love you!
    Valeria (ANOMods Group girls)

  3. Kim Robinson says:

    Keep Swimming.

    Thru the waves and storms and turbulence.

    Keep swimming until you meet again beside the still waters.

    Keep swimming…

    So you can show others how they, too, can swim without being swallowed up by the hurricane.

    Keep rising until you and Leland unite again, embrace again, love again.


    You. Will.

    One day…

    Swim together.

    Love u, Nan. Xx

  4. Kjersti Bohrer says:

    My heart goes out to you, Nan. This was a beautiful message. I love how your son was there for you, is there for you, and is living out all you taught him. That’s an immeasurable gift. Peace to you.

  5. Dearest Nan,
    Can’t believe that we all raced ahead already one entire year since Leland left us here without him.
    You have been a brave woman and a good Mom, for digesting the partial love that Leland and you passed on to Joshua.
    That means he left a mark of himself here on earth, one that continues to live on through his son, nurturing his EVERYTHING on the go.
    Big hugs to you,
    MARIETTE VANDENMUNCKHOF-VEDDER recently posted…Help needed in identifying these Dutch Grenswachters from Groesbeek, GelderlandMy Profile

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