The following was originally posted to Facebook back on March 27th of 2019, but I am sharing it here to update followers of this blog about how life goes on and how we don't forget our loved ones, rather we move forward with them held securely in our hearts and in our memories.
So due to this day and age of social media where information travels about in the blink of an eye, and one post can get the people buzzing it seems the need arises from time to time to update the masses on what is going on in one’s life and to answer some questions before they get asked. Now I tend to be a private person, but thanks to my late wife and her courageous battle with cancer I find myself inheriting not just a village but probably 3 or 4. Couple that with our lives being on public display for the past two and a half years, not to mention all the associations I have established as I have emerged from my introverted shell into a more extroverted person, and now I find myself here announcing to the world what I have been up to in the last 6 months.
So here you go. I had planned to take my time recovering from my wife’s passing and processing my grief, believing that I needed to spend some time in a safe haven of grief and contemplation. While my wife told me before she passed that I needed to get out there and to not take too much time I figured I had 4-5 months before I really needed to be social. Evidently when she said she planned to get right to work she was not kidding. Not long after her passing people started coming into my life and forcing me to reevaluate where I was at, and to interact in ways that I thought would take me months to work up to. The long and short of it was that my wife left me in a completely different state then I expected to be, I assumed I would be empty and full of holes, she had already patched me up and helped in setting me down gently on my own two feet to start a new journey. I thought I needed months to grieve not realizing that with each update to her diagnosis and each shortening of her expected timeline I had already been grieving the loss of things as they became less and less of a possibility, and on top of that I had gotten to grieve them with her by my side. By the time she passed there was not much left to grieve and there was nothing left to deny or be angry about, we had 22 wonderful years and that is more than most people can say.
Since her passing I have interacted with dozens of people, and each one has taught me something about what I want in life, how I can be better, what I wish to avoid and how I intend to honor and remember the woman that gave me 22 years of her life and left me stronger for it. My apologies go out to those that I may have hurt as I went about learning these lessons, it was not intentional but know I learned something from each and every one of you. But every time I tried to put the brakes on things, I received a push forward or sign to move forward.
So, what’s the point of all this? I did what she wanted me to do. I did not sit idle instead I embraced the fact that she planned to get to work on my behalf and that of my children to build a new life in which she will continue to play a central role. I took all of her insight into what the children and I would need and am happy to report that through what can only be described as divine intervention, the alignment of so many things being set in motion in just the right way, that I have been lead to someone that exemplifies everything I wanted in my life, everything Michelle wanted me to find, and who understands the unique partnership that exists within this family’s new dynamic.
Mindy has proven to be a compassionate, understanding and insightful companion whom I have gotten to know and trust these past months. Our shared faith, dreams for the future, beliefs in how we wish to live life, raise children and view marriage have allowed us to grow together, and as a result I have not only come to love her, but my love and reverence for Michelle has increased as well. I feel blessed to have found someone that I know I can share the remainder of my life with and who will be the mother figure my children need as I hope to be a worthy example to her children.
I have come to liken these two women to beautiful candles each unique in their appearance and qualities. They each have a light that shines bright in the lives of all who come in contact with them, and I am blessed to be able to see them as unique individuals who are to be celebrated as such. Neither steals light from the other, rather their joint light works together to make brighter the lives of those who are blessed to be a part of them.
So with that I announce that I have asked Mindy to be my wife and to build with me a life centered in Christ, to join me as an equal partner in this life and the life yet to come and to enter into an eternal covenant between us and God. I’m happy to say that she has accepted.
I know that for some people this might be a bit of a shock as many of you did not get the time with Michelle that you would have liked and are still grieving. But know that I have observed and been very mindful of Mindy’s reaction to Michelle. If there is anyone who will make sure that Michelle’s children are encouraged to talk about and remember her, it is Mindy. The pictures will remain on the walls as new ones are added, her name will still be spoken freely, her spirit will still reside within our home as I know she will continue to give insight into the needs of her children and all those that live within the home that she helped build. Some have expressed their feeling that they are still supposed to be on Team Michelle, know that being on that team means keeping her memory alive, and we do that by holding our heads high and finding joy in the journey as she taught us. You don’t have to choose between two people you can support both women in the beautiful and distinct roles that they now occupy. Know that love is infinite and has no limit but the limits that we put upon it. Thank you all for your support, insight and the love that you have shown all of us, the journey does not cease but it continues in ways we never expected.
My name is Michelle Kaley but I have many other names.....Daughter, Sister, Wife of 20 years to my High School Sweetheart, Mom to my 4 Beautiful Children, Ms. Michelle to my hundreds of Students, and as of 2016 Cancer Patient was added to the list.