“I’m meeting the rest of my life in 4 hours. For 5 years, I’ve trudged through unimaginable pain, heartache, and the clumsiness of rebuilding your entire self, and it’s led me to this moment: mere hours before I deliver my miracle, my baby girl. I should be sleep, but let’s be real. It’s amazing I was able to sneak in 3 hours before this scheduled C-section. This child is a miracle in every sense.
Doctors said I would be able to carry a child, but my fibroids would make it difficult to get pregnant without using IVF. But boom! She said, ‘Not so, Mom!’ 5 years ago, I could not even imagine this child would be part of my future. Half a decade ago, she could not have been part of my story. I was married to the love of my life: a man who is not her father. He was my husband and my everything. And then it happened… it.
Isaiah 61:3. I thought I understood this Bible verse. Beauty for ashes. It meant getting accepted into my top school after spending the previous year being rejected from all others. It meant getting a paid reporter job after years of unpaid internships. It meant a beautiful engagement ring on the day of my 30th birthday. It meant a job with a paycheck which allowed me to pay for my own vacations. It meant having a man by my side who loved every part of me—even the shattered pieces. Then three cars crushed my dreams, my life, my light.
One horrid Saturday night in 2016 took me from a wife to a widow. 5 years ago, my husband, Rasheed Wiggins, walked across the street from our Florida complex for some snacks in the middle of the night. As he returned home and stood in the median of the street—mere feet away from our gate—he was hit by three cars and left to die in the street with a stranger holding his hand. Investigators still have not been able to charge the driver of the first car or track down the driver of the second car. That still-open hit-and-run homicide killed not only my husband but the life and dreams I had imagined, including what I believed would be a future with children for a then-35-year-old widow.
All I had were ashes. And I didn’t want to figure out how to keep going to get to the beautiful parts. And though I took a time out from God, I’m grateful He never took time out from protecting me, loving me. God held me in my darkest moments. In the moments when I screamed at Him in disbelief, anger, hurt, and fear, He pulled me tighter and guided me. When I had given up on life, God took all my broken pieces and made a beautiful puzzle. And just like the ones I put together with my dad as a kid, the outline for this one has been set. A good chunk of the middle has been laid and I’m starting to understand the picture He has for my life.
I did the work. I got lost along the way. I cried, screamed, and nearly gave in to the despair more than a few times in those five years, but I kept going. And after therapy, the prayers of my grandmother, life-changing trips and adventures with friends, and launching an organization to help encourage widows, I found my new voice, my purpose, and a new life. And when I least expected it or wanted it, new love crept into one of the thousands of crevices in my broken heart and took root. On June 19th, 2020, I married a man I wholeheartedly believe my late husband prepared for me. Gosh, that’s such a weird statement, but it’s true.
Darian Iverson loves me exactly how my heart needs to be loved right now. He’s also so perfectly himself he makes me laugh and smile by just being… him. My husband. My ‘chapter two.’
Widows who remarry often refer to their second husband as ‘chapter two.’ I feel I’ve lived so many lives (and written so many chapters), and there’s no way I’m on just the second chapter of my life, but I get it. I’m so incredibly grateful for the love of the ‘man who came after…’ The man who waded into my confusion and heartache and volunteered to stand with me in the darkness.
Weeks after Rasheed was killed, I begged my friends and family to leave me in the darkness. I didn’t have the energy or desire to do or be anywhere else. In fact, when they tried to cheer me up, it only irritated my spirit and made me feel worse. I asked them to try to understand I saw the light switch. I prayed for them to know I couldn’t reach it, and honestly, I didn’t even want to hold my hand up to try to flip the switch, but I knew it was there. I believed when it was time (with their help) I would be able to stand, walk to the edge of the room, and turn on the light. I asked my loved ones to simply sit in the dark with me. And even though it was not a pretty place and I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience this pain, those who did venture into this world are responsible for my healing.
They gently reminded me of the light. They helped me laugh. They helped me pick out an outfit to wear to Rasheed’s funeral. They helped me plan a charity 5K in his name to fund scholarships in his honor. They cried with me. They talked (and still do) about him. And when I discovered you could extract a sample of semen from a man who was dead for a few hours, they sat with me in the fertility clinic waiting room and held my hand as I began a journey I couldn’t imagine would eventually lead me to a new man and a child my own body would produce naturally—along with the option to still produce a child with my late husband with my new husband.
Yes. That last paragraph might have been a bit confusing. Hours after Rasheed was killed, I asked my friends to help me figure out if you could extract life from a dead man. Turns out, you can. Doctors extracted Rasheed’s contribution to a child and froze it, and for years, I did my part to try to make a baby with my late husband. But life is complicated, and this part of the journey is still unfolding. But it was put on hold when an old friend reentered the picture and then became my husband last year. In fact, he drove me to one of my appointments to a Florida fertility clinic where I had my eggs extracted twice in my ongoing journey to have a child with Rasheed.
Did I mention life is complicated? But in the midst of the pain and loneliness, God knew what I needed and who I needed. Darian is incredibly kind, intelligent, and loving. He doesn’t force me to forget, but rather helps me to keep walking forward and embracing a future I never thought I could endure. Darian’s walking me through the darkness I never imagined I’d have the strength to shut out. Darian’s standing by my side in a manner I never would have had the guts to ask anyone to do. And Darian’s helped me switch the normal bulb to the brightest one in the box and fueled my desire to flip the switch and let in the light.
And in 4 hours, I’m giving birth to light. Darian and I decided to name our child Kiran, which is both a combination of our names and means light. For sometimes, in your darkest hour, if you give yourself time and do the hard work of wading through the pain to try to reach your healing, you find your light. Or in my case, it grows inside of you during moments only God could ordain.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kimberly Holmes-Iverson. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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