Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In the Bank









              I've been waiting for what seemed like an extraordinarily long time for the life insurance check. It seemed that way, but since I've never waited on one before I had no idea how long it should take. Either way, it came, and I got it deposited in the bank as quickly as I could. There was no way I wanted that thing anywhere vulnerable. So now, its safely in the bank and I'm waiting on the funds to be available. According to the lady at the bank, the first portion should be available in a couple of days, the rest in around a week. She gave me a paper showing the dates but I've already put it away. So now, to work up a plan on what exactly to pay off and what to pay on.
              I've written down a list of our debts and the amount owed.  Added up, there is more debt than resources. I can blame no one but ourselves. While our circumstances were problematic, we should have been able to fight our way out rather than dig ourselves deeper. But dig deeper we did. I had health issues and my husband lost his job due to lay offs. He then went to truck driving school, got his license and began driving. The first two jobs he had, did not pay that well in money, but got him a wealth of experience. During this time, we were constantly borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. We were trying to stay afloat, but the water only got deeper. Then, he got a good job, that he really liked, only it was very short lived.
               During our struggles, our son has seen what being irresponsible with one's finances can cause. He has seen, how the unrestrained use of credit cards may get you what you think you want quickly, but that money has to be paid back with interest. Its one thing to use them only if one must, and if you pay them off at the end of the cycle, its another to allow the debt to linger and the interest to grow. Looking at the debt we owe, and looking around the house, I can't see much of anything to account for the amount owed. I hope, that my son, while seeing our struggles over money every single day, will be smarter with his own finances. While I'm praying for wisdom and guidance on how to handle this journey, I'm hoping that he is watching and taking notes. I'm hoping that he will remember the times when his dad would worry over the cost of something and whether we had the money in the bank to cover it, only to turn around and charge the item, adding to the ever growing debt. I'm hoping, he will remember seeing me, before my husband got the good job, as I tried to pay one bill, only to turn around a couple of days later and borrow that money back to pay another bill. We weren't going under, but we weren't actually staying afloat either.
                   Once my husband finally got a good job that paid so very much better, we were beginning to build that ladder out of the hole we were in. We were actually making progress. Even when my husband spent time in the hospital, we were okay. There was always someone with a good heart who felt lead to help us, and kept us stable.
                    Then, my husband passed away.  I lost count of the times my husband would be in a mood for one reason or another and would tell me,  that if anything happened to him, at least I would have money. I quit trying to tell him that he was wrong, as of course being male, he was never wrong. but he was. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to take what came, and fill that debt hole that we dug so deeply. I need discernment, I need wisdom, I need prayers for that and more. I know though, that I am not alone in this journey. I know, that God has a plan. I've said it before, I'll say it many more times, I believe it to be true. This will work out for His glory. I just need to get back out of the way and allow Him to act. So that it won't just be money in the bank, but answers to prayer, answers to problems, answers to the mess of a maize that I have gotten myself in to and am trying so hard to find my way out. Then, not only will there be money in the bank, but peace in my heart.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Worry Not







           I was very blessed that so many people dug deep in their pockets and shared with us. I was very blessed, that I was married to a man who always did his best to be one month ahead on the bills,  in the checking account. It was easier to do this, because he finally had a really good job, working with a company that treated the employees like family not like workers.  I had been getting over time where I worked and was trying to knock my own personal bills out. Then, my husband passed away suddenly.  Then, the over time went away.
             Because of the generosity of so many, and because of my husband's budgeting, I have been able to keep making all of the payments on time, plus keep gas in the car and food in the cabinets. I haven't worried about anything, and I'm still not worried. I have faith that God is in control of this and that He has a plan. I know that He will take care of us, that He is, taking care of us.
             So I will not worry that no matter how I try to stretch the awaited insurance money, it won't stretch all the way. There are still bills that won't get paid off. I was really hoping that I could do that. I was really, seriously hoping that I could wipe the slate clean and start again and be a lot more careful in spending. I've done really well I think in handling the money that had been given to us. I still have a little over enough to cover this month's bills. Thanks, largely to a very generous friend who felt lead to share their blessings with me and James, and who answered that leading. I had hoped to use that toward a new furnace air conditioning unit, but, I have a wood stove and windows, we'll be fine.
                With all of that being said, here is what I believe. I was not meant to have enough to cover everything. Oh, I could surrender my life insurance and have enough, but then I wouldn't have any life insurance. I need that so that should something happen, James will have the money to take care of my burial and what ever else is needed. (Not that I'm planning on going anywhere any time soon, but we never know when we will be called home.)  I believe, that this is going to be one of those God moments where once I step back out of the way fully, He will step in and take care of things in a way that shows it was Him and done for His glory. Because I don't know of any other way that I could come up with the amount of money that I need to cover everything.
                I write these blogs, I have more readers now that I ever did, but with each day that passes since my husband died, the number of readers drop. Yes, there are ads, and yes, I am trying to earn a dollar off of this, but unless there are a lot more readers, that isn't going to happen. I realize too, that there are only so many people who are interested in how a new widow is getting by. (On faith baby, on faith.)
               I have other irons in the fire across cyber space, but they aren't doing all that well either. I have to face up to the fact I am not an entrepreneur. I did well when I was fundraising, but that was for charity. I don't want to ask for money for me. Especially when I know that there are others who are in much greater need. Things are getting paid, we aren't going hungry, we aren't in the dark or at risk of being homeless.
              I am of the opinion, as I stated above, that the reason my attempts have so far failed, is that God is waiting on me to quit trying to do His job, stop, move back out of the way and let Him handle this. Being human, being a person who has always had to step up and do things, stopping and getting out of the way isn't easy.  Waiting, isn't easy when you've been the one who wants things done, now.  But that is what I believe, is exactly what I need to do, stop, step back, and wait. God will handle this, He will and is, taking care of us, and in His time, I will have everything that He wishes us to have. In the meantime, I will worry not.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering








                     How am I supposed to pay full respects to those who gave their life for this country's freedom, with this being a day marked to remember the fallen, when all I can do, is think of you.
                     Memorial Day, exactly what its name implies, a day of remembering. A time to recall, to think, to remember, to offer a moment set aside, just to say and be thankful for those who gave all, for us. Those members of any and all branches of the military. There will always be those who speak against wars, you gave them that protected right. There will always be those who complain about our government and elected officials, without offering any other options. They complain, they argue, they whine, you fought, and you died, for them to have that right. Today, is the day set aside to remember. Today, many are off of work and home preparing to spend time with friends and family. Some will know and understand the significance of the day, some will simply see it as a day for cook outs and laughter. I'm off from work, and I am remembering the ones who gave all for their country, but my heart hurts for more than that. I miss you.
                      There are days when the pain silences the words of my heart. All I can do is stand at the front door and stare out into the yard, seeing but not seeing, you. I stand there, not hearing and yet hearing the sounds of that big diesel engine pulling down the road, the sound of those air brakes and you park that rig and prepare to come up to the house. I don't see, but yet I see, the dogs as they jump up and stare down across the yard, waiting your approach. Their excitement of your return evident. There on the table beside your chair is the can of soda that you were drinking. I haven't yet had the heart to toss the can into the recycling box. Your belongings that were in the truck, that were packed up and returned to us, still sit packed up in the other room. I have no need for much of that, but can't seem to part with it. Those things were yours, those things helped you along the way. Some prepared your food, your television, that portable dvd player that I don't know if you ever got to use, your cb radio. Part of me is tempted to purchase a big ole whip antenna for the back of the explorer and have it installed but things aren't what they once were and the citizens band craze died a long time ago. Eventually I will have to do something, even as they keep me close to you, the memories do at times hurt.
                         James moved the box for the television out of the bedroom and into this one. You know that I didn't really watch that much television. It seemed that every time I tried you interrupted in some way so I got out of the habit. I turn it on now for the noise, its much too quiet  around here with you gone. Right now I'm sitting here, remembering you and listening to the crows outside. I would rather be hearing your voice asking if I had done this or that, asking if I wanted to go out to eat, asking if I would prepare you a cup of coffee..all I hear are the crows.
                         Speaking of James, he changed out one of the ceiling fans in the kitchen. I helped a little, but he did most of it. He has really stepped up. He does miss you though, even as he doesn't say much, you can see it in his eyes. Can you see us from Heaven? Did you see him go down to Atlanta for that gaming convention? I was nervous for him, but proud of him for getting out and getting away. Like you have often said, he doesn't need to be right under my feet all the time. He is a grown man, and a good man. I'm proud of who he has become as I know you are.
                     I was trying to clean this room. I always joke that anything that doesn't have a set place in the rest of the house ends up in here. From the looks of it, that isn't a false statement. I managed to get some done, but I couldn't do anything with the stuff on the shelves or the top of the desk right inside the doorway. Every... single... time... you came home, you would come in here  and pick the same things up at random asking what they were. Even though I had told you the last time you were home and picked up the same items. Yes, I know, not everyone picks up rocks, not everyone has a room full of various Relay for Life cups, key rings. notepads or any other variety of items. Not everyone has stacks of hats. Not everyone, has to look at this collection, and remember.
                      The fact that I know you were a child of God, that you gave your life to him some years back has helped. I spend a lot of time in prayer, some days I am a walking prayer. I've started reading my Bible more often. I listen to that faith based radio station. All are helping to ease the pain, but I know it will always be there. That dull, breath stealing ache in the pit of my heart. Thirty-two years of marriage, so long together, this living without you is so strange. I guess the fact that you drove long haul and were gone so much has helped some, but not a lot. I forget my phone a lot now. I hate having it near me, because I want to call you so badly.
                    As I sit here, writing this, it gives me a better understanding of what families go through, when their loved one is lost to war. When they know that they will never hear that beloved voice again. when they know, they will never again have to deal with the frustrations and annoyances that was a part of them. When they miss those very annoyances to the point of pain. They have the knowledge that their loved one gave their life for the freedoms of this great land. They know, that it was te ultimate sacrifice, that was possible from the moment their loved one signed on to which ever branch of service they chose.
                 I have the knowledge, that you chose to drive that truck, long haul, to provide for us. You did it, because even though you knew it would take you away from us, that you would miss so much, you would at least be providing for us the things we needed. You kept a roof over our heads, bills paid and food bought. You did this, even with all of the handicaps you fought.
                I love you. I miss you. I will always hold you in my  heart, remembering.
                          
                   

Saturday, May 27, 2017

When Memories Strike






             Today is  May 27th, I have two more days off from work for Memorial Day. I was facing this time with dread. I did not want to spend these days here at home.......alone. My son took Friday off from work and went to Atlanta. Today, he worked, tomorrow he is going to the race in Charlotte, Monday he will be back at work. So I, am basically alone. I refuse to give in to self pity. I will find my way in this new normal. Even as this is a time to remember those who have given all for the freedom of this great land and I am trying to keep going without my husband. I will not lessen the importance of this day because yes, there is a great difference in those who died in battle and my husband's death. Yes, they died fighting for this land, its freedom and its people. My husband died working to provide for us, his family.
              So now, here I am, learning to live as a widow. Learning to find my way through all sorts of maizes of confusion and frustration. Learning to spot and avoid the landmines waiting to explode before me, destroying my peace and strength. So what have I done over the course of the last two days? Stayed very busy.
               There is a peace to be found when one is working constructively. There is a contentment to be found in the accomplishing of good things. My house, save a couple of areas, is clean. This room is going to take a while, and there are things in here that will remind me of him. There are things in the other room, that will do the same thing.  The pipe under the sink in the bathroom is leaking. I have the stuff I need to repair that and will be spending my Monday repairing the sink and going through the landmine rooms.
               Today, oh today, after my son inspected the explorer and I got home I went to work. I have been digging and replanting flowers. Mom gave me a section of an old time rose and told me I could have some of her cactus. Her cactus was in serious need of cleaning as it was nearly covered in leaves. I donned my gloves and grabbed her rake and set to work. She came out while I was working and talked. At one point she told me something about my being determined to finish. I have to do that at work, so I might as well do that in other projects I'm involved in. Besides the fact that I love that cactus, especially when its in bloom so there was no harm in helping it out by removing all of those leaves. Also, as I told mom, it gave me something to do. She then mentioned some flowers that grow along the fence across from her house. I helped myself to some of those before the demolition crew damaged them.
                 I moved all of my gatherings up to the house, my intent was just to plant the rose, but I ended up planting everything that I had dug up. I had been given money for flowers, it was one of those, 'here, now hush' moments. I went ahead and cleaned out areas in the flower bed and planted those as well.
                 Then I stood back and looked around at my handiwork. It looks good. I'm sure the bees and butterfly will appreciate the additions. I believe the hummingbird are enjoying the feeders. It was so late when I finished that the solar lights were coming on. It was a normal afternoon and evening, but it wasn't. The thoughts wanted to drift, the memories and the loneliness sneak in. I wanted to be able to call him up and talk about my day, his day, when he would be home. The knowing that I can't, and he won't, hurts. The fact that I am learning just how much I am capable of doing is encouraging. The knowledge that I am finding ways to making the yard more colorful and nice, is calming. 
                  As the days off from work approached, I dreaded them with a passion. I did not want to spend the time alone, here at home. I wanted to go somewhere. I wanted to get away. It didn't matter, the beach, the mountains, a local hiking trail. I wanted to be in a different location, at least for a while. So far the farthest I've gone is Walmart. Now, it doesn't seem as important to get away. I had made sarcastic comments at work that the farthest I'd get to go would be my own back yard, but you know what? There is not a thing wrong with that. In fact, I believe that is one of the next things on my list to tackle, getting that backyard cleaned up.
               When memories strike, the tough, the strong, the determined, get up, take a deep breath and get going. There is a new normal out there, and I'm going to meet it head on.
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fighting the Good Fight, Ways to beat the unintentional pain






  It seems to be a regular occurrence now that some one, or some thing sets off the emotional roller coaster that I am currently on and I wonder when and how I will ever get off this crazy ride. In the mean time, how am I going to handle this, so that when the storm breaks, and the sun is bright again, I can  look around and see that I still have friends? Between the hair trigger emotional highs, lows and  incredible hulk crazy, I know people are giving me a lot of space. Who really wants to be the recipient of any of that mess anyway?
 The one constant thing that I have discovered, is that nothing is constant. What can cause one emotion this time, will cause a totally different emotion the next. There needs to be a road map or instruction book or something to help guide me through this labyrinth of emotions.  I need to know how to spot the directional signs and understand them well enough that I can find my way from emotional to calm.
 Something happened this morning that made me angry, very angry. I turned and walked away muttering to myself. My words were nothing that I wouldn't have said out loud in front of my mother, my son, or my preacher, but I wasn't happy that I was that angry. I have stated repeatedly that anger is a wasted emotion. So how to battle this? The first thing that came to mind was to take a few deep breaths and find something physical to busy myself with. That last part was not difficult as I was at work and there is always something physical that needs to be done. I busied myself, doing the same moves over and over until the project I had given myself was completed. As I worked, I felt the anger worked out. By the time I was done, my arms and legs ached, I was soaked in sweat, my head was beginning to throb, but the flash fire anger had eased.  I knew that I could now talk with others without fearing that I would speak sarcastically or angrily, possibly saying something that would anger or hurt the feelings of others, as mine had been hurt not that long before.
 Something happened yesterday that mad me sad and envious but mostly sad. Someone had gone on a trip that my husband and I had planned. Now this person had no way of knowing that, but still, when I was approached with a "guess who I saw, Saturday?" and when the answer was the artist that we had planned on seeing, the memories and sadness swamped my boat. I tried to smile, I tried to continue the conversation, I tried, but failed, I do believe. I failed, because I allowed a moment to control me, instead of me controlling the emotional moment. I know, that it is impossible to control everything. I am human with human weakness and failings. But I can try to control my reactions to situations. I said nothing to the person about the plans my husband and I had discussed, I listened to her description of the time she had, and was glad she enjoyed her trip.  I came home and tried to divert my emotions by grabbing my camera and finding flowers to photograph. One after another, all across the yard and back again as I felt the sadness dissipate.
 Some days, social media is a nightmare I need to stay away from. Those days when the loneliness is thick and heavy around my heart. Those days when I'm feeling as if I am in a dark hole and no one will ever find me there, lost and alone. There are the days when photo after photo after video of family and good times are being shared and I miss my husband so badly because we can't ever do that again. The days when I see   the  shared adventures that others are having, the day trips, the vacations, the trips across town to a favorite restaurant stab at my heart like a serrated blade gone dull,  and withdrawn allowing me to bleed out. Blood and tears creating a river of sadness.  Those days I try to take a step away from any social media and find alternative entertainment. I find a book to read, I try and watch television, I go to the porch, I wander about the yard. Anything to get away from the joy of others and stop the tears from falling. (A note; I do not begrudge anyone having a good time. I do not begrudge their sharing. On the good days I enjoy seeing them as much as anyone)
 Some nights, it seems as if I am not ever going to sleep normally again. I will finally drift off to sleep only to come to the realization that I'm lying there wide awake, listening to the sound of the radio or the rain or the barking dog, but not sleeping. I believe that there is so much going on that my brain can't slow down and that causes me to awaken so often during the night. I don't get up, I whisper another prayer, I stretch, I turn over, I snuggle down, I allow my mind to wander off on a relaxing adventure until I finally drift away again. I have curtailed the amount of coffee I drink late at night. I often take long soaks in a hot tub with epson salt and lavender. I have the ceiling fan going and windows open to keep the room cool. I don't know how to calm my brain, but I'm trying.
 I know, that I am always going to face those moments when the unintentional hurt will happen. There will be a word, a memory, a thought, when the pain will return. We were married just over 32 years. A lot of memories were made during that time. A lot of plans were in the works for retirement. A lot of dreams.. now shattered. But, through prayer, faith, and friends, I know the ride will smooth, some day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dealing with unintentional pain




                                         My husband, me, Mark Miller



How often, I wonder, is this going to happen? How many times, before I can smile and walk away without feeling that soul stabbing agony?
 A friend came up to me today and asked me a simple question, "Guess who I saw Saturday?" Now, I've known this person for years and we've known many of the same people over the course of those years. In my mind I was thinking that she had happened up on one of them. There was really no way I could know, so I honestly admitted it with an "I don't know".  With a broad grin she told me, "Sawyer Brown". Two words. Two simple, well known,  words was all it took, to try and send me to that dark place of pain. If it had been intentional, it would have.  I have known this person for so long, and know that they don't have a malicious, vindictive, hurtful bone in their body. Knowing this, I was able to take a deep breath and smile. A probably somewhat crooked and not quite fully honest smile, but a smile.  This person was so excited about having seen them that I don't think they noticed.. which I'm glad.
 I've never made it a secret that I'm a fan of this country music band. Over the years I've gotten into some interesting conversations about the band and the guys that make up Sawyer Brown. That, I know, was the purpose of them bringing up that they had made a trip to Tennessee and while there had gone to the street festival and caught Sawyer Brown that night. They talked about the festival, the crowds and that they had enjoyed the show.
 I never said a word. Oh, I commented on what they were saying. I was honestly glad that they had a good time. The pain was trying to surface though. I fought it back down. I choked back the thoughts that kept coming to mind. That was supposed to have been a show my husband and I were going to attend. I had been asked if I were coming. My husband had told me he would do his best to make sure he was off. It was only three hours away, we could do that easily. It was coming to fruition, I was just short of booking a hotel room and finding out about tickets.
 Then he had to up and die on me. This is just one more thing, one more plan, one more moment that was going to be for us, only it never got to be. I know there are more.
 How many more times will someone make an innocent comment, that will cause that pain?
 How many more movies will I watch, the ones that he loved and watched repeatedly?
 How many times will I walk into Cracker Barrel and miss his presence?
How many more times, will I hear the roar of a big rig's engine and that rumble reach so deep into my heart?
How many more times, am I going to have to go into battle, over unintentional pain?
 I'm learning how to recognize the body language of others, and know what they are considering doing. Those questions of "do you need anything?" I've learned to just say no and move on. I'm learning how to be strong, when I'm surfing the channels on television and see the title of a movie. If I'm strong enough, or in the mood where I want to feel closer, I'll watch it, otherwise, I pass on by. Some things are easier to deal with than others.
 I've only had one person who I would have loved to call an idiot over a comment they made, but I didn't. I just walked away. I wasn't sure if they were being mean, if they were being clueless, or if they were actually an idiot. Either way, I let it go and walked on.
Wondering, simply wondering, how many more times, will I deal with unintentional pain....

      back, Jimmy Scholten, front Shelly Scholten, me and hubby.. dear friends..

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fighting with myself







There are those days when I start working and push until there is nothing left to push with. Yesterday was one of those days. I woke up determined that I was going to clean up a certain section of my yard. I have a rather large front yard, half of it is under some form of control, but not this section. This one section had been neglected for a while and that fact was obvious, Wisteria vines are covering nearly everything. The powers that be have repeatedly reported that snakes are bad this year, worse than years past. I have heard some say that is due to a very mild winter.  What ever the reason, the neighbors have a young child and I needed to get this section cleared to rid the snakes of one place to hide so close to the road.
So I down one cup of coffee, grab my gloves and sheers and head up the driveway. I had began working on the mess a few days before but after working all day simply did not have the energy to accomplish much. Today, with a determined heart, I began. Starting on one corner I worked my way in. I do have other flowers and wildflowers have sprung up, I didn't want to hurt them if I could prevent it, but I had to clear the vines as best as possible. In a short time I had a small pile of vines and saplings in the middle of my drive. I moved down to the other side of the large Oak that grows near my drive and began again. It didn't take long that I had yet another big pile of vines and debris.
 The morning was heating up quickly so I went inside and prepared a large glass of iced green tea and carried it back outside. I knew the way I was sweating, dehydration was a threat. I knew that my son would be coming in for lunch soon so I began dragging the piles of vines and other cuttings across the yard and down the hillside. As I was doing this the mail ran. I won't deny that I was hoping for some sign of an insurance check but it was only a salespaper and the insurance forms that had been changed due to my informing them of my husband's passing. James came in moments after and saw the remaining pile of vines and asked what I was doing. I could have given him a sarcastic response, but didn't. I simply explained and went back to work as he went inside to eat and prepare to go to the race.
 I stopped several times to rest and cool down. I kept that glass filled, but I kept at it. I managed to get a lot of the vines cleared away and even raked and removed the leaves from a large portion of what I was trying to clear.
 After a break, I went to get something to prepare for my dinner and ended up buying a few other things. Some needed, like the stuff to repair the pipes under bathroom sink, which are leaking, a large garbage can and a few things to make a wreath for the front door. I spent more than I planned but I'm still learning that budget thing that I had not had to worry about for a while.
 Once I got back home, I started a load of laundry, then went to do what I had told my son I would. He had backed the pick up to the carport and I went out and began loading the trash into the bed. It wasn't easy, in fact, there was quite the (amusing later) struggle of getting those large garbage cans onto that truck bed. After I got them in the bed, I began picking up the stuff that had either fallen out or been dragged out by the critters. By the time I finished, that truck was full.
 How does all this mean I am fighting with myself?
 I'm pushing myself to clear away the weeds of self pity, of sinking into the loneliness that many who have lost loved ones face. I am clearing away the debris of I can't do this. the debris of, how much more will I have to face, how many more things can and or will go wrong?  Why, does it seem like I'm suddenly here all by myself and everyone else has gone back to their life, leaving me here to deal with this alone?
 I'm methodically leaving  all the rubbish of that thinking at the cross. I'm clearing away the piles of hopelessness, the sadness, the feelings of loneliness, the emotions that threaten to take away my hope, that seek to destroy my trust. I'm clearing the envy, the jealously that others can go about their life, they have their loved ones, they have everything and everyone they had before. I'm clearing away the envy of trips and vacations and time simply spent with family and friends and reaching up to the One who has me. I'm reaching up, praying hard that this too shall pass and that I'll see, at the end of all my efforts that God has been here all along. That He has never left nor abandoned me and that His plan will be accomplished.
 And I won't have to push myself, as His yolk is light.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Smiling my way through





 I talked about you today.
 I Haven't been doing a lot of that when talking with people. I would start to say something and then stop. I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. Past moments, when I would make a comment, remember something you said or did, I could see the discomfort that it caused. So, except for the writings I've done, and talking with family, I have not said much. I would remember, and I would hold that memory close, even in my silence.
 Today though, today, I talked about you. Not a lot mind you, but more than I have been. I acknowledged to a friend, that I missed you. I said that you were a pain in the backside sometimes, but I still missed you terribly. She told me that it seemed like we missed those who were a pain more because they were always around. Always doing, saying something. Now, you're not. You're not here physically, but my memories of you, of us, are here. I hold them close, I cherish them, and I will from time to time, bring them out and share something.
Especially after today.
 Talking about you felt good. It felt healing. It felt, comforting.
After I had talked about you, I had this odd feeling. I was back out on the manufacturing floor and realized that something was different. I was smiling, for no real reason, but there I stood, watching things happening around me, and I was smiling. It really felt good, I felt a bit lighter inside.  For the first time, I didn't immediately lose the smile and feel the guilt of being here and you not. Because yeah, there has been that guilt. I'm not sure why, because I know that where you are now, you are better than you've been in a long, long time. You would say that you would give anything if you could breath well again. You gave your everything, but I know,  now you are breathing easily, you have your energy and all of your health restored.  I know, that you are walking the streets of gold and seeing and hearing the angels sing praises. You have seen Jesus. You, have seen, while I walk in faith.  Maybe, a part of that guilt was the missing you, the wishing you were still here, even though I would never ask you to come back and I know that you would not want to leave where you are. Not even for us.
 Through out the rest of the day, that smile would slip out from time to time, even with the madness of work going on around me. Even, and especially, when four o'clock finally rolled around. You know that I dread that time, even though it means its quitting time, it was the time that I found out you were gone. Every day, when the time nears four o'clock, the feelings of dread and sorrow begin. Today, it came, and went and I wasn't wanting to crawl into a hole somewhere and hide. I finished my responsibilities and turning off the lights, left the building for home.
 Walking in the front door has become another of those, 'don't want to', because you would always call within minutes of my getting home to ask if we had gotten any mail. You would call to ask questions. You would call to ask why I hadn't called. You would call to simply talk. These time remind me of when I quit smoking all those years back. It was all of those times when I would smoke that bothered me, like how I would light a cigarette the minute I got in the car. That is how missing those phone calls is.
 As I sat here today, I kept hearing this really loud banging. I didn't have a clue what it was and I wasn't sure I wanted to go find out. Finally though I decided that I would go out and try to clear up some of the mess up around the mail box. As I pulled those garden gloves on and picked up the clippers, I saw that the noise was coming from that old mobile home. Jason and Miles were working on dismantling the thing. Jason and Jennifer want to put a home in there. I stood and listened to their plans for a while, it sounds as if he really wants to clean that place up. I think though, that porch on the back is rotting away, Jason said that he wants to burn or bury it. I know you really wanted that for a back deck..one day honey, I hope to build that deck, even though you aren't here to enjoy it. I did finally get back up here and got a little bit of work done. I have time this weekend to do more.
 Now here I sit, typing this and even though I'm not physically smiling now, the healing that came from the smiles earlier are still here. I know that you told me that should and when, something happened to you, that you wanted me to not stop living. Since you've been gone, I've been in a very dark and sad place. I know that I have a long way to go, to find my way back to happy, but today I believe was a good first step. I think that you would approve.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Messages when You're Listening







I've done more than my share of moaning and groaning here lately.  It seems that most of my writing has been sad. Okay so yes, I do have a reason. I wonder though, if I'm allowing myself to sink too deeply into the murky waters of depression. What kind of message does that send? That I don't believe that my God is capable of taking care of me?  I hope not. Especially since if I were to really pay attention, I would hear the messages He has been sending me.
 Before my husband died, I found and began listening to a faith based radio station. I enjoyed listening to it then, I really like it now. Every week day morning right at 5am, they have a short program by Dr. Charles Stanley. It  runs right at thirty minutes. I'm usually getting ready for work so I have not been fully focusing on what is being said. I would hear enough to get the gist of what he is talking about and took that to be enough.
 Then, in the last couple of days, I began to notice how his topics hit very close, too close, okay, they hit right here deep in my heart. It was as if he were speaking directly to me. I'm going to need to visit the web site and find out how to either view or listen to past messages. I want to hear them again and pay more attention to what he is saying.
 I want to hear his explanation of God's plan for us, for me. Even though right now seems to be so very difficult, there is a plan. He has a plan, a purpose for my life. Have I asked Him, meaning God, what that is? Have I asked Him, to guide my life, and am I listening to what He is saying to me?
 I do believe that He is, and I believe that I am hearing at least part of it, even as I need to pay attention and listen more closely. Recently I was considering making a change dealing with my finances. I wasn't sure that it was the best choice, the best idea, but it seemed to be the only way to take care of a need. As I was in the process of exploring this change, I had the overwhelming feeling that this was not the way I needed to go. I found a way to extricate myself from the conversation and left the building. I was still though at a loss as to how to handle this need. I've tossed some of my ideas out, in the hope of getting good council from others, but nothing seemed to be the right answer.
 Then, I began praying more diligently about this particular issue. I began to ask others if they would pray for me, for wisdom and discernment, in this issue. Remembering, where two or more are gathered in My name, there I am also" I think that we can be gathered together when we pray of the same request, even if we are scattered all across the world. He will hear our prayers and requests, our petitions for others, when we pray in once voice. Now, I am listening for Him, listening for His leading, waiting, for His directions in this. I will, when His time is right, know He has spoken and I will find out His will in this need.
 I want to go back and listen to Dr. Stanley's explanation for God's peace in our life.
 I know, how I know, that I am in need of this peace. I know, that in the middle of this darkness, He is here, He has not abandoned me in this. I simply need to slow down, stop trying to do everything myself, running headlong into what's ahead. Running without direction, running without a clear idea of where I'm going. I need to slow down and listen. I need to slow down and wait on God, wait on His leading. I need to know that He is waiting for me to come to Him with all of the sadness, with all of the worries, with all of the concerns. I need to remember, that He is waiting to ease my burden or give me the strength to endure.
 I only heard enough to know, that I need to go back and listen again. I need to go back and get a better understanding of the message that I was meant to hear, that was meant to encourage me, to assist, to comfort me in this time.
I only need to be quiet, and listen, wait on Him to show me, His plan for me, even in this storm.
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Surviving the Loneliness






Yesterday, was Mother's Day. Yesterday was part of an unexpected and unwanted long weekend. Yesterday, after church, after I had spent time with my mother, after the activities began to wind down, the loneliness came. That, drag you down into the darkness where it is impossible to breath easily and the pain threatens to overwhelm you feeling. That place where you wonder how on earth you are going to find your way and escape the sadness. That place, where you feel as if everyone has moved on and gone back to living their lives and you're still struggling to find some new kind of footing. That, was what hit me and hit me hard yesterday.
  At first, I sat here in this chair and felt the helpless, hopelessness that was swallowing me alive and felt myself giving in. I was tired, and I was frustrated. It seemed that for every one step I took forward, I was sliding three steps back. There is still so much to be done, and I keep fighting, and feeling as if I'm getting nowhere. I've said in the past, one day, one step, one breath, one prayer at a time. I try to live that, but part of me wants to be further along. Parts of me, wants it done, wants the bills paid, wants the this and that and the other thing done, so I won't have to worry about it anymore. Then I take a step and slide back there. I hit one roadblock after another. I'm walking blindly through a darkness that I never wanted to try and navigate. There are those who are still here, still offering advice, still telling me all the things I need to hear, even when I want to scream, "yeah, but...."
 I sat here, feeling the tears that won't fall, feeling the heavy weight that settles on my chest and makes me want to crawl into a corner and hide, and almost gave in. Almost.
 I forced myself to get up from this chair and left the room. I left the seeming safety of here and moved out there. I wandered the house, I moved from room to room and listened to the sounds of the house. As I passed his closed door, I listened to the sounds of my son chatting with friends online as he played some video game with them. The quiet, semi-dark house didn't help.
 I walked outside and wandered the yard. I walked up and checked on the newly planted flowers and the seeds that came up, then seemingly stopped growing. I checked on my rose bushes and the cactus that I was given. The neighbor's dog was barking, someone in the distance was talking, I could hear another neighbor's child laughing. I started back to the house.
 I could walk, I usually find my peace there, but I fear running into coyote and I want to get some form of deterrent to carry with me before I go back into the woods. I'm lonely, not stupid.
  I could try the mind numbing that watching television brings, but in this room I have to watch it online and all mine does in here is a lot of buffering. That tends to get annoying so I don't try.
 I could try to read, but my attention span right now is about that of a gnat's. That and the fact that I need better glasses for reading. One more thing to add to the list.
 I could walk down and check on the garden and make sure it doesn't need watering.
 I ended up asking my son if he wanted to go out and get something to eat. He readily agreed and got ready. We headed out the door for the Cracker Barrel. To say that place was packed is an extreme understatement. We started to go somewhere else but he changed his mind about wanting to eat. We ended up at Walmart, getting ice cream and a few other things.
 Coming back to the house, James started cooking a meal for us. James never cooks anything other than pizza but he really did a good job. Lightly friend chicken tenders, brown rice with carrots and peppers and some other something that I can't spell but tasted good. I didn't even mind cleaning up the slight mess that he made.
  There were a lot of things that I tried to do to get past the darkness, some, like calling a friend, that I didn't. There are always ways, as long as we don't allow the darkness control. The one thing that I did do, and continue to do almost constantly, is pray. I have this ongoing conversation, or I'm singing the lyrics that I know over and over in my head. I praise God, that He will get me through this. I praise Him, in that in Him, my peace, my strength, my joy, rests. I also ask others to pray for me, and I know they do. I know, this too, shall pass. Its just the times that the darkness comes, it seems that it never will.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

When everything slows, I realize just how tired I am







I've been trying so hard to get things done.
I've been trying so hard, to ignore the reason I'm having to do them.
Neither one is going easily.

On Friday, since I didn't have to work, I decided to go to the tag place and get the title to my husband's pick up changed over to my name so that I could get the insurance changed.  It started out as a half hour wait, that went to fifty-five, that went to seven, that went back to fifteen. I sat there for so long that even though I had a lovely conversation with the lady beside me, I began to get sleepy. When my number was finally called, it took all of five minutes to sign three papers and get the new registration. She told me the title would come in a couple of weeks. An hour sitting for five minutes work. But it got done. It wasn't so difficult with the insurance company, when I called and let them know I had gotten the title changed she told me that she could and would handle everything for me.
 I had a couple of bills to get paid and a few other errands to run. By the time I got them finished, I did not have time to go to the cable company and get the bill changed over to my name. Yes, I could do that over the phone, but I'm needing to talk with them about either getting someone out to the house to fix the mess that their guy left, or get them to sell me enough cable that James can fix it for me. So that, I can actually watch tv in here should I take a notion I want to waste some time and zone out for a while. I decided that since they were open for a while on Saturday I would talk James into going with me, since he knew where the place was and I didn't. The problem arose when James came in from work and told me he had to work Saturday.
 I  figured I'd probably have to go myself. I didn't try to go early because someone brought me some flowers from their garden. We visited for a while and as we chatted, James came in. He was done for the day. I talked him into going with me by promising that I wouldn't ask him to stop anywhere else but to get gas for the car. When we arrived, the place was packed. James refused to wait as he told me they were incredibly slow and we would be there forever. So I turned and left the building, disappointed, frustrated, angry, tired.
 I was tired. I was tired of not being able to watch television if I chose. I was tired of fighting, I was tired of not getting things done. I was tired of the struggle to get past the reason I was having to do all of this to begin with. I was tired of pretending I was fine, that when anyone and everyone asked how I was, my response has been, "I'm okay." I'm not, not always.
 When people tell me they are praying for me, I'm very glad. I need them, I covet them, I appreciate them more than those who are praying know. I cling to my faith, I cling to the cross. I pray, at times constantly.
But I'm tired.
 I was told that I am a strong woman. I was told I am an intelligent woman. I was told that I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. I was told, that I would get through this.
But I'm tired.
 I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of wondering. I'm tired of trying to find ways to stay so busy as to forget or pretend that none of this is real.
 I have been given flowers, I have spent so much time working in, around and with my flowers, trying to stay busy. Trying to stay occupied. Trying to work until I am too tired to think.
Yet, when everything slows and there is nothing else to do for the moment, the memories invade my fragile peace. I remember why I'm doing all of this. I remember, what has happened, and what is still waiting to be done. I want to find a dark corner to hide in, I want to be able to shove everything under the bed and hope it goes away.  When everything else slows, my mind goes into over drive, my heart goes off the deep end and my tears linger, just on the edge, yet refusing to fall.
I'm tired, but I'm not giving up or giving in. I am strong and I will get this done, even with the frustrations, the anger, the pain. I will press forward, I will have faith and I will finish this.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Where the hell is normal, and how do I get there from here?






I'm so tired. I am physically drained to the point of falling asleep sitting here in this chair. I am emotionally drained to the point of simply wanting to curl into a ball and wish the world away. I had no idea, there was so much involved in this, as if losing my husband wasn't bad enough, all of this other mess is very overwhelming. Fighting my way through this, one step at a time, is a battle that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
 I've dealt with his death so far away and getting him home. Having to sit here and plan his celebration of life services and burial. I've spoken with insurance people and gone to the probate office. I have talked with the people over his pension plans. I have been blest, in that every single person that I have spoken with has been considerate, compassionate, respectful and so very helpful. I have had friends answering my questions and offering advice.  Still, through it all, I want to stand in the middle of nowhere and scream until I can scream no more. I want to start walking and walk until my feet will no longer carry me. I want to throw things and pound on things and act like an out of control toddler. I want this to be a nightmare that I will suddenly awaken from and find my husband staring at me, asking me if I'd had a bad dream. I want it to be like that Dallas episode where suddenly there Bobby is in the shower only its my husband, all well and good and complaining because I forgot to buy any of the bath soap he prefers. Instead, I can only wonder one thing.
Where the hell is normal and how do I get there from here?
 I can't find it at work, even as I go about my job. As I preform my regular duties and make sure all that is needed done, is accomplished to the best of my ability. I can find minuscule pieces of it, but even that is a struggle. One minute I'm in the process of one thing or another and suddenly I'm fighting the emotions that threaten to overwhelm me.
 I can't find it at home, there are way too many memories. Every room there he is, on the couch watching a movie yet again. On the porch in his chair drinking coffee, in the kitchen raiding the fridge even as he talks about going to get something to eat.
 I find a certain amount of peace at church, but everyone asks about how we're doing and if we need anything.  I don't know how to answer that. We're making it day by day. We do need things, but I'm not asking for anything because they have taken such good care of us, I feel as if I would be taking advantage if I asked for anything more.  Well except flowers, so many have offered me flowers from their own yards and I've appreciated that so much as I do love flowers.
 But yet, even when I'm trying to distract myself by taking care of my flower or vegetable garden, he is there as well. He always made comments on my gardens, on how well they were or were not doing. He was always trying to help, even to the point of accidentally mowing down two of my mother's rose bushes. Amazing thing that, they came back and are blooming. With each shovel full of dirt I move, with every plant or bulb or seed I drop into the ground, I think of him.
 When I'm driving, as I watch the road, as I watch the cars around me, I hear you, telling me where to go, how to get there, what mistakes I'm making. Then I hear you asking, "you're ignoring me aren't you?" yep. Yes, I know you're the professional driver. Yes, I know you do that for a living. Yes, I know how difficult it is to jockey one of those big rigs around. But, yes, I'm going to drive the way I want to drive. I'm going to drive as close to the edge of the road as I can because of people who like to straddle the center line. I'm going to drive int he lane I want, because its easier for me to get where I want to be with less lane changes. His voice a constant in my ear.
 As I try to sleep, he invades my dreams. My mind won't rest, my heart aches and I waken repeatedly through the night. I draw his pillow close or I find myself restless, thrashing about, moving about in the bed as I fight the memories and the knowledge of my loss.
 All I can do, all I can seek, all I can ask again and again.
 Where the hell is normal? And how do I get there from here?
 I have not cried since right after I found out. I stay on the verge of tears but they do not fall. My heart aches with the emptiness. My lungs feel as if they will burst from the lack of air, breathing gets difficult and the weight on my chest a burden I cannot shake. I want to get away. I want to go somewhere, but you would probably be there waiting. You loved the Gatlenburg area. You loved Myrtle Beach and even the Outer Banks of NC.  I can't hide in the house forever, and yet I can't ask people to let me tag along. I don't know that I'm ready, or if they are.
Where is normal...will I ever really find it again?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Two Months






Two months today. You have been gone two months today. I've tried to ignore it. I've tried to look around it. I've tried to pretend, but I can't.
I took more flowers and put on your grave today. They had put more dirt on it where it had settled. Deanna and Barbara have brought flowers and other things for your grave. I know you're not there, I know where you are. You did ask me once though, "when I'm gone, you're not going to forget me are you?" No dear, no, I'm not ever going to forget you. So nearly every Sunday since, I've walked down to your grave, just for a moment or two, just to visit. I'm going to get a marker for your grave just as soon as I get some insurance money.
It was funny about that twenty. I told someone at work about my finding another penny and telling you thanks for the reminders, but did you have any twenties to share, and my finding that twenty dollar bill in the drawer when I was looking for something. They told me that I needed to be careful for what I asked for. I told them, "Then I guess asking for that purple jeep with the moon roof is out of the question" You should have seen his face. I'll be honest honey, I took that twenty and bought two butterfly bushes. I was watching the butterfly dance about the other day with nowhere to find anything to rest on or feed on, so I bought those today. They're small, but hopefully that will help them live.
Two months, has it really only been two months? It seems like forever, and yet, it seems like only yesterday. There are times I find myself checking the phone to see if you've called, I know you won't but.. its still difficult at break times at work. I always called you on nearly every one, now.. I'm at a loss. I start cleaning the house and I expect to hear the phone start ringing. I started clearing some of those small trees away from the mail box, I could hear you telling me, "its about time, that was looking bad." I cleaned the saplings away from part of the front fence as well. I didn't get a lot done as it kept trying to rain. I'll get it finished though, they keep saying snakes are bad this year and I don't want one hiding in the yard anywhere.
A couple of people from church have given me flowers or bulbs. They are really generous of heart. I still wish I could find some coneflowers, you know how I love those. Maybe I'm looking too early, but the butterfly and bees always seemed to love them.
Two months, how could it possibly have been two months?
How angry I could get at you, how frustrated with you, but oh sweet heavens how I miss you.






Friday, May 5, 2017

Season of Sadness





Yesterday was a not good day. Scratch that, yesterday was a good day, just not a feel good day. No, that's not right either. Yesterday was a good day, there were moments that brought smiles and even cheers, but, yes, the infamous but, the sadness attacked and held on as tightly as a frightened kitten complete with claws.
 Yesterday, I awoke when I should, I got ready and got to work in plenty of time without issues. The day was a day pretty much like all of the other days this week. One disaster after another, one issue, one more roadblock to maneuver around. Even with the stress, maybe thanks to the stress, I made it for the better part of the day without that overwhelming sadness striking. Maybe, it was lurking, and I just didn't see it waiting for a weak moment.
 As always, that weak moment came precisely at four o'clock. When I should be relieved that the work day was over and I could now go home. Right when I should be happily gathering all of the belongings that make it appear that I am moving in or out and tired but contentedly making my way out, it strikes. Four o'clock, the time when the call came. The time when I found out. Every day now, I have to face four o'clock and get past that moment. Lately I've been able to manage pretty well. I am clinging to my faith, I am clutching tightly to the cloak of Jesus and sitting at the foot of the cross, praying near unceasing, still the moments come.
 Last night, when the storm woke me, I lay listening to the thunder and the radio playing softly. Our outside dog was nervous, but not begging to come inside so I lay still, and listened. I realized something that I had been ignoring.
 We will have seasons of sadness. It is those seasons that are important and should be recognized.
In 2008, when I went through my cancer battle and my husband's unemployment, I found a stronger faith. I walked the woods, I sat near the pond, I sat on the back steps, listening and growing closer. I learned how to lean on the Lord and have faith that He was with me, that He would guide and love me always. My cancer was dealt with, my husband got a new job- an amazing story in itself- and life continued. So much so, that we became comfortable. My husband had a few health scares, ending up in the hospital a couple of times, two out of the three times he was here at home. (My husband was a long haul truck driver) He would get better and he would go back to work and life was life.
Then four o'clock came and with it the call and now nothing is the same. Scratch that, there is one thing that is the same. Christ is still with me, still loving me, still guiding me, still walking the woods, sitting by the pond, waiting with me on the back steps as I sit quietly. That, is my understanding for the reasons of sadness, that we may draw closer to Jesus, that we may hand the sadness, the sorrow, the pain to Him. He will take our burdens, when we give them up and not carry them as an albatross around our neck. That we understand, His love waits, He doesn't want us to bear the burden alone.
 As I travel this road to our new normal, I'm going to deal with moments of joy, moments of gladness, of comfort. I'm also going to have to face the not so good moments, such as yesterday. I'm going to have to remember, He is waiting for me to come to Him, to hand over the burdens and sadness and allow Him to comfort me. Through His word, through the words of friends, through the songs on the radio. He doesn't want me to wallow in the sadness, suffering in the pain, He wants me to draw closer to Him, and He will strengthen me and give me peace.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I can't shake the sadness




 Its after eight in the evening, I've gotten to where I'm usually doing pretty well long about this time. Today, I'm not. Today, I simply cannot shake the sadness.
 It could be because today is mom's birthday and you aren't here to help celebrate. I can remember how you were concerned about living so close to my parents, but how they embraced you like a son, not just a son-in-law. That's my family, we have always been told and taught that family is very important, and to treat each other well, love strong and defend each other no matter what. When you realized that my folks were not going to be anything like any of the horror stories you hear about, you relaxed and grew to love them almost as much as I do. And even tough they didn't always agree with some of the things you said or did, they loved you dearly.
 It could be because I'm so very tired. Physically from trying to fill that flowerbed by hauling that dirt around the house. And don't ask where James was, he was still at work or just got home, obviously exhausted. You could see it in his face and body language. I'm not going to ask him to haul dirt when he's so tired already. My heart is so tired from the missing you. Every break at work,I want to call you so badly.. because that was what I always did. I expect your call the minute I walk in the door, of course it doesn't, and won't, come. I'm tired from all of the decisions that I'm suddenly having to make alone. I'm tired of pushy people and so very thankful for those who have gone out of their way to help me. I have no idea what I would have done without them.
 I'm tired of worrying about the mistakes I've made along the way and wondering how they may effect any outcome.
 It could be because I know all of the things still waiting to be done. The list just keeps growing and growing. I had no idea that there was so much involved. I have appointments made, I already have time scheduled from work to take care of it.
 I'm tired of worrying about what they think at work. I'm trying to do my job, but sometimes, when I'm distracted, the darkness descends and its all I can do to take the next step. I'm trying to do my job, I'm trying to not upset any of management, but sometimes, I believe that they are thinking its time I shaped up. That maybe I'm slacking or not doing everything as quickly or efficiently as I should be.
 The reason I can't shake the sadness today could be because its only a couple days away when you would have been gone two months. It seems like forever and yet it seems like just yesterday I was nearly screaming "NO!" into the phone. I dread four o'clock now. That was when I got the call. That is when I know that I will be leaving work and going home to an empty house. I know, I did it all the times when you were on the road, but ... its different now.
 It could be because of the old medicine boxes that I threw away today. I know better, I think, but it felt almost as if I were throwing a part of you away. And I look at all of your things, your clothing and stuff from the truck. I have your stuff, but I don't have you.
 It could be because its raining and supposed to turn off cool again. Its good sleeping weather I know but it doesn't do much for the heart. Its almost as if the clouds are crying the tears that I can't.
 It could be because I want so badly to show you that you didn't kill mom's roses, that not only are they still living, they're blooming.
 I don't know, it could be any of those things, it could be all of those things, it could be none of them. It could be, because I miss you so badly. You spoke often that something could happen while you were out there. You told me repeatedly that you would go before me. I just had no idea it would be so soon. I miss you, I love you,

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Busy........ I..... must..... stay...... busy









There have been many times when I have wished that I could quit work and just enjoy life. Times thinking that I would love to travel, get to see places I've only heard about, or see people that I've only spoken with on social media sites. I wanted to spend time with friends, doing friend things. I wanted more time for church related things. I wanted to be able to go to bed when I wanted or stay up to greet the dawn if I so chose. I wanted to sleep late or spend the day in my pajamas.
 I can't do that... I wouldn't do that.. and, I'm glad.
Since my husband passed away on March 7th, I've been a busy person. I have to stay busy. I have to keep moving, only calling the day done when I'm too exhausted to keep going any longer. When holding my eyes open is a losing battle, that is when I start to slow down. At least my body does, my mind keeps going. Busy is the only way I know how to be right now, it is one of the  things keeping me somewhat sane and in control.
 When the alarm goes off in the morning, a full 3 hours before I have to be at work, I start. I'm up, I'm getting ready for work. I get dressed, I pack my lunch and snacks for the day, then I have my breakfast while I scroll through online stuff. I try, really try, to keep my mind on anything but my husband. I don't want to ever forget him, I won't ever forget him, but the pain is deep. So I send my attention off onto other things. Only that doesn't always work, there are too many things that remind me of him. I see too many things about trucking, I still get too many emails, that I just can't bring myself to unsubscribe from. I see the videos, I see the things shared by other drivers I know. I bite my lip, I take a deep breath, I move on. Its no wonder my attention span has gotten so short.
 I get to work around 7:30 and try to distract my thoughts. I sit in the break room as we wait for time to start and either talk with others or blatantly eaves drop on nearby conversations. When it is time to begin, I start moving and I do my best as long as my energy holds out to keep moving. I try to laugh, I try to joke, I try to do what I once did and get operators to laugh. I feel like a phony, but I keep trying. It keeps my mind on other things.
Four o'clock is my nightmare time. Four o'clock, is when I got the call. Four o'clock is when I found out. Four o'clock, was once the time I looked forward to every day. Now, as the hands on the clock inch toward that time, my dread begins. My heart beats faster, my breathing becomes difficult, my mind goes back, no matter how hard I try, no matter what I try doing to distract myself, I know the time.
 As soon as I walk into the house, I look for things to do. Since the weather has been nice, I have been working on creating a flower bed and filling it with good fertile woods dirt. That means hauling it a wheel barrel load at a time from where I dig it up, to where I want it. Trip after trip, I have hauled dirt. Trip after trip I have dumped that dirt into the flower bed and smoothed it out. I grow weary, I start shaking, the sweat running down my face and back, soaking my hair and clothing. Sweat running into my eyes and burning as if I had just rubbed them after having cut a pepper. I work, until I can't any longer. I sit for a while in my husband's chair, resting and watching nothing and everything. I watch the sun setting, the butterflies, listen to the birds as they carry on. Once my breathing has eased, I water all of the plants on the porch, hanging  from the porch, growing any where close to the porch. If it doesn't rain again soon, I'll be watering everything else I've planted. I keep an eye on the birdbath making sure it remains full of water.
 I'm working more with Bella now. Letting her go back and forth with me as I get that dirt. I'll start taking her with me when I walk, once I know she is really going to listen well, I hope to be able to go to the parks with her. Maybe climb Crowder's Mountain. But I want her to be easy to walk with and not pulling me or dragging too far behind.
 Once it is too dark to do anything else outside, I find things to do in here. Laundry stays done, the dishes done, my bed is always made as soon as I get out of it, but there is always something that needs to be tidied or moved, reorganized. I do obviously spend time online, but its different. Everything is different now.
 It is difficult to do the things that I once loved doing. The hikes in the woods, the photography, the time online, it doesn't feel anywhere near the same as it once did. Even as difficult as it is, I'm starting to make myself to them. I'm trying to keep at it, until I find what I'm missing. I don't know if that is possible, or if I have to find a way to reset my way of thinking and find the enjoyment that was there, the challenge and the love through a different mindset.
 As I do this, I stay busy, I have to stay busy to try and keep the thoughts at bay. If they come, they will overwhelm me and threaten to drown me. I find myself missing my husband to the point of it being nearly unbearable. So I stay busy. Even when something pops up that makes me think of him, even when a thought, a memory, a place makes me think of him. Even when I go somewhere that we have been together. Even when I walk through the garden centers of local stores and walk out without anything. I fight to think of something else. I fight to stay sane, to remain strong, to know that even as I walk, I'm not alone and somehow, some way, at some time, this staying too busy to think, won't be needed anymore. I'll be able to sleep the entire night, not waking every few hours thinking of and missing him. At some point in time my heart will begin to heal, my mind ease from its internal torment, and I won't need to stay so insanely busy.
But not yet.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Decisions- decisions





I've been struggling with this decision making process. I'm just not accustomed to doing this alone. I was always able to say, "let me talk it over with my husband". Only now, I can't. I'm sitting here knowing that I have decisions upcoming that I am going to need to decide, but I keep putting it off.
 On the afternoon that I found out that my husband had passed away, I sat there in the lab at work for nearly twenty minutes with my manager asking if she needed to drive me home or in the very least follow me. I made the decision that no, I was fine. I didn't need for her to go out of her way, I didn't have far to go, I'd be fine. I drove home in a state of shock, my mind going ninety, and not going at all. I was trying to decide how I was going to tell my family, when my family already knew. That decision was taken out of my hands.
 There was a lot coming at me from any and every direction. A lot of concerned people asking questions, trying to find out how to get my husband's earthly body home, all of the things that was necessary but confusing. A friend told me about a group that handled situations such as mine, I had talked with the company my husband worked for, but not fully understood what they were telling me. My not comprehending had me making a decision that I probably would not have made, not have needed to make, but did. As it was, my making the decision that I did, left more money to put toward the funeral.
 Once I knew that his earthly body was finally here (after a week and a half) we had to decide how he would be dressed, and his casket. I asked his daughter and my sister-in-law to go with me and help me. I wanted to make sure there was no misunderstandings. Together, we decided on his clothing, dress slacks and a pull over shirt, the clothing that we were so used to seeing him in. The casket was a gentle shade of blue. It turned out to be the best choices.
 I had to decide on his services, who to ask to be pall bearers, what songs, who to ask to speak. The choices were not difficult in who, everyone I asked was more than willing to speak, most more than willing to help with the pall bearing responsibility. Physical limitations stopped some, one had to work, another just couldn't. I understood. The songs were more difficult, he loved the old gospels and there are so many good ones. I finally decided and between me, the pastor of our church and the funeral director we had everything set in motion. I had decided that out of all of our options, that he would be buried in our church cemetery.
 One by one, these decisions were made, either me, or me with help making the choices. How I have prayed over these things. How I have prayed since his passing.
 But, I still have so many different things to make choices on. How am I going to take care of this? How am I going to handle that? Should I do this, or go there, or wait?
 It was amazing that this morning, on the radio station that I've been listening to, there was a message shared by Dr. Charles Stanley on being positive in decisions and how to go about making Godly decisions. There I was, trying to get ready for work and taking notes as quickly as I could. He only gave half the message this morning, the rest will be tomorrow morning. It took my breath away, that here I was, trying to find out if God was hearing me in my prayers on this question, and then this is on the radio. So, He is listening and He is letting me know the best way, the only way to go about knowing the decision I'm seeking and deciding on, will be the right one.
 I will be so glad, when all of this is taken care of, when there will be no more decisions of this sort that have to be made. When my biggest concern will be whether I need to wear a sweater or not, or what to prepare for supper.  The power of prayer, is mighty indeed, and I know, that as long as I follow the will of God, then all of the decisions will be the right ones.