Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 41

July 17, 2013


Day 41


It’s been a pretty good day today, aside from the perpetual weight in my chest. I wonder if that weight will be a constant companion for the rest of my days.  Guess that depends on how long I end up living.


Speaking of which, I received a call from my insurance agent.  I’ve been approved for life insurance!  What a relief!  I have no idea yet how much this is going to cost me, but I almost do not care.  I have been SO concerned about this.  I was only approved for $100,000; my agent is going to push for more, so I don’t have final figures yet.  Five years ago when we bought Paul’s life insurance policy we attempted to buy some for me but were turned down because of my stroke history.  I guess enough time has passed now that that is no longer as much of a concern to the underwriters.  Since Paul’s death I have been very concerned about what will happen to the kids in the event of my early death.  Now that this is nearly taken care of I can start the process of figuring out guardianship for the kids.  I just want to have all this stuff together and ready to go so that if something happens to me, transitions can be made as easily as possible.  I now have my grave purchased and one of these days I’m even going to write my own obituary and have it ready in my lock box.  I would rather imagine some of this is fueled, too, by my great desire to join Paul right now in Heaven.  I want to die in the worst way (figure of speech – I don’t want to die in the worst way because that might hurt and I try to avoid pain as much as possible).  Of course, I want to live for my children.  I know God still has a purpose for keeping me on earth – the kids may very well be that reason.  But if I had my druthers, I’d already be Home.


I ordered our stone this week.  It was one of the odder experiences of my life.  I just felt so empty inside after placing the order and writing the check.  Normally, shopping makes me happy!  To spend this much money at one time ought to make me really happy.  But of course, it didn’t.  The lady at the monument place was really kind and spent quite a bit of time with me, helping me design the stone.  While we were doing this, two other ladies came in to the place and waited in the waiting area, chatting loudly to each other the entire time.  I found myself really irritated.  How could they be blathering on about such unimportant things when I’m in the next room, designing a stone for my 42 year old husband who died way before I thought he should, leaving me all alone and with kids still to raise to adulthood?  It wasn’t their fault and there is no way they could have known.  But they just seemed too happy to me in light of the reason I was there.  I don’t know – should anyone ever be happy when they are in a gravestone monument establishment?  Ugh.  But anyway, the stone should be up this fall.  I bought my plot, now my name will be on the stone.  All that remains is for me to die and my body to be plopped next to Paul’s…in forty or fifty years…ugh, again.  That long, Lord?


Last Sat. when the men were working at our place I spent time cleaning out our shed.  The thing needs to be burned and the next time the guys come out that’s going to be on the agenda.  The termites have had a field day in there and boards are broken out of the walls.  It’s a mess.  I was pretty ruthless.  I threw away all kinds of stuff – old craft supplies, books, homeschool stuff from past years.  I just wanted it gone.  As I sorted and pitched I began to feel like I was throwing away a huge chunk of my previous life.  I threw out Bridal magazines from 1992 that I had hung onto.  I threw away marriage books.  I threw away Paul’s college books.  Actually, I threw away a lot of Paul’s stuff.  He doesn’t need it anymore and neither do we.  I burned toys and journals.  I did save some things.  I found my wedding shoes.  They’ve never turned yellow – still as white and satiny as the one day I wore them.  I saved some things from my senior year of high school.  I saved  the boys’ baby memorabilia.  I felt like I was kind of drawing a line down that shed – old life and new life.  My old life is gone now and most of what was in there pertained to that life.  A few things will follow me into my new life, but not much.  It was emotional, to say the least.  Eventually, I will have to do that here in the house when I finally sort through all of Paul’s things.



I was looking at my left hand this week.  I’m still wearing my wedding ring and I think I will for quite awhile.  I will know when it’s time to take it off.  Right now, I can’t bear that thought.  But in thinking about the day I do take it off for good I find myself dreading the thought of having such a bare hand.  My ring finger will look especially odd.  My wedding set is wide and the skin underneath is paler than the rest of my white, white skin – hard to believe, but it is possible to be paler than pale!  And my finger itself is now oddly shaped from years of being compressed into the ring.  But I had the thought that I could get a mother’s ring to wear on that hand when the day comes I do remove my wedding ring.  That would make my hand less bare.  I’ll probably need a big ring to fit all my kids on there.  Maybe there would be a way to fit Paul’s stone on there, as well.  I’ve got plenty of time for this, but I was glad I thought of it.   It makes the thought of what I will eventually do less painful. 


My friend Sara sent us a care package last weekend – full of goodies for all of us.  I think most of the sympathy cards have finished arriving, but now I have friends that are sending, “thinking of you” cards just to let me know that we are still in their thoughts and prayers.  It makes me feel grateful.  Today I did receive an anonymous sympathy card from Minnesota.  I’m not sure I actually know anyone in Minnesota.  They sent us money and a note that said they were a fellow, Christian family who had heard of us and wanted to help us out.  How incredible! 


I’m still not thankful Paul died.  I don’t know if I ever will be thankful for losing my husband.  But I am finding more things to be thankful about in this situation.  I’ve thought numerous times and shared before with others and on this blog how thankful I am that he did die and was not left brain-injured instead.  God would have provided and given grace in that terrible kind of situation, but, just the same, I’m glad that was not the path He chose for us.


I am thankful that Paul will never experience the pain of losing a spouse.  Since one of us had to experience this, I’m glad it was me and not him.  That would have been so painful for him if I had died.

Paul will never know what it is like to grow old and to have a body that falters with age.


Paul will never have to worry about providing for us after his working years are over.


For years, he prayed about, read about, toyed with the idea of starting his own business.  Now he never has to worry about that kind of decision again.


He will never experience the pain of having a child or grandchild that walks away from the Lord.


He’ll not have to mess with old houses and shoddy construction ever, ever again.


No more getting up in the middle of the night to keep a fire stoked so the children (and wife) stay warm…


No more worries, no more pain, no more seizures, no more drugs, no more work, no more frustration, no more 100 hour work weeks, no more remodeling, no more cranky vehicles, no more messy garage, no more dry eyes, no more laying blocks, no more boring vocal concerts, no more IEP meetings, no more difficult children, no more leaky faucets and flooded ceilings, no more PMSing wife, no more drywall dust and marauding termites, no more pinching pennies…


No more…only Jesus.  And, now, he wants for no more.


My sorrow is not for Paul.  It’s for me and for what our family has lost and how my life has permanently changed.  But there is nothing to cry about where Paul is concerned.  He escaped this sin-shackled world and his human body long before we thought he would.  He’s the fortunate one!


I am reading a fantastic book right now called, From One Widow to Another by Miriam Neff.  It’s one my mom ordered for me.  There’s just so much in here.  I will probably have to re-read it before too long.  Today I read the following paragraph and I thought it was so excellent as I ponder the why of Paul’s death.  As I’ve written about before, I don’t spend too much time thinking about that; it’s not for me to know.  If anything, I’d be tickled someday to be able to find some good things that have come from Paul’s death, but I honestly do not expect God to lay out for me exactly why He decided to take Paul Home.  I don’t even think I need to know that when I get to Heaven someday.  There’s a point where you have to trust God to be Who He is – God.  Miriam says:


It would be unfair of me to call Him my God and then require Him to think and reason like I do.  I would have to live a lie to accept his sovereignty and then require that His acts compute with my human brain.  It would be hypocritical to call Him Lord, and expect Him to run His plans through my grid of influence and advice before He, Creator and God of the universe, could act.


I ran across this verse today:  Isaiah 61:3, “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”


That He may be glorified…isn’t that supposed to be the chief aim in everything?  I remember when Ben was little finding such comfort in the story of the blind man in John 9.  The disciples asked Jesus which of the man’s parents had sinned that would have caused him to be born with such an affliction.  I can’t imagine living in such a time period like that when parents, already saddled with the difficulty and grief of having a child with special needs (and zero social services to assist), would also bear the condemnation and blame of society for producing such a child in the first place!  But Jesus informed the disciples and those around that the man’s parents had done nothing.  The man was blind so that “the works of the Father may be glorified.”  That phrase has always felt like a comforting blanket around my shoulders.  The ultimate reason for Ben’s disabilities is so that God can be glorified.  And then reading this verse today I see that God’s comfort in our time of mourning is also so that He can be glorified. 


Paul’s death is not in vain.  He didn’t die because he had seizure and suffocated to death.  He died so that God could be glorified.






























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