Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 43


July 19, 2013


Day 43



I hurt.  It is like my entire body is one, throbbing nerve.  I can’t move or brush up against any memory without pulsating pain ripping through my entire being.  It’s been a stressful week which might be some of the cause of this extra pain.  And it’s just the nature of grief, too, I think – ok times, harder times, and gut-wrenching times.  I’m in the latter category right now.


I took the kids to a public swimming pool tonight – a very innocuous event.  A friend told me that the Indianola pool was having a special (and cheap) swim for families of special needs persons.  Will had plans (“Don’t wait up, Mom!” he informed me.  If it was any other kid, I might be worried…) but I took the other five.  Memory after memory and emotions on top of emotions assailed me the entire two hours we were there.  Paul and I spent a lot of time swimming, it seems.  I suppose that comes with having a house full of children.  We never stayed in a hotel that didn’t have a pool and we’ve swam at campground pools and other public pools.  He liked swimming.  I liked him, so I went.  Midway through the night I realized my suit strap was twisted.  My suit straps were always twisted.  It was Paul’s job to untwist them for me because I never paid attention to stuff like that. I was too busy trying to keep small people from drowning, I think.  I did it myself tonight.  There wasn’t a single time we went swimming that he didn’t sneak up behind me at some point and pinch my bottom.  Nobody pinched me tonight – which is good, all things considered!  But I missed it.  I missed having help with kids and I missed seeing Paul relax in the water.  I missed the contented ride home, the water-soaked stupor of sun and pool time.  Ellie got brave tonight and decided that she was big enough to “bum” (jump) off the side of the pool into my arms, over and over.  I wanted to share that with Paul so badly - smile together at her progress.  I remember the two of us holding out our arms for the older boys, encouraging them to jump as toddlers.  Instead, I held out my arms for her all by myself.


While at the pool my friend’s daughter commented that she was leaving for Colorado in a couple of weeks.  The words cut like a knife.  Paul and I went to Colorado just five months ago.  A flood of memories washed over me as I stood in the pool.


I got my hair trimmed yesterday for the first time since May.  My stylist is a friend, but I had not seen her since my last appointment, and as I sat down she told me that she had prayed over my appointment.  I sat there and sobbed.  I hate that.  I want to be strong and courageous.  But there are moments that my eyes just can no longer contain the well of emotion.  I know that’s why God designed tears.  I supposed we’d explode if we didn’t have some way to release anguish.  But I would still prefer to cry privately – like I am right now, as I type.  I suspect I’m going to need a new keyboard sooner with this new computer of ours since it’s getting leaked on quite a bit these days!


Ellie is adding new words to her vocabulary nearly every day, it seems like.  While Paul was alive she managed to say “Da” for his name but that’s as far as she got.  I completed a scrapbook yesterday and brought it upstairs for the kids to look through before putting it on the shelf.  Ellie turned the pages and squealed excitedly, “Daddy!” as clear as a bell.  She kept pointing to a picture of Paul and would not stop crying out his name until I looked, too, nodded, and agreed with her that it was, indeed, her daddy.  Then she turned a couple more pages and did the same thing all over again!  Will brought up a couple of Paul’s tea jugs from the basement to clean out so that he could use them.  Ellie saw this and got all excited again.  “Daddy!” she cried out, pointing at the jugs.  David asked me tonight if Ellie will always remember her dad.  I can’t see that happening since she’s so young.  I would think her memory of him would completely fade in time.  So it makes this time extra sweet, knowing that there will come a day when she looks at a picture of her dad and no memory is triggered.


I’m having difficulty seeing.  I’m puzzled and a little concerned.  I woke up this morning, put on my glasses, attempted to read my devotional book and it was like I was reading without my glasses.  I even double-checked my face to make sure I did have them on.  I did!  The words on the page were just not quite clear.  I could still read them but it took effort.  All day long it has felt like my eyes are slightly crossed.  How could my vision change overnight?  I can see, but printed words especially are just not quite as clear as normal.  I just got all new glasses in March.  I surely hope I am not going to have to replace them already.  Hopefully whatever this is will clear up quickly.  Paul was probably headed for glasses.  In recent months he had begun to complain that he could no longer see as clearly.  Since I’ve been in glasses nearly all my life, I didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy for him.  I told him his age was catching up with him and he agreed, mumbling that he probably should go see the eye doctor one of these days…


There’s a one-night movie event coming in late September.  It’s something Kirk Cameron has put together.  It’s being billed as some sort of event from Liberty University. If memory serves me right, I think he is involved with the cinema dept. of that college.   I didn’t know anything about this particular production.  I’m not sure if it’s an actual movie or a documentary he’s produced or what this is exactly.  I just happened to see something about it on Facebook yesterday.  So, I watched the clip.  The event/movie is called, “Unstoppable” and has to do with what happens to our faith when our worlds are rocked by tragedy.  It’s only for one night and there is only one theater in Des Moines showing it, although this is happening all over the country in different theaters.  I bought tickets for the older boys and myself and I’m going to find a sitter for the Littles that evening.   I understand already why tragedies happen.  I definitely understand the important role that faith in a loving God plays when horrible things happen.  I don’t know that watching this is going to change my life or perspective in any way. I’m not really sure who this is event is geared for – those who already know or those who need to know.   But I like Kirk Cameron and have a lot of respect for him as an actor and as a Godly man.  I’d like to know his conclusions.  And I thought it would be something good for the older boys to see, too.  So we’re going.


Lizzie asked if we could stop by Daddy’s grave on our way home tonight.  Since I’d already put her off once earlier this week, I turned into the cemetery.  We all got out.  David, my budding horticulturist, was bothered to see weeds growing on Paul’s grave.  So he busied himself plucking them out of the dirt.  Sam and Lizzie chatted to each other and ran around the gravesite in their swimsuits while I longingly tried to look through the dirt, down into Paul’s coffin.


I just want to be with him.
















































  1. Oh, Sarah.........
    Sharing it all in words, letting the tears fall, these all will help. The numbness that God gives us when death first knocks on our lives is wearing off and the intense pain and agony of grief is hitting you full force. Hold on tight to the LORD, press through, healing will come. He promised!
    I can so relate to Ellie looking at the scrap book. It brought back memories of my middleman. He was slowly increasing his language when Jim died. Then he barely spoke for two weeks, then came a flood of language. Not being able to share............that is one of the most difficult things to me. Just keep remembering the three survival steps: 1 BREATHE 2 Run & Cling to Jesus (when you are two weak to cling; He will hold you), 3 One moment at a time, one prayer at a time, one breathe at a time.

  2. Our Lord will continue to mend this raw, painful wound.

    These firsts, even though seemingly simple to some are monumental to us, even the lack of pinches from Paul ;) Like salt poured into the wound that is gaping....but alas, the Lord helps it mend and He is faithful and loving.

    Keep pressing on, He will sustain you.

    Praying for you greatly,

  3. I've never experienced what you have. But 4 miscarriages taught me that grief is not linear. I'm sure you know that, but I found it frustrating. I wanted to feel like I had achieved a certain level of peace with our losses, and then something would remind me that my baby was dead, and I'd fall apart, often in an inopportune place. I'm so very sorry. Your kids need you SO MUCH so please cling to that. I know when we lost our babies that I had a new enthusiasm for Heaven. I do look forward to it but I have 8 kids here on earth who need me so much. So I am praying for a long life so I can be a good mom to my sweeties here. I pray that the Lord will be with you, that He will give you wisdom, that He'll help you walk through every single day. And yes, it is going to hurt a lot for a long time. It isn't realistic to expect anything else though our world wants people to "get over" a loss between commercial breaks.

    God bless, Laraba Kendig