Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 52


July 28, 2013


Day 52


Another Sunday down…this particular day of the week is always the hardest since it was the one day that Paul and I were together all day long.  I had even begun to notice this summer that I seemed to be inventing errands and chores to do on Sunday afternoons.  Some of that is because my days have just been so, so busy this summer and I needed the extra time.  But mostly I think it’s because Paul and I always napped together in the afternoons and that empty bed is still hard to face.  But I did manage a nap today!


This morning I was doing fine.  I sat down for Sunday School, which gave me the usual pang, since I am now sitting clear over to the edge of the pew, instead of in one spot so that Paul could sit down beside me.  But I was still ok.  Then, an older lady came up to me and asked how I was doing.  I assured her I was doing ok.  She said kindly, “I know you sure must be missing him.”  I nodded, mutely.  She added, “I’d say more, but I don’t want to make you cry!” and gave me a hug.  Then another older lady came up and asked how I was doing.  I managed a quiet, “fine” and she observed, “You don’t look fine!” and gave me a hug.  The Sunday School hour started and we opened our hymnals.  Against my will, tears splashed onto the pages of  my hymnal.  Ironically, we were singing a song about joy.


David had a rough time this afternoon – lots of tears.  I am trying to get him to agree to counseling.  I would even be willing to pay for a Christian counselor.  But the idea seems to truly frighten him and he begged me not to do that.  He says the only person he wants to talk to is another 14 yr old guy going through the exact same thing.  How am I supposed to find someone like that?  I guess I should look more into the Amanda the Panda bereavement services.  Even though they are not faith-based, maybe he could meet another Christian boy there.  I don’t know.  A friend of mine knows a hospice worker and said she’d talk to this person this week.  David said that he just wants to “wake up” from this nightmare.  I told him I have had the exact same feelings so, so many times since June 6, too.


But the thought occurred to me recently – sadly – that it is possible I will remarry someday.  I’m just speaking realistically – it could happen.  I’m not looking for it, I don’t really allow my mind to go down that path much.  But I am only 42 and not 82, and it might happen someday.  So I could have another husband at some point.  But my children will never, ever have another father.  That makes me sad.  I could do this widowhood thing if it was just me, but having to observe my children’s grief about kills me.


I threw away Paul’s laundry basket this week.  It was broken and I couldn’t think of a good reason to hang onto it…except, in Paul’s own handwriting it reads, “King” on the rim.  Years ago I finally latched onto the best way of sorting laundry by having a basket for every member of the family.  I fold clothes and they get immediately put in the proper basket.  Paul would sometimes help with folding and after observing my new method, he got out a Sharpie marker one day and labeled everybody’s basket (I knew whose was whose by their placement and the clothes already in them).  He wrote, “Princess” on my basket and then labeled his own.  Shortly after Paul’s death I emptied out the clothes that had been accumulating in his basket and then I put the basket on the fooseball table in the basement.  It has sat there ever since.  But when Don and Pam were here the other day they helped me clean in the basement and I had to make a decision of what to do with Paul’s basket finally.  It went.  Tomorrow morning the garbage men will carelessly dump it in the back of their truck and it will be mashed to pieces and ultimately dumped in the landfill.


I have sensed that I am getting closer to being ready to tackle Paul’s side of the closet and his dresser drawers, and eventually, his bedside table.  I’m not there yet, but it’s coming.


I have found myself thinking more lately about Paul’s body.  As his wife, I knew every divot and crook of his shell.  I knew which parts were hard and which were softer, which parts were hairier.  It’s not just obvious things.  I find myself willing myself to remember how the back of his knee felt or the touch of his big toe – silly parts like that.  If I close my eyes, I can still feel those body parts.  I don’t want to forget how they felt under my touch.  I know it doesn’t really matter - but right now it matters to me.


I met with our attorney Friday and will see him again this Wed.  I’m so thankful Paul found him.  This past winter he did a service call at this guy’s house, met him, found out he was an attorney (newer, I assume – he’s younger than we are by a good decade, I would guess), and most importantly, that he was a tax preparer on the side.  Our tax lady had retired and we didn’t know where to go.  So he did our taxes in Feb. and we were duly impressed.  Paul suggested we ask him if he’d be willing to handle the girls’ adoption.  Now he’s not only doing that, but he’s handling the probate on the house, making my new will,  and will be doing Ben’s guardianship next spring.  For never needing a lawyer in my entire life, I sure am making good use of one now!  And I got some good news on the house.  We may not have to go to probate court after all.  Apparently, the deed on the  house was filed in both our names, although the mortgage is only in Paul’s – or something like that.  He’s going to get it straightened out for me.  See – I just wrote, “us!”  And then I had to backspace and type, “me.”  It’s hard to change habits, to go from being an us to just a me…


I got to see my friend, Angee, and her family on Friday.  Angee and I became friends years and years ago after we both experienced uterine ruptures.  I’ve been to her house a couple of times, but this was the first time she came my way.  They were headed up north with their camper.  We had to get pictures, of course, including ones of our miracle babies – her little Jessica and my Sam, born within just a few months of eachother.  Angee brought me the most touching gift.  She knew that I had the hymn, “It is Well with my Soul” sung at the funeral. Now, I have difficulty singing the song because of the memories, but it is still such a precious hymn to me.   She found a framed print of the lyrics and bought it for me.  I cried.  Actually, we both did!


And yesterday, I received another touching gift.  I had forgotten this, but within a couple weeks of Paul’s death I was contacted by a writing friend who knew somebody or some organization that liked to make quilts in memories of lost loved ones.  I do remember now being asked my favorite color.  My quilt arrived yesterday.  It’s a lap sized quilt and it was made for me by a church in California, in honor of Paul’s memory.  There’s a note on the back that says every knot on the quilt represents a prayer said for our family.  It’s so beautiful!


Oh, David and I both have good news – our chigger bites have subsided, for the most part anyway.  Talk about miserable!  I think we will both be eyeballing long grass with suspicion for a long, long time!


Tonight in church Sam was looking at a children’s Bible and came across a picture depicting Jesus’ first miracle.  He got all excited and told me, “Mom, we had this story in Sunday School this morning!  There was a wedding and Jesus turned the water into punch!”  I wanted to break out laughing so badly!  Are we Baptists or what?!  I couldn’t wait to corner his SS teacher after church and rib her about the miracle of the water and punch!  I guess I haven’t totally lost my sense of humor, especially when I commented to his teacher about how she “watered down” the story…I know – major groan!


I’m sad right now.  Obviously.  If I had my druthers, I’d go home to Heaven right now.  Despite moments of laughter here and there, I’m not the happiest of people these days.  I know it’s normal and nobody expects me to be any happier than I can be.  But I’ve had fleeting thoughts that remind me that despite the hurt, I have so much to be thankful for.  I can spend the rest of my life mourning what Paul and I lost out on by his early death.  And I will probably enumerate a lot of those in my posts.  I think there is some value in naming exactly what has been lost.  But I can also talk about the good things.  God gave me a tremendous gift for 23 years when He brought the two of us together in the spring of 1990, as two, dumb, 19 year olds.


What did I have? I had:


  • a man who loved me, completely and without reserve
  • a man whose first nature was one of forgiveness
  • a man who thought I was the most beautiful woman to ever grace the earth
  • a man who loved me best by loving God first
  • a man of character and strong principal, one willing to go against popular opinion for what he knew to be truth
  • a man who couldn’t wait to be a father and who delighted in his children, who worried that his example was not good enough (it was)
  • a man who brought me flowers for no reason and for reasons, like on each of the kids’ birthdays or when he knew I’d had a rough day
  • a man who was happiest when he was able to give generously
  • a man who served me quietly every day, who looked for ways to make my life easier
  • a simple man who didn’t care about prestige, riches, or being recognized for his good deeds
  • a man who delighted in surprising me with scavenger hunts, concert tickets, overnight trips, cards, chocolate, etc


Paul was a humble man with a quiet and  strong faith, who loved his family and his God.  Was he perfect?  Of course not.  I could come up with a list of his flaws probably faster than I came up with this list.  There were times we struggled, that we drove eachother nuts, that we wondered if we had what it took to cross the finish line of marriage together.  But in God’s kindness and love for me He chose to give me this man.  I will never be the same, as a result. I have so much to thank God for.


Or, in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”


I am smiling – I really am!










  1. My heart goes out to David.
    It is a difficult journey.
    But one with hope.
    Many hugs

  2. Praying for you and your family.

    I know the chiggers are minor to the intense pain of your loss, but I did want to mention that if you take a shower or bath and scrub off right after exposure to chiggers, you can get them off of you before they cause a problem. It takes hours for them to inject their poison into you. I am allergic to their bites, as is our 2 year old, and we each have a good scrub every single night.

    May the Lord guide you and carry you.