Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 57


August 2, 2013


Day 57


Yesterday morning I was up early, getting Ben ready to catch the HRTA (sp?) bus for his day at Genesis.  If we do this next summer, I’m driving the poor kid over to Indianola myself.  It’s dumb to make him get up that early and ride the bus for that long to get to a place that is only 30 min away by car.  But anyway…I looked out the kitchen window which faces the driveway.  I realized that if I was in my “normal” life, Paul would just be leaving for work about then, since it was a Thursday and he had to go in early those days.  I found myself wishing fervently that his big white van with the Lozier logo on the side was still sitting in the driveway.  When it was in the driveway, Paul was home, and my world was all right.  My world hasn’t been all right since June 6.  Sometimes it feels like it may never be again.


Paul’s bosses visited Tuesday.  I could tell they were uncomfortable.  They had called the day before asking if they could come by.  I kind of guessed at the reason why and I was right.  Even though they had attended Paul’s visitation and funeral (I think – I really am not aware of who all made it to his funeral – I only had eyes for that casket) and I had spoken to them briefly when I returned Paul’s work clothes, this was their official condolence call.  They had a card for me.  We chatted, I said good-bye, knowing I would never see these men again. When they left I  opened the card and  discovered that the company had made a donation to our family.  Not only that, but the employees themselves had chipped in in an extraordinarily generous manner.  I was blown away.  I never expected such generosity.  God continues to meet our needs.  Even 6 years ago when Paul was hired on with Loziers, God knew!  Loziers provided income (and most importantly, maternity insurance!) at a time when we needed it desperately.  But God knew what was coming down the pike just 74 months later and he was providing for our future by having Paul hired by Loziers at that time.  We have no idea how God orchestrates the events of our lives in order to provide and care for us.


I had to buy another alarm clock this week.  This has been a bit of an on-going saga.  Mine, that I bought, oh a year and a half ago or so, has always been somewhat tempermental.  It got worse after Paul’s death, so I pitched it and moved Paul’s old clock to my side of the bed.  It worked great.  But then the snooze button went out on it last week.  For some people that would not be a problem.  It for me because I need to wake up gradually.  I’d rather set my alarm earlier than needed and have several opportunities to hit that button in order to feel a temporary sense of victory!  I should have known that thing wouldn’t last, though.  Paul’s clock had a cassette tape deck on it, it's so old!  So I picked up something else at Walmart this week.  I refuse to buy any more cheap clocks.  I actually don’t even know what the cost of this one was.  None of the clocks were in the right spot on the shelves and I forgot to get a price check on it before I bought it.  I’m guessing it was more than $8, though, which is what I paid for my last one.  To my surprise, this one automatically sets the time!  I’ve never seen something like that before.  It’s working great.  Buying it gave me a pang, though.  It’s something for our bedroom Paul will never see.  I still find myself looking over to his nightstand to read the time, forgetting that his clock is no longer there.   It’s probably a good thing, though, that Paul won’t see this one.  He might be complaining about the blue 3” high numbers.  That thing gives off a lot of light!   Why am I so focused on the minutia of a clock of all things?  My mind sure tends to rest in odd places these days.


Will called me this week.  It was nice.  He was in a chatty mood.  Last summer, he spent 7 or 8 weeks up at camp, working.  He never called once.  This summer when he was on his missions trip, he called twice.  And then I had the call this week.  I’ll see him today, actually, which I am anticipating.  Without Paul, I think we are all clinging to eachother just a little more tightly.


To that end, I had a fabulous idea this week.  In a round-about way, the credit should actually go to David.  Since Paul died I have sensed a growing need for the kids and I to tightly bond.  It’s not that we were not bonded before, but we need something more now.  I can see how families sometimes fall apart after an event like this.  It would be so easy for all of us to go our separate ways, while nursing our hurting hearts.  We could continue to live under the same roof, but not be any more bonded than a group of strangers.  That’s why I’ve wanted to do family devotions on a regular basis and we have – somewhat.  Not only is it a time to study God’s Word together, but we can talk and grieve out loud.  But it occurred to me that it would be really fantastic if we had regular “family nights.”  I’m thinking twice a month where we mark it down on the calendar and plan events.  They could be as simple as making popcorn and watching a movie or playing board games (ugh – the things I will suffer for my children – I am not a board game player!).  Or they could be things like having a picnic supper at a park and making smores, or buying concert tickets, or going to a hockey game – or whatever.  As long as we’re together and doing activities that force us to interact with eachother, that would be the point.  This was my idea, but David gets the credit because he had suggested numerous times that we needed to have more family time.   About six months ago, he even took a 4X6 card, covered it in family night suggestions, and rather pointedly stuck it to the refrigerator.  Paul always wanted to and I know shortly before he died he mentioned to me we were going to do some of those things on David’s list.  We have just been SO busy the last few years that it has been hard to sacrifice any time at all for things that were not strictly necessary.  But if we had, our kids would have more memories of their dad now.  Paul would be pleased by this decision and I know our family, reduced by one, will benefit greatly.  The morning of Paul’s death I made a point to emphasize to the children that we were “still a family.”  This is a way to  implement that truth in a practical manner.


I met with my attorney again the other day and he’s coming over again today because I needed him to re-do some wording on the adoption petition.  I was reading through the documents he had prepared and I read this line, “Sarah Heywood, a single person, …”  Oh, that cut to the heart.  It’s like anytime I get anything in the mail that is addressed to “The Sarah Heywood Family.”  I want to protest – I’m not a single person!  I’m not the head of this family!”  But I am, of course.  I hate, hate, hate that term – “single.”  The word sounds like it is full of choice.  But I didn’t choose this.  I would have never chosen to parent without a spouse.   A friend, who has, apparently, been hiding under a rock all summer, facebooked me yesterday after I posted my thoughts on forever with Paul, and asked, “What?  You’re not married anymore?”  I wanted to write back, “Yes, of course I am still married!”


In one of my widow books yesterday, the author talked about removing one’s wedding ring.  It’s a subject I’ve already given some thought to and have written already about how I plan to ease that transition with the purchase of a mother’s ring.  She said that there is no right or wrong time to do such a thing.  Some widows may wear their rings for the rest of their life.  I’m not going to do that, though.  She said that widows will know when the time is right for removal because they will begin to feel no longer married.  I wonder, is that a sudden thing?  While I can logically remind myself that I am not married, I still feel married.  But will I wake up one day and realize that that feeling has suddenly left?  Or will it be a gradual departure, the feeling of partnership tipoeing silently away?


Yesterday, I put in about a million tiny braids on each of the girls’ heads.  I am hoping this fuss-free style will last for most of the week we are at camp.  But I’m bringing their bounty of hair supplies, anyway, just in case.  As I was working on Lizzie’s head, we listened to my mp3 player.  I have a number of Paul’s Sunday morning specials loaded onto my player and he came on, singing, “It Will Be Worth it All.”  Or is it called, “When We See Christ?”  Anyway…


It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.


Lizzie suddenly said, “Daddy’s doing that now.”  This is my chatterbox child and I have learned to tune out about half of what she says.  Well, maybe not that much, but I definitely filter what I take in because she never stops talking!




“You know, Mommy – seeing Christ.  That’s what Daddy’s doing!”


Oh, Lizzie…


A few hours later I was scurrying around, packing up things for the Littles.  My friend had called, asking if she could take the three of them for two nights so that she could take them to the balloon festival with her four children (after she worked all day long yesterday!) and so I could pack for camp in peace.  Who am I to turn down a gift like that?  Lizzie asked if I would send a picture of Paul and I with her.  The last time she had spent the night with anyone was in February when we went to Colorado.  I had made up a photo sheet for her with pictures of her brothers and Paul and myself, with little messages from us for each day we’d be gone.  Had totally forgotten about that, but she hadn’t.  So I quickly found a little wallet sized photo of Paul and myself (taken while we were in CO, actually) and gave it to her.  A few minutes later, I heard loud sobbing coming from the living room.  I assumed another sibling brawl had broken out and she had gotten the worst of it.


But Lizzie sat on the couch, doubled over, and cried, “I miss my daddy so much!”  Oh, Sweetheart…I have been guilty of thinking of times that the girls are not as affected by Paul’s death because they only knew him for a year.  But in that year, Paul filled a God-created empty spot in their little hearts.  I sat and held my four year old daughter and we just cried together, each of us missing Paul in our own way.


It’s been a better week for David, though.  He was able to connect with a Christian young man out in New York (I think) who lost his father, suddenly and tragically, a year and a half ago – when he was 14.  This young man wrote the nicest email to David.  David was so encouraged and just couldn’t quit smiling the day he first heard from his new friend.  And then yesterday our pastor called and asked if he could take David for ice-cream.  I wasn’t sure how that would go because David has been decidedly reticent about talking to adults about this.  But he has been very chatty with me about going and mentioned several times how much he appreciated the opportunity to sit down with our pastor.  So maybe it’s the idea of talking to someone he dislikes more than the actual doing of it.  I am encouraged.  With that child, my mind was jumping to some pretty dark places.  We’ve all heard of tragic situations where a friend or sibling will commit suicide after enduring the loss of someone dear to them because they are incapable of handling the intense pain that loss brings.


But I think David is going to be ok.  Someday, we will all be ok.









































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