Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 71


August 15, 2013

Day 71

Yesterday was a good day – today, not so much.  Kathy came down – drove 3 hours to spend time with me.  It was a good day.  But it was different because now, I’m different.  The thing is, I don’t think I will ever be the Sarah I was before June 6th.  But I still really enjoyed my time with her.  We’ve been the best of friends since high school and here we are, 25+ years later, closer than ever.  She got out of her van, I hugged her, and promptly started crying.  But the day got better after that, thankfully.  My friend, Mishelle, came over to the house in the afternoon to give David a break from watching the Littles.  She did laundry, dishes, beat rugs – oh, my goodness.  And then, she left a little milk jug vase – white and red to match the kitchen, with red miniature roses to welcome me home.  How good God has been to me with the friends He has given me!

While eating lunch yesterday, Kathy and I ran into one of my foster care class teachers.  She had come to Paul’s visitation, as well.  It was so nice to see her.  She has adopted out of foster care, too, and assured me that now that my paperwork has been filed, it won’t be long at all before I get a court date.  That was nice to hear since my attorney seems to think it will take until Sept.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter, but I’m just really praying for an August date. 

Ben has no more curls.  I hope this is a temporary thing!  He’s been strongly suggesting for several months that I cut them off, but I have demurred, trying to convince him that his curls are the most distinctive feature he has.  I just love them!  Apparently, he just needed a little inspiration to strengthen his resolve.  Monday, his former aide came to pick him up for a day of fun, and she had totally chopped her hair into a very short, sleek,  and sophisticated style.  What a difference!  When he got home, Ben got out the clippers, brought them to me, and said, “I want you to cut my hair really short!”  Ugh.  But I did it and he’s happy.  People will not recognize him when he goes back to school on Monday.  Well, except for his towering height.  That hasn’t changed over the summer, except maybe for increasing a bit.

So, I’ve been down in the dumps today.  Some of it is Miss Lizzie.  Apparently, she was a royal pill yesterday for the time that David was watching her.  She was warned of the potential consequences, but chose them anyway.  So today she has Obedience Training Day which is a training method I came up with some time ago, which basically makes for a  miserable, miserable day for her and a not very fun one for me, either.  But I don’t have a choice.  If she does not learn to submit and obey now, at age 4, I may as well give her back to the state because she will be out of control at 14. 

I finished up my filing in the basement.  I ran across a couple of little, “just because” cards Paul had given me.  He loved me so much.  They made me smile, but also made me sad at the same time.  I also did some more work in the old office, which is where I’ve been putting his stuff, and stuff from the funeral.  I have his clothes ready to go and am now sorting out the sympathy cards and things of his that I want to save.  Some will be in bags for the kids, some will be just for me.  I think a lot of it is going to go in my hope chest.  Kind of ironic, now that I think about it – As a teenager,  I saved things in that chest for my future marriage; now I’m saving memories of that marriage.  The last thing will be to go through his bedside table.  Then what? 

I think I am hoping, with all this organizing, to find a way to go on.  If I can organize my life enough, maybe that will give me direction in how to do this alone.  I still don’t know what that is going to look like, or even how to begin to live without him.  All summer long, I have been existing, but that’s it.  I cannot merely exist for the next 40 years, can I?  I suppose, though, a person could live that way if they chose to.  Maybe there is a small part of me that is beginning to hope for some sort of future in this present life.

I have to take my health back under control, too, so I’ve been giving some thought to that, as well.  I am amazed at how well I have been this summer.  I have not eaten right at all, but other than one slight cold, I have remained perfectly healthy, for which I am thankful.  I think God has been gracious to me.  But I can’t expect my body to endure this kind of nutritional deficit and remain healthy, indefinitely, either.  I rather imagine I am underestimating the sheer amount of mental stress my emotions are putting on my body, too, and that is just a matter of time before it is manifested in physical weakness and sickness.

This all seems to coincide with the start of the new school year, which is always a good time for new beginnings.  As I mentioned, Ben goes back next Monday.  I just got the books ordered for the others this week, so I’m thinking it will be Sept. sometime before I start homeschooling, which is fine.  I’m looking forward to implementing some sort of schedule, some organization into my days.

This is why I am so thankful for the timing of Paul’s death.  It happened right at the beginning of summer.  It didn’t happen a week earlier, which would have left me with an unfinished kitchen, and a ruined graduation for Will.  It did not happen near anyone’s birthday or a major holiday.  We had all summer long, which is generally a more relaxed time anyway, to recoil and recover from the initial shock.  I don’t think there is ever a good time to tragically lose a loved one, but if I had to choose how to do it, this could not have been more perfect.

Today I started doing a Bible study with my pastor’s wife.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll have “homework” to do in-between sessions, which will increase accountability, as well as the benefits of the study itself.  The study is all about controlling the thoughts that so often wish to control us.  It’s about not becoming a slave to my emotions.  It’s needed. 

I’m reading another of the widow books my mom ordered for me.  This one is a surprise.  It’s written by an English pastor.  I’m surprised for a couple of reasons.  From what I understand, most of England – and Europe, in general – is pretty pagan now.  The light of Christianity has grown very, very dim there.  But this pastor appears to be the real thing.  The book is written in a very tender tone to the widow.  I tend to think of the English as being very stoic and proper, but this book has a heartbeat.  It is really ministering to me right now.  I liked the following that I read today while I ate my lunch.  Talking about Ruth and Naomi, the author says:

Naomi and Ruth came to realize that when God takes away our earthly joys and securities and plunges us into grief, it is in order that we might learn to take refuge under his protective wings and experience his power, his love, his provision, and his sufficiency for all our needs.

Oh, I like that!  Psalm 91…

Today hasn’t been such a great day.  And there are going to be other not-so-good days, too.  It’s the nature of life in general, amplified when one is grieving.  But I know, I know that better days await.


Hope is slowly and  tentatively beginning to lift its weary  head…
























































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