Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 82


August 26, 2013

Day 82

A Facebook friend of mine is noting today the one year death of her husband.  She took pictures of his grave with a garland of fresh red roses placed atop the marker.  Pretty.  I wonder what we’ll end up doing next June 6?  The only idea I have had is a balloon release.  However, the day in question may be a bit tricky.  There is a good possibility that all 3 of the bigger boys will be up at camp that day and two of my Littles will have VBS that night.  I have 9 months to figure it out, but maybe we’ll have to celebrate (not the right word) another day.  Or maybe I could drive up to Camp that day and the 7 of us could at least be together for a couple of hours while we think about Dad.  I kind of like that idea.

I may have figured out what we’re going to do for Paul’s birthday, too.  I know I want to go out of town because Paul loved doing that kind of thing.  He was such a hard worker and would work, work, work.  And then he would lay down his shovel, look at me, and say, “I’ve got to have a break!  What do you think about blowing this popcorn stand?”  And we’d take off for the weekend.  A few years ago I “kidnapped” him the day before his birthday and drove him to Moline, Illinois with the kids who were just as bewildered as he was.  The John Deere Museum is in Moline.  Paul mentioned that trip repeatedly in the months and years afterward.  It meant so much to him that I had planned ahead and done that for him.  I’m so thankful I did!  So, because of those things I think it will be a good idea to leave town the weekend of his birthday.  It just happens to be on a Saturday this next year.  It’s not until January, though, so I have plenty of time to plan things! 

The first row of blocks has been laid in the basement addition!  This coming Friday we’ll pour the floor and then the rest of the blocks can be laid.

One thing I have decided we are going to do on Friday, over in a corner that won’t be covered by a wall or rugs, is to write the name, “Jehovah-Jireh” in the wet concrete.  That very addition is a testament to the fact that “God is my provider.”  As I told (well, texted) my pastor this afternoon, as painful as this time in my life has been, I am pretty sure that for the rest of my life I am going to also be profoundly grateful for these days.  Never has God been so real, so close, and proved Himself so mightily to me.  Every single need I have, He has provided, above and beyond what I could have imagined or requested.

The other night Will came to me, paper in hand, and showed me a diagram he had made of the new addition, detailing where walls and pipes would go.  This is exactly what his dad would do every time he did any type of addition type work on the house.  It made me smile.

We’re going to go ahead and get started on Will’s bedroom upstairs.  The carpet has got to come out.  He has such a dust problem in that tiny room and I know it’s because that carpet probably dates back to the time wall-to-wall carpeting was first invented!  David is going to take Will’s loft for his new room and Will is going to build a twin-sized platform for his new mattress.  We’ll move Sam’s toddler bed temporarily to Ben and David’s current room.

Will has also volunteered to build bunk beds for the girls.  I was looking on Craig’s List the other night for some.  He saw what I was doing and quickly volunteered his woodworking skills.  So, we’ll see how that works.  I’m not in any real hurry – just thinking ahead.  It’s all I can do to keep Ellie in her crib these days – not too crazy about the idea of moving her right now to something that would be even easier for her to escape from!

I have signed David up for flag football (homeschool). As the school year drew closer and I was trying to figure out if I needed to fill out a CPI form or not, I asked David what, if anything, he’d like to do sports-wise this next year.  When Will was in 8th grade, he began to play football at the  school.  David had always been kind of wishy-washy on that idea for himself, which is fine. As much as I loved watching Will play, I worried some, too.  He had expressed an interest in running track, but as this past spring unfolded into an insanely busy time, I had asked David to delay that by a year.  But by the time summer got through, he wasn’t even too sure he wanted to do that.  So I ran through the list of homeschool sporting options our regional area offers.  He wasn’t too excited by any of them until I got to flag football.  His eyes lit up and I said I’d take care of it.  It sounds like it’s all pretty informal.  The guy who runs it even told Will that he is welcome to play and he’s out of high school!  I sure hope he doesn’t go hurting some home schooled kid whose parents put him in the game only because they were too scared to let him play real football! (Remember, Will is the kid who gave a counselor a concussion at this past January’s Winter Melt-down up at camp while playing floor hockey…he gets rather, uh, competitive).

Last Friday I got dressed, did my hair, hauled the kids to town, met with a couple of different friends, had a long lunch with one, stopped at a store,  and that evening discovered that I had never put on any make-up!  Apparently, I’ve been overestimating the power of make-up all these years since I managed to go all day long before I realized my face was naked.  On the other hand, my friends did not gasp in horror, either, so I guess it’s not all bad…

I am so thankful for the books that have come my way since Paul’s death.  My mom ordered a stack of them for me and I’ve had a few others given to me, as well.  I’m a reader.  That is how I learn and it’s been tremendous for me to gain the insights of others during this time.  My current book points out that the stages of healing from loss is outlined in Scripture.  I never knew that!

Romans 5:3-4

Tribulation brings about patience, and patience brings about experience, and experience brings about hope.

1 Peter 5:10

But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

I find this really encouraging to understand that I am involved in a God-ordained process here.  God doesn’t intend for me to suffer this degree of pain for the rest of my life. He has a plan for restoration!

Matt (my brother) visited this weekend.  He had a business trip in WI and was able to detour back through Iowa on his way home.  What an encouragement his presence was.  The kids were all so excited.  He helped lay blocks, nearly killed himself playing basketball with Will, talked money with me, called and threatened a sexter who inadvertently sent a nasty picture to David’s phone (so thankful Matt was here when that happened – what a horrible world we live in now!).  He also played football with Will, David, Ellie, - and, surprise, me!  I’ve never played that game in my life and I’m not so sure I ever will again.  This old body hurts!  But it was kind of fun…

After church I took everyone to my new favorite restaurant, Jethro’s.  The kids all agreed that their dad would loved that place.  Will ordered something called “The Jethro.”  I have never seen such a sandwich!  It was stacked with so much meat that I doubt Goliath himself could have gotten it into his mouth.  It was something that would make all vegetarians and vegans cringe in horror, I’m sure.  It was a good time.

I have a feeling these good times are going to creep up on us with more and more regularity. I know the hurt will never fully subside.  For the rest of my life I will live with the horror of Paul’s death imprinted in my mind and the sorrow of losing his presence in my life. I have lost my best friend and that will hurt forever.   The kids will miss their dad until the days that they die.  When they become parents I suspect that hurt will even increase for a time.  But our lives are not going to be the bleak, barren landscapes that I could only envision just a few weeks ago.  Here and there, happiness is going to sneak in and surprise us.  More and more, we’ll smile and sometimes erupt into fully belly laughs.  

We will find that joy has come to stay.




































































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