Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 100


September 13, 2013

Day 100


It’s Friday the 13th – and Day 100 of my widowhood.  The number “100” usually implies something celebratory.  I know it’s become fashionable in some schools to celebrate the 100th day of the school year in some manner.  I think it’s mostly just an attempt to break up the doldrums of winter since that usually falls in mid-January!  Rarely do people make it to their 100th birthday without having some sort of celebration (complete with cake for grandma to gum and the obligatory picture in the paper – I will write my children out of my will if they publish my picture when I turn 100, by the way!).  But this isn’t a celebration; merely an observance, known only to me.  I won’t hit 100 again until May of 2015 when I hit 100 weeks since Paul’s death.  100 months won’t happen for about 8 years.  And 100 years – well, I won’t need to worry about that one.

I remember when we hit our first 100 days of marriage.  It happened to coincide with Memorial Day.  Paul had the day off but spent some of it working for somebody on some other project.  That afternoon/evening, though, he had the idea for the two of us to have a picnic.  It was nice – just the two of us, spending some rare time alone together.  I remember I wore I striped t-shirt.

But anyway, I have survived now 100 days without Paul.  Will the next 100 be any easier, I wonder?

Yesterday I got my hair trimmed and brought the girls to Sarah so she could relax their hair.  It’s been 8 months since I had Lizzie’s done and hair sessions were getting painful again for her, so I figured it was time to do it.  Ellie’s is getting so long, too, and she’s getting squirmier and squirmier as I have to tug on her locks more with the length.  So Sarah agreed to do both.  I didn’t know she intended for me to leave the salon, though!   I figured I’d be needed to help control Ellie and maybe to help detangle.  But she shooed me out the door and told me to come back in about 5 hours.  Both she and her co-worker suggested strongly that I go somewhere for lunch and that it couldn’t be “something you eat in the car!”

So I went.  What a treat!  I had a multitude of errands to run that I just had not had the time to do – boring stuff, like the bank and Hallmark.  I did stop at Menards and got new shades for the girls’ room and Will’s.  That was moderately enjoyable (not really – maybe slightly more than groceries, I guess).  But then I went ring shopping.  The time is coming – soon, I think – where I will remove my wedding ring.  But I’ve talked before about how I don’t want a bare hand when that happens.  I’ve had the idea of incorporating Paul’s stone in the with the kids’ birthstones.  So I checked out some jewelry stores and discovered that what I wanted to do was expensive, like upwards and over a thousand dollars.  I just can’t.  When I think of all the money I am sinking into this house right now and all the money I’ve spent this summer on burial stuff – and all the money I’ll need to spend over the years to live and support these kids – there’s no way I can justify that kind of expenditure.

But the good news is that I rethought what I could do and I came up with a solution that is just a fraction of the cost of what I was being quoted yesterday.  I’m going to go with two separate rings, but wear them together – a mother’s ring and then a tiny little one for Paul.  Actually, you know what I did?  I prayed about it.  I found myself in a dilemma after visiting these jewelry stores and just asked God for wisdom, explaining to him how important this was to me, but wanting to be financially wise at the same time.  Just a few hours later I came up with this idea.  I know it’s all kind of frivolous and shouldn’t be a big concern to me -   someday the funeral director will be prying them off my cold fingers if my kids want them.  But at the same time, it is important to me for right now.  Not as important as some stuff, like just how on earth am I going to raise, support, and educate these kids all by myself, but important, nonetheless.

And you know what I did?  I actually did eat by myself.  I almost chickened out.  I don’t think I have ever eaten alone at a sit-down restaurant.  What I really wanted to do was zip through a drive-through somewhere.  But before I had left, Sarah and her co-worker had suggested I go to Olive Garden, for some reason.  That idea lodged in my brain and as I was attempting to remind myself of how uncomfortable it would be to sit in a restaurant alone, I couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm for something I could get handed to me through a window.  So, Olive Garden it was.  The hostess seemed quite disapproving when I told her, “just one” but I might have imagined that.  Of course, she didn’t tuck me into a private little booth, though.  No, it had to be a table right out in the middle!  Thank goodness for my kindle.  I buried my nose in that the entire time and avoided eye contact with every person in the place.  I just felt awkward and wrong like it’s not socially correct to sit down and eat if you have no companion, their presence, of course,  proving that you have a life.  But I did enjoy my chicken parmigiano.  And it didn’t keep coming back up on me like something from Culvers or Burger King would have!

Sarah ended up getting done sooner than expected so I met her on the by-pass.  When I saw Ellie for the first time with her newly straightened hair, I blurted out, “You brought me a Mexican baby!”  I always forget to be politically correct when surprised…She looked so cute, though!  It won’t last beyond the first hair washing, but it’s fun to enjoy for right now.  And I should have an easier time with styling for a few months.  Sarah also brought me some stuff to stretch out the times in-between straightening and some shampoo, conditioner, and shine spray.  She is so good to me!

Wednesday I got a phone call from my attorney offering me three adoption dates.  I snatched the first one that he offered before he could even get the other two out of his mouth!  I couldn’t tell anybody the news, though, until he confirmed it with the judge.  I waited for that phone call all day yesterday.  Finally, the lawyer who has served as the girls’ guardian ad litum since they entered foster care called me to tell me how delighted he was about the adoption, confirmed the date, and told me he’d be serving as guardian ad litum at the hearing, too.  So, next Thursday morning, the girls will be mine, legally – finally. 
Almost Mine!

Today my attorney visited with more paperwork for me to sign and then right after he left the other lawyer, the guardian ad litum, came.  He hugged me two or three times and told me he is not going to charge me a dime for his services next Thursday.  That’s wonderful!  I’ll have expenses with my attorney, but I didn’t even know what I would be responsible for with the second.  This guy had actually called me four days after Paul died to offer his condolences and he told me today that after he got off the phone with me in June he thought to himself, “This one is strong.  She’s going to be just fine.”  I don’t think I’m all that strong (refer to my last post and maybe the one before it and oh, most of what I have written since June 6!) but it was still nice to be complimented like that.

So…memories.  Does Paul have them?  It’s something I thought of this week.  Does Paul remember me?  Does he remember anything of his life on earth?  I like to think he does.  My widow books assure me that our loved ones will know us when we enter Heaven.  Hebrews talks about the “cloud of witnesses” that is cheering us on in our Christian walk which seems to indicate that they are given at least glimpses of us here on earth.  But when I get to Heaven will Paul’s recognition be that of one lover greeting another or will it be more along the lines of a dementia patient who knows that he should know the person that just walked into the room, but doesn’t exactly know why he should?  Again, I’m sure it’s just my human mind trying to figure out something it’s not supposed to right now.

But I hope Paul remembers me.  I hope he can remember the good times.  I hope he remembers the  love…









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