Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 96


September 9, 2013
Day 96
Hot day today…they are saying that if we top 100 degrees, it will be a record for this late in the year.  Who cares?  I am so ready for fall, like I am every summer.  But yet, the onset of fall will feel like another way I am leaving Paul behind since he died in the summertime.  I have a feeling that after I spend an hour tomorrow night watching the boys play flag football in 95 degree heat, I won’t even care about the emotional aspects of one season rolling into another – I’ll just want the cooler weather!
I’m dealing with a sinus-related migraine today.  But despite the upset in my head, I am still finding myself thinking some pretty deep thoughts.  For example, is Paul’s death part of something bigger we can’t see or just one of “those” things?  After all, women have been widowed since the beginning of time.  While I’m sure God has had a plan for each and every one of those women (think of Ruth – had she not been widowed, she would have never married Boaz and produced one of Jesus’ ancestors) it’s hard for me to believe that every single death is part of this big picture God is working on – that each of those deaths is completely necessary in order to complete the picture.  Of course, they are necessary for the work that is being done in that particular’s wife’s life, though.  But I find myself curious to know if Paul’s death is a cog in some elaborate plan of God’s.  Maybe not.  Maybe it’s just for the good of the kids and myself – not to discount that, certainly, though.  I think it’s probably just me being human, attempting to understand God’s great and infinite mind through my tiny lens of humanity.  And this is where people typically walk away.  If they can’t understand God’s thinking, then they decide that they want nothing to do with God.
I can feel depression beginning to descend upon me.  Where I felt numb and sad before, now I just feel the sadness.  Depression is something that works its way into the bones.  I don’t like it.  But I would think it’s a normal part of the grief process, where one finally begins to acknowledge that their loved one is never coming back and that all the good things they shared are now part of the past.  Will I be depressed the rest of my life?  That thought is depressing in and of itself!
The boys pooled their money and bought tickets to an Iowa Hawkeye game later this month.  They’re pretty excited.  I’ll stay home with the Littles that day.  I think we’re going to borrow our neighbor’s copy of the movie, Brave, and eat something junky for supper.  I’m a little nervous about the three boys being alone in Iowa City on game day, but Will is grown now and responsible.  If things were normal, he’d be a college student himself right now.  Besides, I think fun can be an important part of the healing process.  These boys need eachother even more now than they did before.  I was a little surprised that Ben wanted to go, but that’s fine.  It will be good for him.
I made it through the choir’s presentation yesterday in church.  Recently, a friend who is also in the choir shared with me how she missed Paul’s comments during choir practice.  She said he’d always be cracking something funny, making them all laugh when they were supposed to be focused on learning the music.  I love hearing stuff like this!  This is how to comfort someone who is grieving.
A way to not comfort: a couple of days ago a neighbor, unsaved, stopped by and in the course of conversation shared how after her grandmother’s death she would catch whiffs of the perfume her grandma always wore.  She also “felt” a presence and knew that her grandmother was “there.”  I tend to view such stories with a degree of skepticism.  It’s not that I think the tellers are making up stories but I wonder how much of a demonic influence is at play.  On the other hand, I suppose God could do something like that to give comfort.  She asked me if I had experienced anything like that.  I told her I had not.  And then I felt kind of sad about that.  I haven’t even dreamed about Paul in weeks and weeks.  I sure would like to, just to “feel” him again.
So what is happening in Syria?  Wow…I kind of avoided the news all summer, which was a big thing for a news hound like me.  I guess my own life was dramatic enough that my heart couldn’t take any more input.  After Paul died I had a number of people say wistfully to me, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the Lord came back right now?”  Um…yes!  It’s funny, I always imagined us being raptured together.  I could see him off at work, me at home (or in my van, most likely!) and suddenly meeting each other up in the clouds instead of at home that night like we had planned.  I never gave a whole lot of thought to one or the other of us dying, though.  I mean, we did have conversations about the possibility, but it was usually with the understanding that that would not happen for decades and decades yet.  Anyway, this whole Syria thing has captured my interest because of how it fits into Biblical prophecy.  And then, in my recent reading,  one of my widow books spent quite a bit of time in the end talking about Heaven.  She points out Matthew 23:32-34:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[a] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
The author explains that the nation of Israel is always referred to as a fig tree.  Israel was re-established in 1948 and that the generation who was alive at this time is now getting up in years.  It’s her assertion that the Lord’s return will happen before their death because of the last part of verse 34. 
That kind of excited me!  I asked Will what he thought but he just raised an eyebrow and asked, “Don’t you think every preacher would be talking about this if it were true?”  Well, I suppose…I know that people have been trying to put dates on the return of the Lord since the beginning of Christianity and have been continually disappointed.  But, like I told a friend the other day when we were talking about this, somebody is bound to be right.
I’d love to think the rapture is right around the corner since it would mean that my separation from Paul would be very, very temporary.  But, one can’t count on something like that.  As I’ve heard before, plan like you’ll live to a ripe old age, but live like Jesus is coming back tomorrow!
Still, I can’t help but being amused as I watch people like John Kerry – who has vigorously protested all US war involvement since his return from Vietnam – suddenly turn on his heel and become a war-monger!  From a humanitarian aspect, yes, what happened over there isn’t right and should be punished, but on the other hand – going to war against Syria is a bad, bad idea.  Having sons that are and nearly are draftable age probably weighs into my more definite thoughts on this.  Something funny is going on when I see all these peacenik Democrats suddenly anxious to go bomb the pants off another nation.  Curious times we live in…
I received another care package from Sara today.  Every few weeks since Paul’s death she has sent us boxes of goodies.  It’s gotten to where the kids cheer when they see me carry in a box from her.  Yesterday, a friend gave me a bag of salt-water taffy.  After prying some out of Ellie’s mouth (after she’d been told “no”) I hid those.  I’ll share Sara’s gifts, but not my taffy!
A friend took me out to lunch on Saturday.  That was such a blessing.  I don’t realize how starved I am for adult conversation until I get a chance to talk to others.  I hope I don’t monopolize the conversations as a result!
Time to wrap this up.  The men will be here to work on our basement soon.  I probably should cook some dinner for the kids and work on my to-do list a little bit more.  There’s always a to-do list…


  1. Thanks for sharing how you are and the happenings of your life. I have had only a handful of dreams about Jim and I have never "smelled" him. lol. Love is eternal and that connecting never dies. I have had people ask me if he has "visited" me. I would freak out if that "happened" Truth is our husbands are happy and safe with Jesus, they have no desire to come back to this filthy earth. They probably can't wait to see us. But time is different up there.
    Anyway, about depression. It does get in your bones so be on guard. The first year to me was about survival; the second year was a hard splash of reality. It was a difficult year for me. I used to think it was because others stopped praying for me; I think now that it was because I allowed myself to not stay guarded against the enemy's lies.
    Praying for you as Fall will come eventually, and then the holidays....
    Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Praying for you all

  2. Hi Sarah - Thanks for your transparency and for blogging in spite of your pain. Know that I'm praying for you and your sweet kids. Praying for God's strength and peace to be very real to you today.