Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 140


October 23, 2013


Day 140


It’s another Wednesday, but I can’t remember how many weeks it has been now.  I guess I could go figure it up, but it’s really not that important.  I only keep track of the days because of my blog.


I’m still freezing at night.  I started wearing my long pj’s, that I normally only wore on the coldest of winter nights.  Of course, it doesn’t help when I discovered that the thermostat was set at only 62 last night!  I told Will he needed to bump that thing up to at least 65.  He shook his head like I was dumping bucketfuls of money out the window, but I’m not going to freeze, either.


You know what’s really cold at night?  Having a child wet the bed beside you…Early yesterday Sam crept into bed with me again like he normally does.  It didn’t take me long to realize the sheets were damp, but I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Sam, himself, woke up a short time later and told me he was wet.  I suggested he go back to sleep and not worry about it (my maternal instincts shut down when I do).  An hour or so later he woke up insisting he had to take a shower now.  It was 5 in the morning.  I grunted my assent, knowing he was capable of starting the shower himself.  Just a few moments later I heard, loudly, “Mom!  Fix the shower!”  Ugh!  Our shower head offers a variety of sprays and the last person to use it had used what I call the “bullet” setting.  Sam didn’t appreciate that.  I didn’t either, at five in the morning!


Well, Will’s best friend, Nathanael,  is now engaged.  Will helped him do the deed last Thurs. night.  It was quite a production, involving video cameras, hundreds of candles and jars, and a lighted arch.  Oh, and my mini-van, driven an hour and a half away!  Little did I know that I would be surprised, though…I went to scrapbooking Friday night and had a marvelous time – did not get home until close to 1am.  I walked into my kitchen and it was sparkling!  I could not believe it!  I got about 4 hours of sleep before I had to go collect David from church, where the youth group was after an overnight event.  I rolled out of bed and threw on a sweatshirt and crummy gray sweats – no bra, ran a brush through my hair, which is never very effective, and prepared to leave.  It was then that I realized Will had also done the dishes.  I simply could not believe it.  What did I do to raise such a wonderful child?  I did think it was a bit odd Will was up at 8:30 when I was leaving.  He is never an early riser.  Since my brain was foggy, I didn’t dwell on it too much, though.  As I drove over to church I was mentally writing a Facebook post on my surprisingly cleaned kitchen and what a blessed mama I am.


I ended up sitting for 45 minutes at church, waiting for the kids to eat donuts that their youth leader brought.  If I hadn’t looked so horrible, I would have gone into the church basement and collected David, who, apparently, was oblivious to the fact that I was waiting and waiting outside!  Finally, my friend, Jason, took pity on me and collected David for me.  I had been in Jason and Deb’s van, talking with them and missed my phone ringing twice.  Will was wondering where I was, which was odd.  He never cares about my whereabouts unless I’ve been sent to collect food.  Eventually, David and I got home, I walk into the house, intently mentally organizing my day.  Ellie popped outside and after one look at her scary head remembered that I needed to add washing the girls’ hair to my list.  I walked into the living room – and Nathanael and his new fiancée are sitting on my loveseat (appropriately)!   At first, I didn’t think anything of it, assuming that Nathanael had come for the video Will had and all his candles that were now in the back of the truck.  My major concern was how terrible I looked at the moment, along with the girls who had witch hair and had, obviously, dressed themselves.  But I sat down and began chatting with them and then it slowly dawned on me…the clean house, the fact that I hadn’t seen Nathanael’s truck…this was planned!  They got me!  Oh, those boys!


And one of those boys will be getting married next June, and the other – mine- will be standing up as his best man.  Time is not my friend anymore.


I started working on my will this week.  Actually, I’m just waiting to hear back from my attorney about filing it and setting up a special needs trust for Ben.  He can’t actually inherit much money and keep his waiver that pays for everything (medical, respite, SCL, etc) so a trust has to be set up instead.  I got confirmation from some friends I had talked to about potential guardianship for the girls, which was a relief.  I just need to get everything filed and then I envision myself creating a “death” envelope.  I’m going to put this in my lockbox and it will have all the information needed when I die.  I don’t want anyone having to make the decisions I had to when Paul died.  Absolutely everything will be spelled out.  All they’ll have to do is bury me and start spending the insurance money!  I’m even going to write my own obituary and update it periodically.   I hope that my kids and others understand this to be an act of love, not an attempt to control from beyond the grave. 


But I have lots of living to do before my death envelope will ever be needed.  Lots of living, lots of loving, lots of working…this week, though, I could do without the work!  I have this tiny little job as city clerk.  Normally, it’s not a huge deal.  I prepare all the govt. paperwork that goes with being an incorporated city, do office detail and get ready for meetings, and I do all the water billing.  It’s never a big deal – until someone doesn’t pay their bill!  And this week I had to order a water shut off for a family with small children, including a two month old.  Their oldest boy comes up quite frequently to play with David; for awhile he was even attending church with us.  But, they didn’t pay their bill, even after being repeatedly warned.  So, I get this sputtering phone call the other night from the home owners, wanting me to turn it back on.  I wavered, knowing their circumstances.  But I quickly began to sense the homeowners were not upset that they had neglected to pay their bill, but were upset that I had the audacity to shut them off.  I refused and was promptly hung up on.  The next day I got another phone call.  Oh, I hate this!  I’m to blame for others’ poor choices, apparently.  I got hung up on again.  Needless to say, the home owners are still without running water and I – well, I am the bad guy, I guess.  I struggle to find the balance between compassion and doing what needs to be done.


Yesterday was Sam’s 6th birthday.  I was just thinking the other day how the arrival of autumn always makes me think of babies.  I can’t help but smile.  I so clearly remember the fall of 1994.  What a happy, happy time that was.  I have this memory of driving through some neighborhoods on the west end of Council Bluffs in late afternoon.  I must have been on my way home from work since we lived over in that area then.  The pretty, fallen leaves and Halloween decorations that year meant one thing – my baby would soon arrive!  Those were happy, anticipatory days.  Of course, Ben was born in the fall, as well,  two years later.  He arrived later in Nov, though, and came early, so I don’t recall being as excited by the arrival of fall as I was with Will. 


And then there was Sam – our miracle, “fleece” baby.  I remember the day before my scheduled c-section Paul taking me outside to the front yard and having me pose for pictures with my big belly – all kinds of leaves laying around and this smile that wouldn’t leave my face!  His ended up being a more difficult birth and that first month was rough, but I would have gone through so much more, just to have him.


And yesterday we celebrated him.  I never, ever would have dreamed that he’d be fatherless before he turned 6.  It was a hard day in some ways.  Ellie had her birthday shortly after Paul’s death, but friends came over to help us through that party, so it didn’t seem so hard.  The boys had their last football game and then we headed to Pizza Hut.  We used up the last of the gift cards Paul’s grandma gave us last Christmas.  They had a deal where kids had a free buffet with the purchase of every adult one – that worked out well for our gang!  Their food just did not taste as good as I remember it normally tasting, though.  Maybe it’s me.  Then we went home and Sam frosted his own cake and opened his gifts.  There were plenty – I made sure of it.  Of course, I can’t give him what he wants most.  As he was opening each gift I would tell him who it was from.  Twice, I made the mistake of saying, “This one is from Mom and Dad!”  The second time I caught a stricken look on David’s face and made sure I didn’t make that mistake again.  For a number of years now, Paul had been giving me flowers on each of the kids’ birthdays.  I would usually forget he was going to do that and so would be pleasantly surprised each time the kids reached behind their backs and handed me a bouquet.  I didn’t forget this time.  That  hurt.


David took his bike up to the cemetery the other day.  He had a solar light he wanted to put up there and a couple of Paul’s small tractors.  He came home and mentioned that it had actually been quite awhile since he had spent any time at the cemetery.  And before I knew it, this gangly teenager who now towers over me was sobbing in my arms.  There is no pain as sharp as the one you can’t take away from your child.


We have driven through the cemetery at night twice since, just to admire our light for the grave.  I had no idea just how many graves had those until I did that.  It really makes the cemetery pretty.  I think we’re going to get some more lights, including the LED multi-colored ones.  Death is the darkest experience there is, but the tiny lights pierce the darkness, just as Jesus breaks through the dark days of our current existence.


But the pain…oh, the pain.  I feel like the painted mimes who pretend they are in boxes.  Their hands scale the invisible wall in front of their face.  They turn, only to discover that a “wall” exists on every side of their body.  Every where I turn, there is a wall of hurt and pain.  I cannot escape.  No matter what I do, where I go, it is there.  It’s bad enough that I have to live without Paul forever, but how long will I hurt like this?  Pain is such an incredible burden.


I cleaned out the coat closet today.  It was a horrid mess.  It’s one that was added after-the-fact, underneath the steps.  So it’s not really big enough.  Paul’s coats were all in there.  I threw away a couple of them.  Will asked to hang onto Paul’s good winter coat and his camo hoodie is still hanging on a hook.  Will has claimed that, as well.  Although, today I snuggled into it to run out to the mailbox.  I could almost imagine that I felt Paul’s arms around me once again.  Hanging on a nail in the closet are Paul’s John Deere stocking hat and his good winter gloves (these were his grandfather’s gloves – after his death in ’03, Paul’s grandma gave them to him and he had worn them every Sunday since).  I couldn’t bring myself to do anything with them, so they’re still hanging.  They’re going to collect dust, but I’m hoping just the sight of them will make me smile whenever I open the closet.  Someday, I’ll pack them away, but not now.

Yes, that is Sam, sticking his tongue out...rotten kid!

Sunday night our church had an adoption celebration for the girls.  It was perfect.  I was initially approached about the idea of having a “shower” for the girls, but the idea made me uncomfortable.  I just feel like our church has done so much and given so much to us this year.  I am reluctant to “take” any more from these wonderful people.  Besides – the girls have all they need, possessions-wise.  So we just had a fingerfood fellowship.  Friends made cupcakes and there were balloons and even a few small gifts.  I think my kids thought the best part was that we got to go first in the food line! J  It was a sweet time of fellowship and way to officially welcome Lizzie and Ellie as Heywoods at last.


A few days later, Lizzie was talking about the party.  She asked me, “Does this mean that now Ellie and me are part of the church family?”  Oh, I just melted…the truth was, those little girls became part of that family long before they ever arrived.  On a Wed. night, two years ago, Paul stood up and announced our intentions and hopes of adopting.  I wasn’t in the auditorium when he did that and found out he had done this when people started approaching me later with questions!  From that night, our church family was praying for us.  When the girls finally did arrive, they were embraced with open arms and hearts.   They are definitely part of our church family!


They’re blessed, as are their big brothers, and their mama.




















1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing things, grief things, celebrations, and blessings. Praying for you with understanding. HUGS