Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 160


Nov. 12, 2013


Day 160


Boy, did I sleep well last night!  I’m thinking that I may just have to get another pair or two of fleece pajamas before this winter is over…what I have been missing out on because of Paul all these years!  Actually, there’s no way I could have worn something that warm to bed with him in there.  That man was so hairy and so big that he was like a furnace.  Some nights he would get sweaty just in sleep which would totally gross me out if he was touching me.  I’d unpeel his body from mine and stick a sheet between us for rest of the night.  How did people survive and sleep together before air conditioning?  Anyway…


Tonight Sam was looking at his science book.  Lizzie peered over his shoulder and exclaimed, “That’s a heart!”  It wasn’t a heart shape, but a drawing of an actual heart.  I wonder how she knew that?  Sam didn’t think she was right and was rather perturbed when I informed him that his sister knew what she was talking about.  Then Lizzie asked, “But how come I don’t see God in there?”  It was one of those questions that I had to sort through in my mind – what did she mean?  Then it came to me!  So then we talked about how God is invisible and, of course, I had to explain what “invisible” meant.  I told Lizzie that we don’t see God, but we feel Him in our hearts. 


“Oh – h,” Lizzie said, “You mean, every time I feel my heart beeping that’s God in there?” 



Well, I no longer have a wall between my living room and back room.  Even though it is totally unfinished yet, I am already loving it!  It just seems like we have so much more space and now that living room has light in it for the first time, ever!  It is so nice to walk out there every morning and have the morning sun streaming into the room through the back room windows.  Will we still call that the “back room” now, I wonder?  Technically, it’s just going to be one big living space.


It was a big deal Saturday.  I don’t know how many guys showed up, but it was a LOT!  They tore down that wall and then ripped up the floor.  164 year old dust went all over the house – completely nasty.  All the guys were hacking and coughing.  Will was actually spitting up blood by Monday from the amount of coughing he had done, trying to clear his lungs of that dust.  (Of course, when he told me he was coughing blood, my first thought was, “consumption!”  I think I’ve read way too many historical novels…)  But by the time they all left I had a new floor down.  I was painting down in the basement all day, which was actually a treat, even though I hate painting.  A friend watched Ben and the Littles all day so I was able to work without much interruption.  Unfortunately, I had a terrible migraine that day and found it difficult to work at times because the pain just would not subside.  I’m sure it was aggravated by the paint fumes and dust, too.


We still have two walls to gut down to the studs in the living room.  I am suspicious that the work on our house may be “burning out” the men from church.  I definitely don’t want to do that, so I was relieved when Will told me that he thinks he can do that bit by himself, along with drywalling and even potentially replacing the ceiling in the living room.  He is optimistic that by Christmas we could be completely done out there.  Wouldn’t that be something if he’s right?  I cannot wait until the day new carpet is laid out in those rooms and I can re-hang all my wall decorations!


Sam wants to be a helper in the worst way.  Tonight he was delighted when he discovered I was nailing down the new stair treads on the basement steps (the carpet tape didn’t work) and insisted on helping.  Boy, did he have fun!  Will said the other day Sam wanted to tag along with him to Menards.  He was loading these huge, heavy boards into the truck that were to be used for floor joists and to his surprise, Sam grabbed one end and was helping lift them!  He said that Sam told him simply, “I just like working with you!”


We were recently given a nearly-new washer and dryer.  I’m thankful because my dryer had recently taken another nose-dive and was taking 3+ hours to dry a single load.  They were in Des Moines so Friday Will and Nathanael were able to get them for me, install them, and carry out the old ones.  Then, I drove the boys back to Des Moines.  We ended up going to Fazolis to eat.  Nathanael had never been there in his life, which is a crime, I think.  Afterwards, we visited his tiny little apartment.  I made some sarcastic comment to the boys about the “fun” of hanging out with a mom on a Friday night, to which Nathanael quickly replied and Will agreed, “Oh, you’re not like other moms!”  Later, I asked Will what they meant by that.  I mean, I assume I’m like other moms – aren’t I?  Will said, “No, you’re definitely not like other moms.  You’re fun, you know?”  I think I may have just been complimented…


I had my will drawn up tonight.  That is a relief.  Now if anything happens to me, it’s all spelled out and the kids are taken care of.  My lawyer has to make a couple more calls for me and then I’ll be able to set up a Special Needs Trust for Ben, too.  His inheritance has to be handled a little differently so that he doesn’t lose any state services that he needs.  Plus, he has about zero money handling skills.


A couple of nights ago, out of the blue, Lizzie started talking about the former foster home she was in before she came to me.  Quite frankly, this was not a suitable place at all.  I was not impressed the day I picked the girls up and could not get them out of there fast enough.  Lizzie doesn’t always tell the truth, so I’ve had to weigh that against some of the horrifying stories she has told me about this home.  It’s because of that that I never pursued making any phone calls to DHS.  Besides, as time went on I learned that numerous other concerned people had made calls.  But anyway, Lizzie brought up her time there (which, by the way, I never bring up – if she wants to talk about the past I’m always more than willing to do so, but if she would prefer to live in the future and let those memories fade, then that’s fine, too).  She was only 3 ½ when I got her, but she told me that when she was told that she didn’t have to stay at this place anymore, that a new mom would be picking her up, she felt so relieved.  I’m just amazed she remembers and can articulate how she felt then.  Of course, what I remember about that morning is how, within moments of meeting me,  she narrowed her little eyes at me and informed me, “They should have given us to a black family!”


So the other night when Lizzie told me this, I said to her, “Really?”  I then told her that I was afraid that she hadn’t wanted to go with me that morning because I’m not black.  Lizzie smiled at me, crossed over to where I was sitting on the bed, hugged me, and said, “Oh, Mom – that’s so silly!”  When we set out to do this, I had some (mostly older) people suggest to me that if we got a child of a different race it would be next to impossible to overcome those kinds of differences.


 What differences? 



I’m using a book right now in my morning devotions called, Hope for an Aching Heart by Margaret Nyman.  It’s for widows, written by a widow.  She was featured on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ program this fall and my mom told me about it.  I’m really appreciating this little book.  The other day I read,


Although He (God) thoroughly understood my overpowering longing to be with my husband, He also knew that looking to (my husband) for my comfort wasn’t going to bring it.  The most effective way to relieve grieving pain would be to turn my dim eyes toward Him.  Hanging onto a departed husband could never bring healing, but clinging to an ever-present God surely would.


I found these words very helpful.  It was later that same day that Truth hit me between the eyes.  I have two choices.  I can spend my time wishing Paul were here and lamenting that he is not.  And, of course, there IS a time for grieving.  I firmly believe that one must traverse through that dark and narrow valley before healing and joy can ever return.  Or, I can turn my focus to God, letting Him comfort me, looking to Him for the needs that Paul formerly met. 


Whichever I choose…Paul is still dead. 


Making a choice to be depressed and grieve longer than necessary or to be angry with God will not change the facts.  Paul is dead.  Period.


I mentioned this to Will that night and he nodded his head and said he’d come to that same conclusion within just a few days of Paul’s Homegoing.  He said he’s sad, but he’s not allowing himself to dwell there because it doesn’t change the facts.


I then bounced this thought off a widow friend of mind at church.  She looked and me and said, “Sarah – you’re progressing.  Now you are at the point that you are accepting Paul’s death.” 


I think that must be a good thing.  I’m fairly certain that no future can be presented to us when we choose to live in the past.


I still ache.  I am mourning for Paul.  I feel incomplete still, wounded and heartsick.  But I see a picture in my mind.  Paul is standing there, and I am looking backward to him.  But a glass wall separates us.  I look back at him once more and then I turn and grasp the invisible hand of the One who is leading me away from Paul – and into the future.













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