Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 205


December 27, 2013
Day 205
Well, the Christmas tree is down, along with all the other Christmas decorations.  My mom had suggested I talk with the boys before dismantling everything.  I thought I said something about taking stuff down, but all 6 kids were a bit dismayed when they discovered everything down.  Now David is trying to elicit a promise from me that in the future everything will remain up until Jan. 1.  I don’t know.  Even in my good, pre-death years, I always seemed anxious to get my house back in order after a month of extra stuff out and around.  But this year, especially, I just need Christmas to be over.  In fact, yesterday, after my folks left, I drew up a schedule for the day and was ready to jump back into things.  It didn’t take long to figure out that the older boys had a different agenda.  They wanted to take it easy all day and spend their time eating and watching movies they had gotten for Christmas.  So we did.  I guess I’m not a completely terrible mom!
I am ready for the end of 2013.  The year was just an odd mixture of highs and lows.  I had nasal surgery – a low, especially considering that the dr. led us to believe it was a simple surgical procedure.  It wasn’t.  I was in agony for several weeks.  Four of the kids got the chicken pox (at the same time I was recovering from surgery) and there is just nothing more miserable than a teenager with the chicken pox!  A high was Will’s graduation and party.  That was pretty special.  The most obvious low, of course, was Paul’s death.  “Low” isn’t even an appropriate word.  But because of that several “highs” came about.  The biggest high would be the way that I saw God take care of us through His people.  That has been absolutely unbelievable.  I could write all night about that alone!  Another high would be that I am now completely debt-free, thanks to the little bit of life insurance Paul carried.  That was a desire of both of ours for a long time, but something that would not have happened for a number of years yet.  My house is nearly finished, something that also was quite a few years off in the planning.  Along with that, I’ve acquired quite a bit of new furniture  and household goods since summer.  It was needed stuff that came with the remodeling and to be perfectly honest, I care very little about it all.  I would have happily used and sat on my older stuff if I could have kept my husband.  But, even with that, I will admit that  I do take a certain amount of pleasure in it, still.  So I guess that would count as a high, although it seems a bit shallow at the same time.
The girls’ adoption was a definite high, although having them continues to be one of the more challenging events in my life.  But I had been dreaming about adopting since I was a young girl.  

Our trip to Colorado in Feb. was a definite high – so romantic and special.  I just wish we’d been in the habit of doing stuff like that more often!  But, oh, I will cherish the memories of that trip for the rest of my life!
So anyway – events all over the place, I guess.  But I don’t know that I can ever say, “Well 2013 was the worst year of my life” because it wasn’t.  On one hand, it was beyond devastating, but there were enough highs on the other hand that I think I will always have to look at the year with a certain amount of gratefulness, anyway.
I took the kids to see Jolly Holiday Lights on Monday night.  It’s a 3 mile stretch of park land decorated with hundreds (?) of holiday light displays.  You pay $5 a vehicle and the money goes to the Make a Wish foundation.  I’ve been hearing about it for years but we had never made it.  I was kind of hoping that maybe we’d like it so much that this would be an annual tradition from here on out. But…I don’t think so.
The light displays themselves were fine.  They had all kinds of lighted trees, Santas, snowmen, reindeer, teddy bears, etc.  But you had to creep along at a snail’s pace to avoid hitting the vehicle in front.  The displays did not get increasingly spectacular as you drove along, so by mile two, it was kind of like, come on, let’s get going!  But what really bothered me the most was that with all those displays, there was not a single nativity one.  I know, I know – I’m sure the powers that be fear having the ACLU breathe down their neck for religious coercion of the unsuspecting public.  But it’s baloney.  I know they make lighted nativity displays because I’ve seen plenty on private properties.  And can it not be argued, by having only Santa and such type displays,  that we are being coerced into accepting that Christmas is purely a secular holiday?  Sounds like coercion to me!  So anyway, I don’t think we’ll be back.
I had a visit last week with a couple of older widows from church.  They’ve been out several times since Paul’s death and I always appreciate their visits so much.  We got on the subject of bedrooms.  One redecorated, one moved, and I’m going to have a new bedroom built soon – all since the deaths of our husbands.  It was so interesting to me that all three of us expressed the desire for restful bedrooms.  We had similar choices in colors, but our overriding desired theme seemed to be that of peace and retreat.  Mine is going to be painted in shades of pale green and I’m looking for a quilt with a white background.  I’ll have my brass headboard and I’m starting to collect some rustic type things – the door Paul made, the armoir I bought this fall.  I can’t express how eager I am to have this room!
Sam’s tooth finally wiggled out on Sunday evening.  It was so loose that there was barely any blood at all.  He was just happy that he beat Lizzie, who also had a very loose tooth!  The tooth fairy paid him a visit that night and the next night I saw him slipping the baggie with his tooth in it under his pillow again.  I asked him what he was doing and he shrugged and said he was just curious to see if he’d get more money!  I see the burgeoning beginnings of a shrewd businessman…or a felon…
Four days later Lizzie’s first tooth fell out.  Of course, that’s what happens when your brother lobs a football at your head…
Today Sam and Lizzie played outdoors in the snow.  Sam came in the house and announced that he had thrown a hammer into the snow and now could not find it.  “But that’s ok, Mom, because the snow will melt this spring and then we’ll find it.”  Uh, sure…not that we need to talk about the wisdom about throwing hammers at all, let alone in the snow,  do we?
While they were still out there, Lizzie complained to me that Sam kept throwing snowballs at her.  I told him to not do that.  “Well, Mom!  “ Sam exclaimed in that “duh” tone of his, “She’s my target!”  Maybe Lizzie should just be grateful he was throwing snowballs at her and not the hammer…
There have been times I have wondered if the girls will remember Paul much at all.  And I would rather imagine that their memories will be pretty minimal, based on their ages and the short length of time they knew him.  If anything, they’ll “know” him by the way the boys and I talk about him and keep his memory alive.  But still, even with that, he had some influence.  The other day I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing out loud when Lizzie put one hand on her hip and declared to Ellie, “I am not coming to your pritty (pity) party!”  That was one of her dad’s favorite lines!
Today David’s SS teacher came to our house (40 min away from his own) and picked up David and took him muzzle loader hunting.  David has always been a bit skittish about the idea of hunting, which is fine.  Not everyone is born to love the outdoors.  I’m certainly not!  While he was here, we chatted and I was so encouraged.  This man lost his own dad when he was somewhere around David’s age.  He encouraged me that it is still possible to raise David into a “manly” man despite the loss of Paul and David’s differing interests from his dad and Will.  That’s a concern of mine.  David had an incredible time and is anxious to go again.  He told me all he could think about today was killing a deer.  It didn’t happen, but I think that blood lust was ignited in his veins.  He also got to do some target shooting, which helped him overcome some of his fear of guns.  So, maybe he’ll be out in the fields next December with Will.  And if he never wants to hunt, that’s ok, too.  I’m not pushing him one way or the other on that.
Another definite Daddy-void...I'm going to have to learn to tie ties when Will leaves home!
But I am so thankful to his SS teacher and other men who are willing to come alongside my children and help fill the void in their lives.  There is a man at our church who serves as a door greeter every Sunday.  He’s in his 50s and I know his knees bother him because I see him wincing every Sunday morning when he gets down on his knees as he sees my girls running into the building.  They both get great big hugs from him, which is helping fill the daddy void they experience.  I’ve noticed that, Ellie, especially, seeks him out now between services.  They’re hungry for something they no longer get at home.
None of this is as good as what used to be, of course.  It’s not what God originally intended.  But it helps.  And for that I am very, very grateful.

1 comment:

  1. 2013 will forever carry alot of emotion to it.
    Many hugs and prayers as you say goodbye to it; and embrace 2014 with courage and faith.