Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 218


January 10, 2014


Day 218


Seven months into this, there are still moments where I find it difficult to believe that Paul is really and truly dead.  I thumb through the family scrapbooks and he seems so alive on the pages that I try to fool myself into thinking that if I rest my hand on a picture of him, I’ll feel him again.  There are nights that I pretend to myself that he is laying in bed beside me and I can almost trick my mind into believing it is true.  I can still instantly bring the sound of his voice and the touch of his rough fingertips to my mind.  When will that begin to fade, I wonder?


A number of years ago a song sung by Natalie Grant came out, simply entitled, “Held.”  At the time, I remember that the words touched me deeply.  These are just some of the lyrics:


Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We’re asking why this happens to us

Who have died to live, its unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held


In fact, I remember talking to Will one day about this song when it came over the radio.  I remember actually choking  and telling him that someday, someday, he would understand this song.  That someday, his world would be rocked so strongly that all he could do was cling to  the Father.  I told him that someday something would happen that he would have no logical answers for and he would have to simply allow himself to be held in those moments.  Of course, I was thinking way, way in the future.  I never once imagined how and when that moment would arrive.

I’ve heard the song since Paul’s death.  But the other night I was listening to my mp3 player in the kitchen and the song came on.  For the first time since June it grabbed me and – hard.  I stood there, shaking, as tears just ran in  rivulets down my face.  But not for long.  A child came in there, needing something, and I had to quickly wipe my eyes and tend to their needs.  That happens a lot!  But I’ve had the song on my mind ever since.


I am really sick right now.  I honestly don’t know if I have the flu or if it’s just a bad chest cold.  I’ve got nasal and chest congestion.  My voice sounds like, “you’ve been smoking for 40 years!” as Will so eloquently described it earlier today.  I’ve got the body aches that make me think it could be the flu.  But my throat feels like I’ve swallowed broken glass so that makes me think it could be strep.  And, no, I haven’t been to the dr. yet.  One of my council members called me today and nagged me about that after I missed last night’s meeting!  I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and suddenly feel better.  But I may have to give in and go to the dr. intead.  Sometime.

Of course, I haven’t slowed down much.  I can’t.  I spent yesterday up at City Hall getting ready for the meeting I couldn’t attend.  Today I took David to Learning RX to find out the results of his testing and meet with the director.  Then, I ended up swinging by church to talk to Terry and get his input into what I should do.  Then, I came home and had to put another two coats of paint on David’s bedroom walls and attempted to paint his loft bed out in the garage (except it’s just too cold for the paint to dry, so it was an exercise in frustration).  Then I had to help David pack for the Winter Melt-Down up at camp.  Finally, Will said, “Mom, you need to take a nap!  You go to bed and I’ll put Lizzie down for her nap.”  So I did.  I almost slept, but then David came in to inform me he was leaving and did I have any money?  That was the end of my rest time.  And then Ben came home from school and wanted to know why I never showed up for his “fair” something or other he was doing at school today.  I knew he was doing something out of the ordinary because he told me he didn’t want to go to Genesis today but wanted to stay at school, which was fine.  But I had no idea he wanted me to come!  I feel so bad.  If he had told me, I would have been there.  I told him that, but Ben didn’t seem terribly concerned, just wondered why I hadn’t come, I guess.  

The older kids are doing a good job, but I wish Paul was here to take care of me right now.  I bet I would not have had to make supper tonight.

I did get the results on David.  He scored low on everything they test, ranging between 7 – 13 years age-wise on most things.  But, when it comes to long-term memory, he scored at age 19!  That does make sense, because he can pull out events from his pre-school years and talk about them.  I just wasn’t sure what to do.  They offer a variety of options.  The more expensive ones require little involvement from the parent, the cheaper ones require more parental involvement and less time at the center.  I was half-tempted to go with the expensive one because of my time constraints, but after talking to Terry, I decided finally to go middle-of-the-road.  I’ll be running David up to W. Des Moines twice a week for an hour and a half and then I’ll have to carve out 3 hours a week to work with him at home.  With this one, though, results are guaranteed.  Because of the severity of David’s needs, the center is suggesting we do a 32 week course, and the director said we may need even more time than that (for more $, of course).  But yet, if by doing this, I am broadening David’s options, then it has to be worth it.  The director taught first grade for decades and while she didn’t come right out and say she supported homeschooling, she talked with dismay about the handful of students she would have every year who just couldn’t learn and how they would handle normal school protocol for such students, but even with the intervention and parental involvement, the students still could not learn.  She made the comment that as these students grew their future and world became more and more limited.  And I know she’s trying to sell me a product and is going to pull whatever strings it takes to get me to sign on the dotted line.  But at the same time, her words did speak to me because that is what I fear for David.  I honestly do not care if he goes to college or not someday.  That’s not my goal with him – or any of my kids.  But if he chooses not to go to college I don’t want it to be because he could not function at that level, but only because that’s just not a direction God is leading him.  I have to do something.  The director asked me about my fears for David right now and I thought out loud as I expressed them to her.  I fear that he will be stuck in low-level jobs because of his lack of reading, decision-making, and math skills.  I fear that he will be easily taken advantage of by the unscrupulous.  I fear that he will continue to feel badly about himself which will lead to poor decisions that adversely affect his long-term life.

I have a peace about this decision even if I’m not quite sure how I’m going to manage it all!

Ellie is growing so fast.  Just this week she started saying, “Lizzie” very clearly.  Her sister was “Lolo” at first and for the past 8 months or so has been, “Lala.”  I think that’s adorable.  But whenever I’d call Lizzie, “Lala” she’d give me the death stare.  Apparently that’s a term of endearment allowed only by a little sister!  And when we ask her, Ellie says very clearly, “Me Elwie ‘Aywoo” (“Me: Ellie Heywood”). She has also figured out that some people are boys and some are girls and happily spends her time identifying each.  Her brothers get pretty disgusted if she misidentifies them as, "girls" - imagine that.  I'm not convinced she doesn't do that on purpose!  I’ve never had a 2 yr old girl before, but I’m pretty sure mine is pretty advanced for her age!

And her sister…oh, her sister…One night this week I was making supper and Sam asked if we were going to eat deer meat.  I pointed to the ham I was heating and replied, “No, pig.”  Lizzie exclaimed incredulously, “What?!”  I repeated that we were eating pig for supper.  Lizzie asked, “Why are we eating a kid for supper?”  I am not quite sure which is more appalling – her obvious hearing loss or the fact that she thinks I would actually practice cannibalism in my kitchen!





Mother's Day '12 - I was wearing the dress that I would end up wearing to Paul's funeral, a dress that afterwards I would wash, fold up, and seal in a ziplock bag, because I couldn't bear to throw it out, but knew I could never wear again












































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