|Summer 2012 - Paul loved root beer floats and made them frequently. I wonder what he was laughing about here?|
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Last night was my mom’s meeting. Jenny and I rode over there together and after we made it back to her driveway, we talked for a bit. So, it was quite late by the time I got on the road and headed back to my place. As I drove down (up?) Highway 5, the ¾ moon was absolutely brilliant. A huge beam shone down upon the highway, piercing the darkness around me. It was so bright that I had the fanciful thought that I would like to pull over to the side of the road, park my van, and simply climb that moonbeam straight up to Heaven.
I don’t think I’m depressed and I know I’m not suicidal in any way. But I am so done with living. I want to go. And as time goes on, my yearning is simply not so I can be reunited with Paul. I understand that our relationship in Heaven will be different than what we shared on earth. But earth no longer feels like my home. I don’t want to be here. I am divided. My heart and soul long for my eternal home, but my body holds me to earth. So if I could have climbed that moonbeam, I just might have!
I wrote the above after last night. My mind was too awake to let me fall asleep. Now, it’s tonight and I’m feeling my lack of sleep from last night!
I’m a little stressed at the moment. The kids and I are supposed to be taking a trip this week. I would prefer to be not home the day of our wedding anniversary. But a blizzard is set to roll in the morning we were supposed to leave! We either have to leave earlier and spend an extra night or bump the trip by a day and come home a day later. I’m fine with either. It’s just figuring out the best way to go. I’m waiting to hear back from the water park. We have tickets for a specific date and I don’t know if they will be willing to change that because of the weather circumstances or not.
But I just do not like having to change my plans – at all! I like to think that I am this laid-back, super-flexible person, but I’m not as much as I should be. As I recall, a year ago when Paul and I were preparing to go to
, we had to
leave early because of snow and we drove back home in a rather significant snow
storm. The next time I get married –
it’s not going to be in a snow month! No
more anniversaries having to worry about blizzards interfering with plans! Colorado
Well, what else is going on?
The other day I saw this truck in
advertising its business on its back window.
The name of the company was “Spiritual Journey Construction.” Below that it said, “Your happiness is our
journey.” That is the dumbest name I think I have ever seen
for a business. “Spiritual Journey” –
really? And how can someone’s happiness
be someone else’s journey? That
doesn’t even make sense. You could say,
“Your happiness is our aim” or something like that, but the word journey is a
noun. Nothing is a “journey” except –a
journey! I rather imagine some fanciful
business owner thought of the name first and then decided to design a slogan to
fit. Only, it doesn’t. Des Moines
Debbie and I took our kids to see the new Lego movie on Sat. Well, most of them, anyway. Her oldest didn’t want to go and Debbie volunteered her to watch the girls for me so I didn’t have to take them. That was a good thing because the theater was really packed! A bunch of people from church were there. I figured I was being a good mom by taking the boys to see the show – one of those sacrificial times. But it was good! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The ending made the whole thing so perfect. All week long now I’ve been singing the theme song, “Everything is awesome, everything is cool!” I think the boys are beginning to wish they had gone alone.
As we were walking into the theater I commented to Ben that I really need to shave him again soon. It’s been a couple of weeks. He replied, “I know! Mr. W (one of his sp. Ed teachers) said I’m growing a beard!” Yeah, ok. If his teachers are noticing, I guess I had better get him shaved! I suppose he’s getting old enough now that I’m probably going to have to be doing it more like once or twice a week. It’s not one of my favorite chores. But of all the needs he could have, I should be grateful that this is one of the very few personal care tasks he can’t do for himself.
I bought some special face cream this last week. I’m calling it “liquid gold” because there had better be something valuable in there for what it cost! If Paul weren’t dead, I don’t know that I would have bothered, though. I’ve noticed that the skin under my chin is not behaving like it used to. It’s getting lazy and isn’t snapping back against my bones like it’s supposed to. It’s just copying the skin around my eyes, I think. Obviously, fighting the signs of aging is kind of a losing battle. I’ve always admired those that can glide into their later years with a measure of grace. That’s kind of why I quit getting my hair highlighted in the salons and have let more and more gray show. Plus, salon coloring is not cheap! Paul would not have cared one bit about the skin on my neck and I don’t think I’d be all that worried about it, either, if he were still alive. More than likely, a few years from now I’d probably quit touching up my roots too and just let nature take its gray course on my head.
But, now I’m in a unique position as a widow. I’m “on the market” – sort of. Not really. I’m not ready for dating. When I think long term, I know that, unequivocally, I would like to find another husband someday, if that’s God’s plan for me (and only if). But short term, right now – the thought of any other man makes my stomach a bit queasy. But I still feel a certain pressure to keep up appearances and to be more careful with my own, so that when the time comes, I would be more attractive to another man. After all, men are visual creatures. Paul looked at me and did not see the signs of aging I saw when I looked in the mirror. I knew him well enough to know that was definitely the case. So I didn’t worry about those signs too much, as a result. But another man is not going to be nearly so forgiving because he won’t know me yet. He’ll only see the outside.
So, Friday was Valentine’s Day and it went pretty much like I expected. It was fine. I wasn’t surprised that the only Valentine I received was from David. The others just don’t think of things like that.
As it turned out, the next couple of days did bring me a few Valentines (not that I was looking for them). A friend of mine who was widowed a number of years ago, much like I was and at nearly the same age thought of me and sent me a card, along with money, telling me, “Spend this on YOU!” That made me cry. And then, while it wasn’t a Valentine, my Word Weavers group sent me a check and card, refunding my year’s membership fee I had already paid. I was just so touched by that. I’ve only made it to one of their meetings because of Amanda the Panda the last couple of months. And then a friend slipped a gift bag in my diaper bag Sunday with a note reminding me that I am loved.
Of course, this isn’t what I wanted for Valentines. I want what I used to have. And Friday night I was feeling a bit blue about that. But the thought occurred to me that I have been called to widowhood. Just as with other life circumstances God allowed (motherhood, special needs parenting, adoption, etc) He has set this path before me and called me to walk it. It actually brought me a certain amount of pleasure that night to think that my disappointment in not having Paul as my Valentine anymore is something God has asked me to bear. I could offer up that hurt as an offering to Him.
It may take more than that this Thursday. I know I’ll be thinking of the events 21 years ago that day and I know I will feel the grief more keenly that day. Do you suppose Paul will remember the significance of that day? I hope so. Only, I know he won’t have the accompanying grief. I suppose he’ll be feeling doubly thankful that he got to experience marriage with me and thanking God for the 20 years we did have. There may be a lesson for me in that, too!
And I am thankful. I really am. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything, even knowing how it all turned out in the end. I remember when the first batch of boys were small being discouraged about my marriage. Paul wasn’t perfect and it irritated me (more than my imperfection irritated him, I know!). I remember sitting in a MOPS meeting and the pastor’s wife of the church where we met served as the “Titus” woman of our group. I remember the day she looked at all us young moms and said, “Your husband is a gift to you from God.” For some reason, her words struck deep with me that day. I didn’t always view Paul as a gift to me and that simple statement that day changed my thinking at a very deep level. I think I just needed to hear that at the point I was in my marriage.
He was a gift. Those 20 years of marriage were gift, as was the life we built together.
Oh, how I miss him! I miss him all the time, but this February, this anniversary anniversary, I miss him with even more passion, deepness, and fervency - and with a greater sense of loss.
Psalm 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?