Thursday, March 27, 2014
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
I’m back…sort of. I have honestly never been so sick in my life. Well, I seem to recall the Oct. I was 15 coming down with the flu and then pneumonia on top of that. But that was different. I had parents to take care of me and very few responsibilities and NO CHILDREN. This time around…ugh! In fact, I found myself quite envious of Paul at times. He’ll never be sick again and it’s just not quite fair.
So, I wasn’t imagining things on my birthday. I really didn’t feel well all day long! But that night we were still able to celebrate. The kids and I went to Fuddruckers which is where we went last year on my birthday. Of course, everything was different this year, though. I’m not even sure I’m still the same woman. At times I have wondered if we are even a family anymore (we are, of course, it’s just that thoughts like that do creep into my mind sometimes). We had a nice meal and then went home and the boys surprised me with not one, but two presents. They got me Forrest Gump which is one of my all-time favorite movies, but I have never actually seen the whole thing – just bits and pieces when they’ve aired it on tv. And then David got me a book about Duck Dynasty, written by Willie and Korie Robertson. I loved it. I already read it.
I have gotten sucked into that show, despite my best intentions. It’s just funny! I bought the kids Season 1 on dvd at Christmastime and we’ve been working our way through the episodes ever since. I still am not overly fond of the family members’ beards and scraggly hair. I know there’s a verse in the Bible about long hair being a shame to a man. However, from everything I see and have read now in the book, I really can’t find any glaring faults with the Robertsons’ Christianity. It’s real. I guess they’ve found a way to reconcile that verse with their faith. So I’m just going to enjoy it.
Ben had gone out on my birthday with his now-retired aide. He insisted they stop at a store and get me a birthday card, which touched me. He is maturing. But it was what Will wrote in it that made me cry. So often during this journey I have wished for some confirmation that I am doing things, “right.” But the kids aren’t exactly prone to handing out compliments even if they could recognize I was handling things ok. But Will wrote, “I’m not sure many moms could have persevered the way you have this last year. We love you!” Oh, I about lost it – just to know they think I’m doing ok means so much!
Then I blew out the candles on my lopsided cake and we all eventually made it to bed. Then, when I woke up in the morning I made the terrible realization that I was sick and life hasn’t been the same since.
What is ironic is that about two weeks ago I was commenting about the luxury of having a television in my bedroom now. I said I really didn’t have time to watch it but maybe one of these days “I’ll get really sick and have to stay in bed!” Yes, well…when will I ever learn to bite my tongue?
I had lots and lots of time to watch tv this last week. I didn’t even make it past the hallway until the weekend, I was so sick and dizzy. I watched so much stupid tv it made me more sick. I don’t know what is more disturbing – the daytime fare that is offered up or the fact there is an actual audience for such tv! It’s disgusting and pathetic.
The boys took good care of me – until they got sick themselves. I don’t think anybody is back to 100% yet. I cannot quit coughing. I went from having the flu where even my eyelashes hurt to developing the crud where the entire inside of my head is coated in green goo. I’m quite convinced I am going to tear a muscle or crack a rib before I get done. And I am just so weak, it’s aggravating! But Will and David are complaining of the same thing, so I don’t think it’s indicative of my encroaching age.
I did feel well enough to go out Monday night with my friend, Mari, for my birthday. That was nice – I totally needed to get out of the house! I’ve been able to take it pretty easy this week, thankfully. Tomorrow I will do my bi-monthly grocery shopping, but I may take all day. Then, Saturday, Kathy and I are meeting in Council Bluffs. I’ll probably be wiped out after that, but it will be worth it. Then, the pace picks up a bit again next week. I hope my body cooperates!
I found that I seemed to miss Paul more the days I felt physically worse. I suppose it makes sense that the emotional hurt was only compounded by the physical. Plus, it would have been nice to have him there to help take care of me! I miss him.
Occasionally, I have asked God, “why.” I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I know I won’t get an answer, but I ask anyway. There have even been times that I have, irrationally, asked God to send Paul back. I know that’s not going to happen, but I still ask because sometimes the pain just seems to heavy to bear. But you know, I have found in recent months, maybe the past 4 or so, that every single time I ask God “why” He answers me with John 9:3, “…that the works of the Father may be glorified.” This still puzzles me and I haven’t quite figured it out. This passage isn’t even talking about death, so why does it immediately leap to mind every time I want to know why I had to lose my husband? I suppose the obvious answer is that God can be glorified through Paul’s death. I believe that can happen. I believe it has already happened, to a certain extent. But still, I remain a bit puzzled. It just seems odd to me that every single time I question, this is the response I get.
But the more I puzzle it out in my mind, the more hope I am beginning to feel – hope for a reason for the suffering and hope for a future.
And then I watch the news and see things like stories on Flight 270 and the mudslide in Washington State. I am not the only one in pain. I have not lost everything like some of these families. In fact, I am reminded that ALL of life is fleeting. It is best to hold onto it with a loose grip because when it is wrenched out of your hands it will hurt even more if your grasp is too tight. I think Corrie ten Boom actually said something to that effect, once.
100 years from now everybody that is alive now will be dead. Life is short. All the suffering will have come to an end – except for those in Hell, of course.
Ah, I’m rambling a bit tonight. My body hurts and my mind isn’t thinking straight as a result. I’d better wrap this up. The thought of my bed seems awfully appealing at the moment. I just need to pick up the house, make a lunch for Ben, help him memorize some more verses for Camp Coins, and listen to David’s sermonette one more time. The Youth Group is doing the Sunday evening service and David is “preaching.” I’m nervous for him, but I know he’ll do well. If he does end up becoming a missionary someday, as he still insists is on the agenda, then I may very well remember this first sermon with a certain degree of fondness someday.
I just wish Paul could hear it, too. He’d be so proud.