Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 309


April 10, 2014

Day 309

I think I’ll have to work on this post, little by little today.  I’ve got a lot to do!

Lizzie’s surgery went well yesterday.  I hope I did the right thing.  I had some doubts about the whole idea of yanking out one (two) of her body parts, but it seemed like the right thing to do.  Today she is a little more querulous.  The forced inactivity, sore throat, and limited diet are starting to get to her, I think.  She about cried last night when my friend brought us some supper, a taco dish, and she couldn’t have any!  I do have the recipe and was able to assure Lizzie I’ll make it for her after she heals.

We had to be at the hospital at 6am, which meant I had to be up by 4:30.  As it turned out, I awoke at 4 and was so worried I’d miss my alarm that I never went back to sleep.  Grrr!  Lizzie was all excited and lapped up the attention she got, being the patient,  and cute and little, to boot.

My pastor came and I was so grateful for that.  If Paul had been alive, he would have been there with me.  But as it was, I would have to be there alone.  I knew I had probably more than a dozen people I could ask to come and they would, without hesitation.  But I hated to ask that of anyone, especially knowing it would probably be an early morning situation (there goes that besetting pride again!).  But Sunday Pastor told me to let him know the surgery time and he’d be there.  Oh, how grateful I was for his comforting presence! Having a child’s tonsils out aren’t a major surgery by any means, but it’s kind of lonely to sit in a waiting room all by yourself. Plus, I had the opportunity then to talk with him about a number of things on my mind – finishing my house, Paul’s family, and the possibility of remarriage someday (!), among other things.  It was good and I’m grateful for his time and wisdom.

Monday night I had gone out to eat with a couple of friends and my friend, Debbie, handed me a stuffed dog.  Her 7 year old son had picked it out of his own collection and wanted Lizzie to have it for her surgery.  I about melted – so sweet!

While Lizzie was in recovery they had me come back and they put her on my lap.  A chatty nurse came back and wanted to know how long Lizzie had been adopted.  A lot of times anymore, I forget until I get questioning looks, that Lizzie and I aren’t the same color!  I ended up telling her the whole story.  She exclaimed, when I told her about Paul’s death, “Oh, that’s not fair!”

May '93 - taken in the rain at the Old Market in downtown Omaha when with friends
Not fair?  I guess I haven’t really thought about it in terms of fairness.  I’m not so sure life is intended to be fair, really.  The Bible is full of examples of individuals that seemingly got a raw deal while alive.  Fairness isn’t something that is going to happen until eternity.  I think we Westerners, in particular,  tend to develop a sense of entitledness, born out of the relative ease of most our lives.  Then, when something bad does occur – as it is bound to, living in a sin-sick, dying world – we scream out, “Hey – no fair, NO FAIR!”  It kind of reminds me of a toddler, actually.
I’ve been doing better this week.  Maybe I just needed to get past the 6th.

Will put in my octagonal window yesterday in my bedroom – I love it.  It lets so much light in there!  He’s only got about 7 weeks until he leaves and I still have a list of stuff for him to get done around here!  I am scared to death about left alone without him, but I am trying not to dwell on that.  He needs to go.

He also got my new tail lite cover put on the van.  Mine broke out this winter, thanks to a violent encounter with my pastor’s mailbox.  Will had checked at a salvage yard, but didn’t have any luck.  A young man at church who works on my van when needed priced them for me and told me it would be $100 – yikes!  On a whim, I checked Amazon the other day – and found one – brand new -  for less than $50!

I also found bunk beds for the girls that I’m going to order.  I haven’t had much luck with Craig’s List and Homemakers wanted more than I really wanted to pay.  But Walmart has some nice wooden ones that can be taken apart and made into single beds if the girls would ever want that down the road.  Ellie’s crib is falling apart and I’m getting kind of anxious to “do” the girls room now.  I haven’t touched it since I got it ready while we were taking our classes 2 ½ years ago – I’ve been too busy! also has caskets.  I had read that sometime ago and always meant to check them out, to see how much I over payed for Paul’s.  So I actually did the other night.  I bought the cheapest one the funeral home had for him (I know that would have been with Paul’s full approval – he always said we should bury him in an appliance box in the backyard!).  As it turns out, I paid less through the funeral home than I would have through Walmart.  I have actually toyed with the idea of going ahead and buying mine and storing it.  However, I may live for a very long time yet – not sure how well a stored casket would maintain for decades.  Plus, it might freak the children out – just a little.
The other day I could not wake Ellie up after her nap.  We always get her up at 5pm so she will be ready to go to bed at 9.  But she must have been extra tired and no matter how I tried, she was not going to wake up!  Lizzie seriously asked me, “Do you want me to spray Ellie with the spray bottle, Mom?”  What - ??? Then a minute later, she tried again, “I’ll go get the bottle, Mom – I know she’ll wake up if I spray her!”  This child has a sadistic streak a mile wide, I’m thinking!
Ben had his Spring Special Olympic events on Tuesday.  Oh, boy was it cold and windy (they’re all outside events)!  I was honestly hoping he wouldn’t do that great because the first place winners go to Ames at the end of May.  I’m already taking him up there on the 22nd for his bocce ball competition.  David let me know, in no uncertain terms, that only bad mothers hope their kids don’t do well in competitions.  Whatever!

Things were going fine when he did the 100M dash.  He lagged behind so I figured we were good.  As it turned out, he placed 3rd – all good.  And then the kid went and placed first in the softball throw and relay race!  Argh!  Now, he has to go to Ames not only on the 22nd, but the 23rd, and 24th!

It was a good day, though, despite the blue ribbons, wind, and cold.  The competition was held this year within view of our church.  So Ben’s youth pastor and another young man in the church walked over to watch him compete.  That was so nice of them.  Then, later, the man from our church (who has a brain injury himself) called Ben to see how he had done in his other competitions.  Sweet!
I have some of Paul’s songs on my mp3 player and sometimes, they come up on my shuffle list.  Sometimes I actually listen to them.  The other day, I heard him singing, “Find Us Faithful” originally recorded by Steve Green.  I suddenly recalled that at my high school graduation (25 years ago!) my friend Julie sang that song.  Julie died at age 38 from breast cancer.  And of course, Paul died, too.  Realizing this, the words from the song seemed to increase in their meaning for me:

Oh, may all who come behind us
find us faithful
May the light of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave,
lead them to believe,
and our lives inspire them to obey,
Oh, may all who come behind us
find us faithful.

Both of them were faithful and my life is richer for having been part of theirs'.

Two days ago my friend, Joy, who has walked through the valley of death herself, sent me these verses.  I’ve been ruminating and rejoicing over them ever since:

Psalm 94:17-19
Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
 If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.

It does.  And He does.

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