The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Thursday, April 10, 2014
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
April 10, 2014
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
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.