Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 317

April 18, 2014


Day 317


Today has been a good day.  I took my friend, Tammy, shopping.  This is Nathanael’s mom and we needed to find her a good mother-of-the-groom outfit for the wedding.  She is not one to ever shop for herself, so it was great fun for me to help her find something beautiful.  I appreciated the conversation as well.  She and I have 14 kids between us (none of whom accompanied us), so I have a feeling she did, too!  And we did find her a gorgeous dress, shoes, and jewelry suitable for the occasion and fitting her simple tastes as well.  I enjoyed it.


Tomorrow I get to go out again.  My friend Vivian is taking me for my first pedicure and out to lunch.  We were supposed to do this a month ago for my birthday, but I got so sick.  I’m not so sure about the toe thing – I have extremely ticklish feet!  Then I have some errands to run on my own and then I need to come home and cook Easter dinner and get the kids’ baskets put together.  I may fall into bed by 1am if I’m lucky – only to awaken an hour early so we can get to the church’s Easter breakfast.  I’d be happy to skip that, but the kids are pretty intent on going.


I was shopping a week ago at Walmart (a lot of my life seems to be consumed by shopping for some reason) and a store manager saw me with my list and commented that he “loved it” and was seeing quite a few people at the store with lists that day.  I laughed, flipped mine over, and showed it to him, pointing out that it was both typed and organized by store location categories (I remember once Paul’s nephew referring to me as “neurotic” when he saw my shopping lists).  The manager stopped it and mockingly began to raise his arms up and down in front of me, and said, “I bow down!”  I’ll take any adulation I can get these days, even if it's solely for my organizational skills!


The girls’ new bunk beds arrived this week and I picked up their mattresses on Wed.  They’re loving them and keeping Ellie contained hasn’t been quite the chore I had envisioned.  Of course, the novelty hasn’t completely worn off yet!  Will and David assembled the bed, which arrived in pieces.  Apparently somewhere on the box it must have said that the bed was intended for children ages 6 and over.  Lizzie pointed that out to me and asked, “Did you lie to the store and tell them I’m 6 so you could buy it?”


A postcard arrived in the mail for me this week from the funeral home.  I saw their name on that and was puzzled as to what on earth could they want?  The part of my humor is that is black immediately wondered if it was one of those, “We’ve missed you, please come back” type of ploys by other businesses!  I thought it was funny, anyway…Actually, it was just a note informing me that they planned to take an Easter lily to the church this weekend in honor of Paul.  That’s sweet.  Lilies always make me think of Easter because my dad would always get my mom one every year.  The entire downstairs would be filled with the gentle fragrance that victoriously exclaimed, “He is risen!”  I hinted to Paul several times over the years that that would be something nice for him to do for ME, too, but he never caught the hint.  I guess I’m finally getting my lily from him, huh?

I read these verses one morning this week in my devotions.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen them, of course, but I needed to see them that particular day - Ps. 27:13014:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

What encouragement and truth!

Ben had a psychiatric evaluation/IQ test this week.  It’s for his waiver, which is the program that pays for his assistance.  Every few years they have to have some method of determining whether or not the client still needs services.  While the assistant (who showed off half her bosom and had wings tattooed on both her sandaled feet – not a real confidence booster to this staid and traditional middle-aged mother) did the testing with Ben, the psychiatrist sat down with me to get a history on Ben.  I mentioned Paul’s recent death to him and he then asked, “Does Ben have any father figure in my his life, then?”  It pained me to tell him no, he doesn’t.  Not anymore.  I know it’s not my fault, but I feel so guilty about the lack of a dad in my kids’ lives.  Guess I need to refer back to the above verses a little more often!

I got our South Dakota trip planned out this week.  Other than the trip to MN in Feb, this is my first time planning out a real family vacation.  It was harder in some ways without Paul’s input and ideas.  But it was easier, too, because I didn’t need to run anything by him.  I just looked and decided.  I did seek quite a bit of input from the older boys, though.  I have our itinerary set and our reservations made.  I hope it’s a good trip.  Paul had wanted to go to the Badlands for years.  Going now seems like both a way to honor that desire of Paul’s but also kind of masochistic, in a way.
I had to order new address labels this week and new checks a couple of weeks ago.  Those were things I had to order right after Paul’s death, too.  When I did, back then, I ordered everything to read, “Mrs. Sarah Heywood.”  But this time I left off the Mrs.  I know that’s who I am, but it just felt weird to do it now, even though I needed to do it last June.  I guess I’m not really viewing myself as married anymore.  Reality has settled in.
A month ago I received a letter from the lady who was given Paul’s corneas.  I was delighted when that came.  Along with her letter came instructions from the eye bank so that if I wished to write back to her, I could.  I did that today.  I found myself wanting to tell her about the kind of man Paul was – the owner of the eyeballs she now sports in her head.  So I did.  It struck me later that I kept saying, “He was…” Of course I did – duh.  But for the first time it just really hit me.  Paul was.  He isn’t anymore.  He is a past tense.

This is what I’ve been listening to lately.  It’s a song I remember hearing before I ever married, so it’s pretty old.  I liked it back then, but I suddenly thought of it the other day and have been listening to it ever since.  I could have written these words now, at this point in my life!  Reba McEntyre was the one who recorded this.  I believe she did so after several of her band members were killed in a plane crash in the late 80s/early 90s.  But I love it – whoever wrote this is someone who has walked through the pain of death.  It speaks to unexpected death and  regrets, which are something that crowd in and cloud my vision at times.  But mostly, it’s just sorrow, an emotion that I am intimately familiar with.

If I had only known
it was the last walk in the rain,
I'd keep you out for hours in the storm
I would hold your hand
like a life line to my heart
Underneath the thunder we'd be warm
If I had only known
it was our last walk in the rain

If I had only known
I'd never hear your voice again
I'd memorize each thing you ever said
And on those lonely nights
I could think of them once more,
keep your words alive inside my head
If I had only known
I'd never hear your voice again

You were the treasure in my hand
You were the one who always stood beside me
So unaware, I foolishly believed
that you would always be there
But then there came a day
and I turned my head and you slipped away

If I had only known
it was my last night by your side
I'd pray a miracle would stop the dawn
And when you'd smile at me
I would look into your eyes
and make sure you know my love
for you goes on and on
If I had only known
If I had only known
The love I would've shown
If I had only known




































  1. Love the lyrics of that song! Hope I get to see you Monday! :0)

  2. Wow, those lyrics are wonderful AND heartbreaking.

    I wonder if in at least some way, your younger sons are getting a bit of a father figure through your eldest son. He is very much showing them how a man lives - working hard, seeking wisdom, etc. It isn't the same, but it has to help that your eldest is so responsible and faithful.

    God bless, Laraba

  3. Wow! I read Laraba's comment, and tears came to my eyes immediately. She has to be right. I am speechless when it comes to describing Will, so I won't even try. All I can really say is that I agree whole-heartedly with her.