Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 421


July 31, 2014

 Day 421


There's not a whole lot to report on this week.  It hasn't been all that crazy and I've actually gotten some things accomplished, rather than simply spinning wheels as I frequently feel like I'm doing.  Maybe this is what life is going to be like now that the house is pretty much done?  Or maybe, more than likely,  it's been an abnormal week!


David had three friends here Tues. and Wed.  This was a repeat of something he did with these same friends a year ago this week.  He tells me it is now an established tradition.  I didn't have to do a whole lot for them - a little bit of cooking, cleaned the bathrooms - that was it.  Teenagers entertain themselves, so that part was easy enough!


I had service guys at my house three days in a row.  Monday, our wi-fi was installed.  We are definitely enjoying that!  Once I pay for the devices and labor costs, it's actually going to be cheaper than what I was paying for slower, modem, internet before.  Tuesday, Sears sent a guy to fix my freezer display.  That didn't take too long.  He did try to talk me into an extended warranty, but I didn't bite.  I can't see paying $100 a year on a $500 item.  After he fixed my display, he showed me the "value" of his work that day (covered by the one year warranty) and it came out at $467!  Yeah, I don't think I would ever call Sears to come fix my things once we got past that warranty period...


And then Wednesday I had some audio/visual guys that I had heard recommended on WHO radio come out.  We've been having increasing difficulty getting channels to come in so I thought maybe we should have the antenna replaced.  It was there when we moved in and I'm sure it's past its prime.  The guys came out and right away, I just didn't care for their attitudes.  By the way, this is Traviss Audio I'm talking about, for my local friends.  Don't call them.  So, they tried to climb up to my antenna and couldn't make it.  The roof does have a steep pitch.  But I'm sure I am not the only customer in the Des Moines metro to have a steep roof!  These guys were just wearing tennis shoes.  You'd think they'd come with spike shoes or ropes or something.  Instead, they leaned a ladder against the house and took turns trying to run up my roof, only to slide back down.  I was not impressed and more than a little scared one was going to fall off (and sue me).


The one guy finally huffed that in all his years of doing this kind of work my house was only the second that he couldn't climb.  He then added that if I had newer shingles he probably could have done it.  Eventually, Will tells me I'll have to have the roof done, but he has assured me I am a number of years away from that yet.  You don't win points by insulting a customer's house!


I did have them take a look at the wiring in the wall for the tv (Will left an access hole so we can jiggle the wires if the tv isn't working.  Lately that's been ineffective, though).  They told me this one thingy was broken so they fixed that and you know, maybe that was the main problem all along.  Since they left, I've had perfect reception, other than channel 5, which seems to be on a permanent hiatus now.  They said the part they fixed was an $8 piece.  And they proceeded to give me a $73 bill.  Yes, not really happy I said, I would not recommend Traviss Audio!


I've got mixed feelings about all this.  I hate paying the money to have others fix things that Paul would have taken care of.  On the other hand, it's kind of nice to just get things done (antenna not withstanding) and not have to wait for him to get to it.  My problem is knowing who to call.  We just never called service people unless something was still under warranty, so I feel like I'm still in the dark quite a bit when it comes to this area of forced independence. 


I had a dream with Paul in it again.  But this was a different kind of dream.  In most, if not all, my dreams if he's been in them, I've been conscious in my dream that he's dead.  This dream the other night he wasn't.  He had a new job and we were moving into a nice house provided by his new employer.  So moving day came and we got all settled in.  Nightime arrived and we went up to our new bedroom and discovered that the previous tenants had not moved anything out of the room.  We commented to eachother that that was so weird - why would they move the rest of the house, but not their bedroom?  There was a door in the bedroom that lead to the basement.  So I opened that door and discovered the bodies of the previous tenants - husband, wife, and kids -  tied up in plastic, laying on the basement steps!  The dream, incredibly long and detailed, just went downhill from there...I think I'm still shuddering!


I wrote on Facebook yesterday about how I had to go through Paul's wallet again.  I had not touched that thing since I bagged it up, along with his keys and other pocket stuff over a year ago.  The pension people needed a copy of his driver's license, so I had to do it.  It was hard.  Those small things are so essentially "him," even more so than his other belongings I still have.  Hearing the jingle of his keys again, flipping open his wallet where everything remains (except the money!) just as it was the night he died is painful still.  I don't want to be rid of these things, but it hurts to handle them at the same time.  I suppose it's the same reason why I never finished sorting all my cards from him.  Although, speaking of cards...


I'm still tackling my scrapbook pages this summer and earlier this week I was working on pictures taken on my birthday a year ago.  In the last couple of years I'd gotten in the habit of scrapbooking birthday cards too, so I had to do the one that Paul gave me...the last birthday card he ever gave me...he wrote, "I'm so thankful that I get to celebrate your 42nd birthday with you and can't wait to celebrate 42 more!" or something to that effect.  It's kind of hard to remember exact words when your eyes are filling up with tears.  But he won't, of course.  I have already celebrated (too strong of a word - "observed" was more like it) one without him and every single other birthday I have will be without him.


Right now, I hate this.  Maybe someday I'll be thankful that life worked out the way it did, but I'm not there yet.


We are finally at the mid-point of David's Learning RX.  Today I met with one of the facilitators.  He showed me some testing results and wanted to know what I'm thinking, if I'm happy with David's progress, etc.  I honestly don't know yet how/if he's improved academically because we haven't done a whole lot of school since starting this.  But I'll be starting up again in a month or so and I'll be curious to see how his reading and comprehension are. He is scoring quite high in his testing at the center in those areas so I'm kind of anxious to see that in schoolwork.  I have noticed an increased sense of self-awareness and confidence in David the last few months.  Even the center guy I was talking with today commented on that.  He said David isn't so "nervous" anymore and just seems to have a higher self-esteem.  I would definitely agree.  It wasn't until the last few days that I thought about these things and began to wonder if maybe these are some of the promised results of our work.  For what I'm paying for this, I better have a whole new kid by the time we're done...But in all fairness, I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to grouse about the money (I don't anyway - I have never wanted David to think he was a financial burden).  David was heading to a more limited future because of his learning disabilities.  If this brain training has opened up the future to him, then it was worth every penny I spent, every hour it took at home, and every mile I drove.


Now that we have wi-fi there is a possibility I may be able to switch his home training (my job) to a web based program.  That would free up my time considerably.  We'll see if that works out or not.



Sam is healing up from his soup accident last week.  He's taken over the care of his own leg.  He ended up with two big holes.  At first I had gauze over them but he scabbed up quicker than I thought he would so when we removed the gauze, it ripped off the scab.  Is it really bad that my first thought was for my new carpet he was standing over? He was really bleeding profusely.   As I ran to the bathroom for a washcloth and bandages, I hollered, "Don't bleed on my carpet!  Hold your leg up!" 


My friend sent me a link a couple of days ago that took me to a blog post a mom had written about her daughter's burns from ramen noodle soup.  This child was severely burned all over her back and chest when the soup tipped off the counter and fell onto the little girl.  It never occurred to me that the soup was the culprit.  I figured it was the hot water that you add to the noodles and you can get burned by hot water anywhere.  But the ER staff told this mother that they see ramen noodle burns all the time.  Apparently, the noodles are coated with a certain wax that holds in the heat and makes them sticky.  So, they adhere especially heavily onto skin.  I had no idea.


I'm not going to take that kind of risk anymore.  There are plenty of lunch options that don't involve sticky, boiling noodles.  But, Lizzie and Sam are particularly fond of these soups and while I thought Sam might be ok with the idea of banishing them from our house, I figured it would be a harder sell with Lizzie since she wasn't the one who got burned.  So I had the two of them look at the pictures on the blog post of the  horrifying burns this little girl received.  Lizzie was quick to agree that yes, we should get rid of all our ramen noodles and never buy them again.  Sam didn't say much but a little bit later I found him crying.  He was sad because he still wants to have soup!  You would think that, of all people, he'd be fine with the ban!  But he's ok now and he was even the one who volunteered to go through the cupboard and throw out what we had left.  Kids!



The two of them discovered a pretty neat feature on my GPS this week.  The speed limit posts on the screen, along with the current rate of speed. When the vehicle goes over the limit, the current speed lights up in red.  Those two have been keeping an eagle eye on the screen all week long and whenever I even get just a single mile over the limit they gasp and holler, "Mom, you're speeding!"  During one ride, Lizzie even dramatically exclaimed, "You just want to kill us all, don't you, Mom?!"


  I think I was two miles over the limit.



This morning Lizzie wanted to go with me when I ran Ben into Genesis.  Of course, she was checking my speed all the way.  We were listening to music and my Tim Hawkins song, "Delilah, the Samson Version" came on.  It's a parody of the other "Delilah" pop song that came out maybe 5 years or so ago.  That one is about a pretty woman.  This one is about the Biblical Samson and Delilah.  It's hilarious.  The song is Samson singing to his fickle girlfriend, Delilah,

Hey there Delilah
This is your ex boyfriend Samson
And I know you thought that lifting weights
Made me so buff and handsome
You were wrong
It's cause I let my hair grow long
That makes me strong

Hey there Delilah
You came in while I was sleeping
And I couldn't feel you cutting
And I didn't hear you creeping
Out the door
You left my hair piled on the floor
While I just snored

Oh, what you did to me
Oh, while I was asleep
Oh, I'm a Nazarene
Oh, but you shave me clean
Delilah you're so mean


And it goes on from there.


  Lizzie has a Bible story dvd that was given to her sometime last year and for some reason, she and Sam are just crazy about the Samson and Delilah story on that dvd.  I'm not really sure what the appeal is, to be honest.


So we listened to it and Lizzie said, "But, Mom, isn't Samson dead?"  I assured her that yes, he's quite dead and has been for some time.  She was quiet for a moment and then commented, "Well, maybe he recorded this song before he died, then."


I am surely going to miss these days someday!  David asked me morosely this week how soon I thought it would be before the Littles grow up.  I hope it's a long, long time!





















Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 415


July 25, 2014

Day 415


I'm doing better.  I've gotten a little more sleep this week and I'm just feeling more stable now than I was a few days ago.


Over the past few months I've joined a few Facebook widows group, just trying to find a good place to land.  I think I may have found one, finally.  It's called "Mourning into Dancing" and I've found myself really connecting with the women in the group (there may be men there, too - I don't know - haven't seen any of them yet if there are).  There is a stark contrast between my "regular" widow group and this one.  I'm actually a member of two different Christian widow groups and one non-Christian group.  I may eventually drop membership in the others.  But anyway, it's so obvious to me, contrasting the two types of groups,  the difference that a relationship with God makes to the suffering.  Without Christ, there is no hope, only pain and unanswered questions.



I had planned to take the kids to Living History Farms today.  But the weather forecast wasn't too great and we did wake up to rain.  So, I decided to postpone the trip.  Instead, the Littles went over to the Merritts and I had a few hours to get some things done without too much interruption.  I had planned to start working on my story for a writing contest I want to enter, but I didn't get that far.  I'm kind of running out of time for that, so I need to get on the ball.



This next week is going to be extra busy.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I have service people coming to the house.  Swan finally has wi-fi so I'm getting that connected on Monday.  It will be so amazing to be able to stream videos quickly and to be able to have more than one person on the internet at once.   Yes, I do live in the backwoods...  Tuesday, a serviceman is supposed to come to fix the light on the freezer - the digital display that lets me know how cold the freezer is and if I'm in imminent danger of losing everything in there. It inexplicably went out a couple of weeks ago, although the freezer itself is still working.   And then Wednesday I'm having my tv antenna replaced.  Of course, none of them can give you an exact time of when they plan to arrive, so I kind of have to be available all day long.


On top of this, David is having three friends over Tuesday and Wednesday for swimming and a "Thor-a-thon."  I'll have some cooking to do for them.


I got  my bill from my attorney today.  I about had a heart attack on the spot.  This was for the work he did for me last fall - creating my new will and setting up Ben's Special Needs trust.  Earlier this week I had emailed him, telling him I had finally gotten approval on the trust and to go ahead and bill me.  I'm naive.  I've never needed an attorney's services before, so I have no clue about their fees.   I have a good relationship with this guy and he didn't even charge me for the research he did for me on another matter this spring.  But how on earth do people pay for lawyers when they need them, like in divorce or criminal cases?  Holy cow!  I hope I never find out.  He's going to set Ben's guardianship up for me this fall and then I hope I'm done with him.  I can't afford to keep paying attorney fees!



Lizzie suggested the other day that we need to celebrate her adoption day every year.  I was surprised she thought of something like that.  I don't want to make too huge of a deal out out of it since the other kids don't have an adoption day, too, but she's right.  We need to do something.  She has mentioned several times this summer that she doesn't want me to ever give away the dress she wore the day she was adopted.  I'm touched that the whole event means so much to her.


We were talking last week about the day I got the girls.  I've always been under the impression that Lizzie wasn't too happy to go with me at the time.  Right off the bat, she commented to me that she and Ellie should have been "given to a black family" and then she was just so horrible for months and months.  It was kind of hard not to take that all personally!  Lizzie expressed to me last week, though, that when she found out she was going to be moved to a new foster home she was SO relieved and excited, even. I couldn't believe how much it meant to me to hear her say that.   I do remember very clearly when I'd had her about two months and she was being her terrible little self, as normal, and I blurted out to her that she was probably going to be living with me the rest of her life.  I had been avoiding saying anything in case things didn't happen the way we hoped.  But she had pushed the right buttons that day and out it came.  I remember so clearly that Lizzie stopped, turned to me, and her mouth was open in an O.  I don't think it have ever occurred to that little girl that it was possible to live in one place forever.  Her entire life thus far had been built on the temporary.  That day marked the beginning of a change in her - a slow change, but a change nonetheless.  I think maybe for the first time she knew what it was to hope.


Several times this week alone I've thought to myself what a remarkable little girl Lizzie really is.  She is SO smart and she's so quick to call me on behaviors she doesn't deem "mother" worthy.  She analyzes everything and is a really deep thinker.  Ellie is three now, which is the age Lizzie was when I got her.  But I'm pretty sure Ellie's thought life is limited to the color pink, the movie, "Frozen," and ice-cream.  Such a difference!


And then there is Sam.  Just now I tucked him in, and he wanted detailed instructions on how to make a homemade bomb.  He's six and apparently plotting something.  He did assure me, in an afterthought, that he would only "use the bomb on bad guys." 


Earlier this week Sam jokingly referred to Lizzie as "fat."  Lizzie has gained weight in recent months but I wouldn't call her "overweight" just yet.  She's thick and sturdy.  If I don't watch it, she may have a weight problem at some point, but other than encourage her to eat healthy and exercise, there's not a whole lot I can do about it.  From what I've been told her birth father was short and chubby, so it may just be genetics.  Anyway, I made Sam apologize and then immediately launched into a discussion with the kids on how God makes people in all kinds of different ways - colors, height, shape - and all the different ways are good.  Sam got a twinkle in his eye and asked, "So, God makes some people into octogon shapes?  That kid...


I caught the tail end of a conversation he and Lizzie were having a few days ago.  I have no idea what they were talking about or how this came up, but Sam said very definitely, "Well, childbirth changes a woman's body!"  Who IS this kid?  How would he know to even say something like that? 


Sam burned himself quite badly a couple of days ago.  He and Lizzie really like the flavored ramen noodle soups for lunch.  You boil water, pour it over the noodles, and presto - instant soup.  Well, he dumped his on his leg.  The poor kid stood in the kitchen just screaming and I couldn't get him to move over to me so I could run cold water on his leg.  I finally got him stripped down and iced, but he ended up with two fifty-cent piece sized burns on his upper leg.  I felt so bad for him.  He's the only one of the boys who has ever burned himself and this is his second experience already.  The other boys were more prone to splitting open body parts.  Sam hasn't done that yet.



I got my death envelope finished up today.  A year ago I decided that this was something I wanted to do, but I've been lacking in time and motivation ever since.  Of course, I have a will and all the legal stuff in place already, but it occurred to me that it would be a real gift for me to have an envelope in the lockbox for the kids that just spells everything out.  I wrote my obituary and then I listed out what they need to know when I die - guardianship info, insurance, attorney, funeral home, the kids doctors, Ben's case manager, banking info - just everything I could think of.  All the phone numbers are there and all they have to do is make some phone calls.  They don't have to paw through my files to figure things out.  I even detailed what I want to be dressed in for my funeral!. If I left it up to the boys, I might get buried in sweats!


When David found out I had done this, he was a little freaked out.  He insisted on reading what I had written and is now convinced that I am intending to die soon.  I assured him that is the farthest thing from the truth.  But like I said on Facebook, having this put together makes me feel better and now that I am prepared for my death, I can get on with the business of living.  I have such a clear memory of how difficult it was when Paul died.  I had to make really, big, expensive decisions and I was not in a frame of mind to do so.  If Paul and I had sat down and figured this stuff out ahead of time, his death would have been easier on me.  At least that part of it, anyway.  On the outside of the envelope, I wrote, "Because your mom loves you..." and that's the truth.  It's an act of love.


Life is tenuous.  I know that better than anyone.  All one has to do is watch the news to see how expendable life is.  But I may still live to be ninety.  Either way, I'm prepared.


Time to head to bed, I'm thinking.  "Monk" is on tonight and I really hope I can keep my eyes open long enough to watch that.  Tomorrow is Saturday.  I'll have my to-do list and I promised David I'd help him mow.  In the evening, we're headed over to Indianola.  The pool is having a free swim for autism families.  Hopefully, the forecasted rain will stay at bay and we can make it.  The kids are so excited about going to a "real" pool (vs. ours in the back yard).  When I called to register this morning the lady was so excited and told me that so far, only 4 families had signed up.  We may have the place pretty much to ourselves! occurs to me that is what my blog is really all about.  Everything I write about has to do with that topic in one form or with my children, who never cease to frustrate and amuse as a newly life for my adopted ones...launching my older ones into their own adult lives...figuring out how to live again when one life has ended...choosing life when death seems so infinitely preferable...

Even in the muck of despondency, despair, and depression, it's still a beautiful thing...

A gift.






















Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 411


July 21, 2014

Day 411


From things that make me happy to things that make me sad...


A grief wave caught up with me over the weekend and this one has had a vicious undertow.  I can't think of one thing that triggered it.  Saturday night I was driving over to my friend, Emi's, house.  A group of us from our Sunday School class were going out.  David was home from camp, finally, my mouth was feeling good after a whole week of pain, I was getting a break from the Littles...and I, inexplicably,  cried all the way to her house.


I feel like I haven't been able to break free of this wave yet.  All day yesterday and  today I have fought physical and emotional fatigue.  Today has been especially rough.  I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night, which might be a contributing factor.  I had a little girl with repeated bad dreams and an especially  needy cat (yes, I know...) in the middle of the night.


Although I do have to say I am proud of myself in that I don't feel like I've shortchanged the kids or been grumpy with them because I haven't felt well.  Normally, they are the first ones to get the short end of my emotional stick.  I'm keeping up a good front.


Today I had to run a number of errands.  Several times I thought I saw Paul.  Of course it wasn't him - just some other balding, middle aged guy.  But my heart wanted to see him.


I miss him.  Terribly.  I cannot imagine a day in the future when I won't.  At times, I am anxious to move on with my life.  I find myself thinking about another husband, a new life, maybe some stepchildren (not too many, though - the thought of raising someone else's kids is a bit overwhelming right now)...happiness.  Sometimes I can even imagine a happy day where I'm not necessarily remarried either, just enjoying time with my children (who are all older in my imagination, quiet, potty trained, and no longer rubbing purple make-up into my brand new carpet or engraving their new bunkbeds with an ink pen.  That was Ellie.  Yesterday.)  I see myself as mother of the groom and cooing over a brand new grandbaby, taking my girls bra and  prom dress shopping,  and I get excited by those images and I yearn for them now. 


Because I want to be happy.  Because I don't want to hurt anymore.


Last week I read a post on one of my widow forums from a widow of 4 years.  She stated emphatically that she will never, ever, ever date or remarry.  On one hand, I could sympathize with her feelings but found myself really hoping that that's not me in 3 years.  In three years, I hope I'm ready for more life.


But I know that what would make me happiest is if my life wasn't where it is.  I want what was supposed to be.  I want to be a family of 8 again.  And I want to be fussing about my still undone house and Paul's irregular hours.  I want to groan every morning because he wants me to make him breakfast and I think food in the morning is a grossly overrated idea.  I want to worry about how we're going to pay the bills this next month and I want to plan our next date night.


All these things I think would make me happy, but I also know that there were seeds of discontent in all of it.  So many things we don't appreciate until we don't have them any longer.  I had a happy life, but I was not always happy living it.


And yet, I am aware that my  ultimate aim in life is NOT happiness.  It is holiness.  As a human my natural instinct is to crave that which I think will bring happiness.  As a Christian I must yearn for what makes me more like Christ.  Right now that's hardship.  It's deprivation.  It's soul-splitting grief.  As long as I set my thoughts on what has been taken I will only feel cheated.


But I can't "talk myself out of" grief either.  It just is.  The act of involuntarily  uncoupling must be more painful than any other necessity of life, I think.  There is a mystery about the "one-fleshness" referred to in Scripture.  It's not just sexual, although that's a big part of it.  Over time, it really is a melding of two separate units into one.  Two selfish personalities learn to die daily to themselves and to live for the other.  Eventually, it can be hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins, so entwined have their lives, souls, and personalities become.


And then death comes, ripping apart the seams that have been woven so tightly together.  One is gone and the other is left alone, vulnerable, exposed, and raw.  The one left behind doesn't even know who she is without the other.  If she doesn't know who she is, then how can she exist - alone?


Am I esoteric enough tonight?  Just tired.  Just hurting.  Just wanting it to be over.  Wishing I was endowed with an always-sunny personality, someone who could whip out a Bible verse for every emotion, and assuring others that everything is fine because I have Jesus.

And tomorrow, after a good night's sleep, it may be fine.  I may laugh with my children again and exchange funny text messages with a friend.  I may smile because Will calls or someone drops me a caring card in the mail.  All these things happen on a routine basis.  But none of it will mean that I am finished grieving.  It won't mean that I no longer miss my husband.  It won't mean that I don't cry while driving to friends' houses.




I stained my deck Friday, which was a first-time experience.  I got the floor and inside of the railings done before I ran out of stain.  I picked up some more today but will have to wait until it cools down to tackle the rest.  I don't know if the deck looks like it's supposed to.  There are some sections that tell me I would have been better to hire out this job.  My feet and ankles look like they've had an unfortunate encounter with self-tanning cream!  But all in all, I don't think I did too badly of a job.  That poor wood was so thirsty.  It just soaked up the stain the second I put in on and I did two coats.  We've just been so busy since we moved here 10 years ago that the deck was always low-priority.  With all our construction work it was never really a space we could enjoy - seems like it was always holding big boards or construction materials or was half dismantled.  Yesterday, the kids and I grilled steaks and ate lunch out there.  Of course, they complained non stop about the flies and heat and maybe it would have been better if we had just eaten inside!  I really thought it might have been better to stay inside when I scrubbing red jello off my freshly stained boards a few hours later...


I think I'm going to go ahead and stain the picnic table Paul made.  Well, I kind of have to now since I dripped stain on it the other day while doing the deck!  I'm toying with the idea of doing the swingset and front porch, too.  But I may save that for another summer.



The other day Ellie quietly watched me put on some make-up.  I got done and then she solemnly said, "Mommy - you a little pitty (pretty)!"  Thanks, I think...I was reminded of when Will was two years old.   I was making french fries and he commented on how there sure were a "lot, a lot of fries, Mommy!"  I used the opportunity to attempt to teach him a truth about how much I loved him.  Using his words, I told him how his mom loved him, "a lot, a lot!"  Will was quiet for a moment and then replied, "Will loves you a little bit."  That still cracks me up, all these years later!


I realized tonight that David is now taller than Ben.  I had them stand back to back and just barely, David has passed his big brother.  When he came back Saturday I found myself suddenly noticing his bulging arm muscles and the way his chest is beginning to fill out.  Presumably this didn't all happen in five days time, but I guess I never noticed before that his scrawny boy body is slowly maturing.  He stood before the church last evening to give an account of his week at camp and I was struck by a new poise he posseses, along with a comfortable self-awareness.  He may turn out all right after all...If nothing else, he's guaranteed to be tall!



I was doing some filing the other night and while filing bank statements I suddenly realized that the account I opened last fall for Ben's Special Needs Trust has been slowly drained by account fees issued by the bank.  I didn't think this was supposed to happen. Evidently, I really need to keep a closer eye on my account totals...  I funded the account with the bare minimum needed to open it and have no intention of funding it further until I die.  At that time, it would be funded with life insurance proceeds.  I had to open the account in order to set up the trust.  I just got approval on the trust, which has been a bit of a nightmare.  It took the Dept. of Human Services EIGHT months to get back to me, although my attorney pointed out to me today that the paper is stamped with approval dating back to February!  That's a whole 'nother story, anyway.  So, my mind began to whirl.  What to do about this bank account?  Do I just need to budget $6 a month for the rest of my life to pay for this thing?  That's a lot of money!  But I can't have the trust without the account attached to it.  And if I don't have the trust, then Ben's needed services are not protected if he should come into or earn a certain amount of money.


It was upsetting.  Last night as I drifted off to sleep I asked the Lord to go before me on this matter.  I told him I didn't know if I had misunderstood something when setting up the account, but I needed favor from the bank and I needed wisdom to know what to ask for and what to do. 


Then this morning was a hard morning.  I couldn't wake up for anything.  I didn't feel well.  Grief's cruel talons dug especially hard into my heart.  Getting dressed and getting Ben and the Littles fed and out the door was an especially burdensome task.


My first stop was to meet with my financial guy to sign some papers and get some help with  paperwork (I'm finally getting around to claiming Paul's pension from a job he worked in Omaha).  Free of children, I could listen to whatever I wanted on my mp3 player - no requests for Elvis (Ben) or songs from the Frozen soundtrack (you can guess who).  Pastor Young's voice came through my radio.  It was Paul's funeral all over again.  I listened to him.  I don't know how many times I've heard this message since June 11 of last year.  Enough.  But not enough that I don't want to hear it again.


  He said something I've obviously heard him say before on my player, but today I heard it.  Addressing me at the funeral he said, "Sarah, face the future without fear."  The topic of fear is a blog post in of itself.  I am intimately aquainted with that emotion these days.  But still,


Face the future without fear


How can I do that? 


Because I have someone to go before me, to fight battles in my stead, so that I don't have to become war-weary or injured by fighting them on my own.


I am protected.


I went to the bank, found my favorite banker who has handled all my financial widowhood papers and such, and explained my concerns.  Concerned, she pulled up my account and told me an error had been made.  The money would be returned to my account and I did not need to worry about it anymore.  And that was it!


Face the future without fear