Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 396


July 6, 2014
Day 396
A rare quiet has stolen over my  house.  Will, of course, is gone.  But David is, too.  He's spending 3 days and nights at a friend's in Indianola.  The friend's mom called me yesterday and asked if that was ok.  My first thought was, "No - I need  David!"  But that, of course, would not be fair to him.  Sweet boy did text me tonight to tell me good-night and that he loves me!
Ben and the Littles are all asleep, so it's just me, roaming the house.  Not quite roaming, actually.  I'm sitting at my computer.  I just took care of my root situation (you know, the gray situation I deal with every month) and I'm waiting the required length of time before I jump in the shower and rinse the stuff out.  One of these days, I'm going to just let the hair go.  But now that I'm single and hoping someday to remarry, I feel the need to keep up appearances more than I might of had Paul still been alive.  Although, even then, he preferred I cover the gray, too.  It's a good thing I was in agreement, because, otherwise, I could have had a pretty strong argument with the male-pattern baldness HE experienced! :)
The girls had their hair worked on today, too.  Sarah opened up her salon to pick through and  straighten their hair - just with a straight iron.  The thing is, I think I really prefer the curls over their hair sticking straight out like they've recently been electrocuted!  But, I think Sarah's reasoning is that this will make it easier to comb through.  She also told me that Lizzie is old enough to begin working through her own hair with a pick.  I hadn't even thought of that.  Sarah spent 4 1/2 hours on the girls' hair this afternoon - unbelievable.  I had planned to stay at the salon with them, but Sarah shooed me out of there so I went home and cleaned my house.  Then, she brought the girls to church this evening when she got done.  She's a good friend.
The fourth of July holiday was good - better than good, actually.  I remember last year we met some friends of my parents' at a park in Indianola for the fireworks.  Mostly, I remember how I felt - just the raw pain that was engulfing me at the time.  Staying upright seemed like a challenge at the time.  A year later, I am better.  I did miss Paul this holiday, but it wasn't overwhelming - just a quick jab, that yes, it sure would be nice if he was here.
We went to Waterloo the 3rd-5th, getting back last evening.  The 4th was really special.  Of course, Matt, Kirsti, and the kids were already there.  But then my other brother, Andrew and his family came for the afternoon and evening.  It had been nearly 5 years since we were together as an entire family (although now that Paul is gone, I guess we'll never be "entire" again) and it had been well over 4 years since I had seen him at all.  Will drove over from camp and we were all together!  It wasn't awkward - it was just nice.
Although, something happened and it caused a thought process that I wanted to jot down on my blog so I remember it and maybe for the information of others.  My brother was talking about his work (a lot of construction type stuff) and I jokingly said, "You should have come down and worked on my house this year!"  Andrew looked at me directly and said, "Well, I did offer you know."  I didn't know.  I had totally forgotten because I  suddenly had recollection of a Facebook message sent in the first few days after Paul's death where that offer had been made.  I felt terrible at first, upon remembering, but then I started thinking.    Here's the thing: I had a lot of offers of help in those first few weeks.  I even had a couple of total strangers who were somehow affiliated with Ben's school show up and walk through my house one evening to get an idea of what needed to be done.  I never heard from them again!  The offers poured in along with a myriad of, "Well, if there's anything I can do..." (don't EVER say that to the bereaved).  I could barely function in those first few weeks and could not even think hardly.  The offers of help that I ended up accepting came from those who persisted and asked me repeatedly if they could do something for me.  Better yet were those who simply informed me what they were going to do.  Then, I didn't have to think about it.
Those who have not been through the Valley aren't going to understand this.  Unless, maybe, if they read my blog!  So, I try to extend grace here and I honestly don't fault those who have made this error.  Before June 6 of last year, I would not have known either.  A person who has just had their entire world implode doesn't know what they need.  Grieving is exhausting and it is so much easier to just do things oneself or to make your own arrangements rather than to try to remember who offered what and then contact them and try to arrange something.  It's overwhelming and it's just not going to happen.
I even remember one of my casual friends commenting that her husband was a little offended he wasn't contacted to help with the work on the house.  At the time, I forced myself to shrug it off because I can't take on that kind of emotional responsibility right now.  Maybe this is one of those areas that I haven't done things exactly right, but at the same time, I have a hard time regretting the way I have handled it.
Alright, enough of that...
So, anyway, all the family time was just wonderful!  I think my girls might have been a little overwhelmed (judging by all of Lizzie's later questions) by meeting yet more relatives, but they handled themselves well.  We took pictures, which I will treasure.  And we celebrated my dad's upcoming retirement.  He's worked 40 years at John Deere and is finally hanging up his green and yellow hat at the end of the month (side note: Dad just got texting and I've been having fun doing that with him the past couple of days!).  My brother, Matt, put together a really nice little program for him.  My contribution was to order a cake.  I think I got the easy part of the deal!
That evening some of us drove down to Dysart to see the fireworks.  I've been saying for 9 years now that nobody can beat Pville's display, but boy, I think Dysart did! They were amazing!  We were freezing, though - this summer has yet to get really hot.
So, was a nice few days.  But there is, even more so now, that sense of relief I feel when I walk in my door after being away.  I do NOT like being away from my house.  I don't remember feeling this way before Paul died.  I wonder what has changed?  Maybe I just feel some sense of control and order when I'm in my own home that I don't when I'm on the road.  Right now, control and order are extra important to me, I guess.
Because, of course, this world seems like it is spinning out of order a lot of the time.  My own personal axis tilted big-time with the girls' arrival and Paul's death, certainly.  The news is full of life-changing events for all kinds of people.  I am particularly listening to the news coming out of Israel and Palestine these days.  The Bible tells us that, in the end, all the world will hate Israel.  It's coming - you hear it on the news, on social media, and out of the mouths of politicians.  Some days I really wonder how long it will be before Christ does return.  Could it happen in my lifetime?
Last week I was really upset by the news of Jenny's death that I referenced in my last post.  She wasn't even a personal friend, but the event of her tragic death - made even more tragic by how needed she was by those left behind - really shook me.  I sat in the tub that night and had no desire to pick up anything to read, like I normally do.  Instead, I sat there asking God, "Why?"  Why Jenny who had a husband who adored her and FIFTEEN children?  Why MY husband who was also very needed?   And then God spoke to me.
He impressed upon me the brevity of life.  Obviously, I know all about that.  Paul died when he was 42 years old - that's young.  We lost a baby who had barely begun to form in the womb, but had a complete soul and now lives in Heaven - a very, very brief life here on earth.  I sit here wondering when the Rapture is going to occur, but it's so easy to forget that even if I die - even if I live to my nineties - life is short.  Compared to eternity, this earthly sojourn is but a blip in time.  To me, Paul's death and Jenny's death and those of others seem like such unexplainable tragedies.  I am almost tempted  to wonder where God was when these deaths occurred.  But that night I so clearly heard God speaking to my heart, reminding me that not only was life designed to be short (well, after the fall of mankind, anyway), but that He knows all, loves more than anyone can, and is only, only good.
That would be an excellent place to end this post, but I actually have a "funny" from this last week.  So, completely switching gears here...
Lizzie referred to herself as a "woman" and her brothers were quick to point out that she is most definitely NOT a woman  yet!  She then asked, "Well, when will I be a woman, then?"  In his all-knowing, somewhat superior manner (although I don't actually sense any real arrogance - it's just the way he is), Sam replied, "When you are 10 - then you will be a woman!"
Good to know!  Guess they ARE growing up faster these days!

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