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.























  1. Years ago, my mom told me what she wants to be buried in when she dies. She no longer has that dress (and hasn't for a number of years), so make sure and keep that updated :-)

  2. Sigh, I just wrote a comment at length and then it disappeared. Suffice it to say I love your blog, its reality and honesty and the truth that you are pointing people towards Jesus.

    God bless, Laraba