Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 502

October 18, 2014

Day 502


I did it - I've made it past 500 days of widowhood.  It does feel like something of an accomplishment.  Now, to make to 1000, which should happen in another 16 months or so.


We just happened to have tickets to a pre-season NFL game that night at Wells Fargo.  I had bought the tickets way back in June, not knowing that Oct. 16 would be day 500.  So that worked out kind of cool.


Actually, all of Thursday was busy and more of a "family" day than most.  Ben had Sp. Olympics bowling in the afternoon.  He did the best he has ever done.  I always laugh when he bowls because I remember how his bowling ball holes were specially drilled to fit his extra long fingers.  He doesn't even use them.  Each time he approaches the lane, he leans all the way over and rolls the ball with two hands.  Apparently, he has perfected his method because during one game he scored 117!  He and his entire team earned blue ribbons and will be going to the state meet next month.


I didn't have a lot of time to cook after that and I wanted to make sure the kids' tummies were nice and full before the game because I wasn't about to buy concession stand food.  They check your bags there at Wells Fargo so you can't sneak in food, either, like you can at the movie theater (Yes, I'm bad...and cheap).  So we stopped at Hy-Vee and got two buckets of chicken.


We met Will at Principal Park and left his car there.  I really don't care for downtown driving on the best of days.  When it's nighttime and people are pouring in for a popular event - ugh.  So he drove us in.  We still had to park blocks and blocks away from the arena and we were there an hour early!


We quickly found out what $22 tickets bought us - seats way-y-y up high on the top concourse!  We could still see fine, but it was a little unnerving to be looking that far down onto the floor!  The game was good.  I was kind of rooting for the Denver Nuggets because I always smile when I think of Denver now, with that being Paul's and my last trip together.  But I honestly didn't care who won.  Denver led for 3 quarters, sometimes by as much as 15 points.  But then in the last quarter, it got exciting.  Golden State decided they wanted to win and put all they had into it.  It was neck and neck the entire quarter.  I even wondered if the game would go into overtime, but finally the Warriors pulled ahead and won the game by just 3 points!


So now we can say we've been to an actual NBA game.  The boys say that we now have to attend an NFL game, but I don't know if that will ever happen or not!    And actually, this game was a lot more classy, I thought, than the local game we attended there in January.  The cheerleader-dancers did have one somewhat skanky performance, but that was it.  Lizzie was disappointed.  She is fascinated by cheerleaders and we tend to have a lot of conversations about what is proper and improper around here, as a result.  The half-time show was an acrobat team that performed on this season's "America's Got Talent" so that was entertaining.


One funny thing: Lizzie kept turning around to observe the people behind us.  Apparently it was a group of international students with their American host.  I think what caught Lizzie's attention was that one of the young women was black.  As it turned out her name was Rosa and she was from France (isn't Rosa a Spanish name, though?).  But at one point, Lizzie nudged me and loudly said, of the host, "Look, Mom - that man has ice tea in a cup!"


Um, yeah...not ice tea!


It was just a busy week, all around.  Tuesday I went with my friend, Jeanne, up to Faith.  She is 81 and twice-widowed.  Her husband was one of my professors 25 yrs ago.  I met her through another widow at our church and Jeanne and I have just hit it off.  It helps that she does texting and Facebook, since those are my primary means of communication anymore.  She was asked to be a guest speaker in a women's ministry class (specifically, a class about ministering to the aged in the church) about widowhood.  I invited myself along because I just wanted to hear what she had to say.  To my surprise, she had gotten her hands on the blog post I wrote back in June right at the one year mark of  Paul's death (the post) and she referenced that post quite a bit!  It was rather flattering that she thought  I had something of import to contribute to the class.


There were only two students in the class and they both told me that they had worked with Will up at camp.  Small world.  After class, we went with the instructor (whose husband was also one of my professors oh, so long ago) to the cafeteria and had a nice lunch.  Then yesterday, I received a sweet card from the instructor.  What a nice day that was for me!


While at lunch we were talking about remarriage and both women earnestly told me that if I do remarry I must have a prenuptial agreement in place.  I wrinkled my nose and asked, "Aren't those unbiblical?"  They both assured me it is different when it is a second marriage and either spouse has children and is bringing assets into the marriage.  I had never thought about that before.  I'll have the children, but I'm not so sure how many assets I'll have left by the time I marry again, though!



Then, that evening Will and I went to a Piano Guys concert.  I wasn't totally excited by the idea because I knew it was instrumental music and, as I've mentioned before,  I have a very limited tolerance for music that doesn't involve a beat and lyrics.  I soon began to get the idea that a whole lot of people knew something I didn't because the entire Civic Auditorium was completely packed out.  Seriously.  I saw about 10 seats on the very back, top row that were empty and that was it. 


The concert was AMAZING!  Oh, my goodness.  I could have sat there for a lot longer than two hours.  Maybe I have more of an appreciation for culture than I realized.  Or maybe it's just that these performers have figured out a way to make instrumental music fun and exciting.  I think I'm going to download everything they've recorded!




Wednesday Ben had to go to Iowa City again for his teeth.  I was under the impression that this visit was the last one until we get his wisdom teeth done.  But no - we have two more trips planned now for Nov.  Ben is a champ when they do the work.   But every single time they go in to fix what they think is a simple cavity, it turns out to be something that has spread and gotten in quite deep.  The room where they work on the special needs patients is not very big and there are 4 or 5 chairs in this one room.  Different dental students work on the patients while the head instructor oversees.  Actually, it reminds me of when I was a kid and, to save money, my mom had us get our hair done at the local beauty college...  Anyway, this time, the patient directly across from Ben screamed the entire time they were working on him - seriously screamed.  His mother or caregiver was right there so I doubt they were hurting him.  It was probably a sensory thing.  But it caught Ben's attention and he kept popping up in his chair to look.


Afterwards, he wanted to go to Steak and Shake to eat.  We don't have any of those out here.  So we did.  He started to place his own order when the waiter came and my first instinct was to jump in and take over for him, but I thought, "No - he needs to learn how to do this.  I won't always be with him in restaurant situations."  So I just let him place his own order.  The only problem with that is that while I can understand Ben perfectly, I forget that his weaker oral muscles make his speech harder to understand by people that don't spend a lot of time with him.  Although, he's improved greatly since childhood.  He hasn't even been in speech therapy since he was about 12.


So Ben explained what he wanted and the waiter then turned to me apologetically and asked, "Uh, could you repeat back to me what he said?"  Poor guy.  But he still got the order wrong!



The other day Will sent me a Facebook clip of a mother/son wedding dance with the message, "Do you think you can do this?"  It was kind of a complicated dance that included all different kinds of music and moves.  Thinking he was just joking, I messaged him, "Sure - let's plan on it!"  Well, a couple of days later at the concert Will asked me seriously, "So we're going to do that dance, right?"  I told him that would be fine (!) and then he added, "You'd better get into shape first."  I may or may  not have been huffing and puffing a bit as I followed him the couple blocks we had to walk to the Civic Auditorium.  I told him not to worry.  With as long as he is taking to find the wife needed for said wedding, I have plenty of time to tone up!  Here's what he has in mind: Mother/Son dance


I did a more complicated hair style on Ellie today.  Since it took awhile, I pulled the kitchen stool into the living room so she could watch tv while I worked on her head.  Some movie was on that featured primarily black actors.  Ellie observed one of the men and then said, "Mom - you should get me a daddy like that!"  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


The other night Ben asked me how soon I plan to remarry.  I told him, of course, I have no idea.  He said, "Well, I hope it's soon.  I'd like to have another dad."




I dreamed last night that Lizzie drowned in our pool.  I pulled her out and realized she was dead and was completely distraught.  In my dream I thought to myself, "Oh, I guess I loved her more than I realized!"  The dream got really weird from there (I ended up baking her into a pie before I called 911) but it stuck with me in that I remembered it very clearly this morning.


Actually, Lizzie really hasn't been troublesome lately.  She's going through a good stretch right now.  Her sister on the other hand...Oh, I am so frustrated.  I cannot get her to quit coloring on her bedroom furniture.  I have cleaned and cleaned up that room, but she still manages to find pencils and markers.  Every time she does this I spank her.  And I even make a point to question her hours later, "Why did you get a spanking?"  And she answers, "Because I colored on my bed/dresser."  So I know she understands.  But then she turns right around and does it again.  The worst part is that she attempts to lie about it every time, telling me sincerely, "Lizzie did it."  So then I have to punish her not only for the crime, but for lying.  She was such a sweet, quiet little baby/toddler.  I never would have dreamed we'd go through this at age 3.  I am starting to get fearful of what she is going to be like as a teenager.  On the other hand, it serves as a good impetus to get this rooted out now.  But I am not sure how to thoroughly root it out.  I've banned her from all writing utensils, other than signing birthday cards.  Periodically, I will ask her, "What do we color on?"  She'll answer, "Only on paper!"  And then I'll ask, "Is your furniture paper?" 

"No, Mommy." 

But she still colors on the furniture! (Pulling out my hair with one hand as I type...)


Out of curiosity, I looked up decomposition rates on the internet last week.  The websites I found were quite descriptive of the breakdown of the human body once life has been extinguished.  Yuck.  Dust to dust and all that... Embalming does slow down the process somewhat, but it sounds like this far into it, there probably would not be a whole lot of Paul left that's recognizable.  I kind of wished I had not researched that.  It just made me feel even more that he is truly gone.  I mean, of course, he's gone.  He doesn't need his earthly body anymore and hasn't for some time, which is why it's rotting away.  But I guess there was some comfort in knowing that it was just underground up the road from my house. 


Right after Paul died I ordered the book, Heaven is for Real.  We started reading it as a family but never got around to finishing it.  I know there's been some criticism of that whole story by Christians, but I have always felt like, even before Paul died, that there's a good chance that this book was a gift to us from God -a glimpse of what is waiting for us.  I don't believe the the book was a hoax written by parents hoping to cash in.  Neither do I believe it was Satanically inspired.  So, a couple of weeks ago I ordered the children's version of the book.  My Littles have been so excited by that and I've caught Sam and Lizzie repeatedly poring over the pages.  It makes me want to finish the adult version now.


One of the things the book claims is that Jesus meets every new arrival to Heaven.  That thought made me smile as I thought of the morning of June 6, 2013.  Paul went to sleep beside the wife he loved and woke up being embraced by his Lord.  Does it get much better than that?


And a side note that truly excites me: about a year ago I wrote about the dream God sent me regarding Paul and Heaven.  It was very vivid and I detailed it all in my blog.  One of the things that I remember from that dream is that Paul told me the walls of Heaven are covered with Scripture.  I had never heard anything like that before so it wasn't like it was some former fragment of memory that made its way into my dream.  Well, I was looking at the illustrations in this Heaven is for Real book and guess what I saw on a page?  The walls of Heaven covered in Scripture! 


I totally got goosebumps.

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