The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
It's a beautiful 73 degree day here in central
Iowa...so welcome after the cold, rainy weekend we had.In fact, the weather was so rotten we had to
postpone the work the garage that the guys from church were going to do.That's ok.It's (the garage) not going anywhere.Every hour I make myself go outside and rake.I've been working on the area in front of the
propane tank for the past couple of weeks.I got the wood pile that's been there since right after Paul's death
moved to the other end of the yard for our future fire pit.Now I'm raking up all the wood chips.
Ellie's surgery went well lastweek.It wasn't as invasive as the dentist had originally feared.She didn't need to have any extractions or root
canals and only one of her top front teeth had to be capped.All her molars and a couple canines now have
crowns.She has a shiny smile now!Pastor and Marcia came and sat with me during
the procedure and Marcia helped me send Ellie off to surgery and get her
dressed afterwards.I appreciated that
so much.Waiting rooms are lonely
When we drove up to the hospital on Thursday
morning Ellie exclaimed, "Hey - this is a hospital!"She doesn't miss a thing.She then continued in a disgusted tone,
"I thought you said we were going to the dentist!"
When I had to change her into her surgery
clothes she expressed her dissatisfaction with the pjs she was given informing
me that they were "BOY pajamas!"They were orange and green, so I can see her objection.She was real clingy for a couple of days, but
was back tonormal by the weekend.
Yesterday, I took Will to see the oral surgeon
about his wisdom teeth.They are coming
out May 18.His bottom ones are growing
in at a straight angle towards the rest of his teeth.I sure don't want to mess upthat naturally straight smile he was blessed
with.After insurance it's going to cost
close to a thousand dollars, though.Ouch. I may be hurting more than he will that day! Why couldn't he have been like Paul and
waited until his thirties to start getting his teeth out?Paul actually was needing to get the last two
removed but we were putting it off.I'm
kind of glad we did now.
Oh, and speaking of even more teeth...a week
ago Sam wanted an apple and asked me to peel it for him.One thing I don't do is peel apples for my
kids.They can either learn to eat them
with the peel on or not eat them.I told
him as much.He complained that the peel
hurt his loose tooth.I told him that
maybe that would help the tooth come out.About a half hour later he ran screeching into my room, "My tooth
fell out, my tooth fell out!"Guess
I was right!But I still kind of felt
bad.I think a good mom would have
peeled the apple for her child.Later he
asked, "Can you just give me the dollar now 'cuz' I know you're really the
tooth fairy!"I didn't.
And then Friday night I went scrapbooking and
because of the rain I got to sleep in on Sat. since no men were coming to work
on the garage.A couple of times I
noticed Lizzie popping her head into my room and then wandering back out.I ignored her, hoping she'd still think I was
asleep.I eventually got up and both Sam
and Lizzie appeared in the hallway,
"Quiet!Let ME tell her!"
And then simultaneously, "I/Lizzie lost
It had happened the same way the night before,
this time while Lizzie was eating an apple.
I heard back from RBP finally (it only took
them 3 days, but it felt like 3 months to this insecure author).They love my piece!It will be out this fall, which is a really,
really long time away.And they want one
of adoption next, for publication in about a year.
I checked my credit score this week.It's the highest it's ever been.Ironically, I am in a position now of not
needing my credit score for anything!Maybe someday.Hopefully not,
Ben's been fretting lately about his
future.I think it's partially due to
the fact that he's a junior and typical juniors in high school are hearing a
lot of "planning your future" talks.And it's equally due to his autism, too.Ben has always been someone who has to know exactly what's coming.When he was a preschooler and we were running
errands he'd have to know exactly where we going and in what order we were
going to these places.If I deviated
from what I originally told him a major back-seat meltdown would occur.It's the same thing now, only without the
I got emails from both his teachers last week,
concerned for Ben, saying he was "distracted" and his normally cheery
personality seemed subdued.They'd
concluded it had to do with his worries for the future.Could be.I know he'stold me that he is
dreading his graduation because he thinks it means I'll die, too, like Paul did
within days of Will's.I can't fix that
kind of thinking.
So, to help Ben his teachers have arranged for
all 4 of us to go visit the Christian Opportunity Center in Pella on Friday
morning.I'm guessing the set up is a
lot like Genesis in Indianola.If
they're pretty much the same I'd prefer Ben end up at Genesis because having
him live in Indianola would be preferable for a lot of reasons.But we'll check them both out.Ben's very excited about Friday and about the
idea of moving to Pella someday.
Pella is a community founded by settlers from
Holland.Every year they have a big
tulip festival and all the major buildings there are designed in a dutch
style.I've been there a few times but
never have had a reason to go there consistently.Ben got home today and exclaimed, "If I
move to Pella, then I'll be Dutch!"Ha, ha. ha!
Sunday night was our church's annual Awana
awards night.Since my kids aren't in
Awana, we always don't attend that one service of the year.Will had the idea to invite a couple other
non-participant families over so we did.We ended up with 24 people here at the house, including our family.It was so much fun!I think we may have to make this a tradition.I'm really thankful I have a house now that
is big enough to host a group this size.
Today I was scrolling down Facebook and an
article popped up on my feed entitled, "Ways You may be Crushing Your
Cat's Spirit."I thought for sure
it had to be satire.So I clicked on the
link and went to the article.It wasn't!It was an honest piece written to cat owners
about how they may, unknowingly, be "crushing" their kitty's
spirit.As Paul would have said,
Give me a stinking break!!!
I love my cat, I seriously do.But crushing her spirit is the least of my
concerns.I'm doing good to not crush my
children's spirits - not going to worry about an animal.I feed her and let her sleep on my bed.She's got a good life.
Even with her crushed spirit.
Kind of a commentary on our society, isn't it?
David made the first major purchase of his
life today.He bought a really nice
camera.For well over a year he's had an
interest in photography.He's been
saving his money.He's actually had
enough for quite awhile but made no move to purchase the camera.I think he was kind of paralyzed by fear and
indecision - which is typical of his personality.I suggested to him a few weeks ago that when
we got his birthday pictures done we ought to go see what Best Buy has in the
way of cameras while we waited for the portraits to be developed.In the meantime, I talked to our pastor, who
is photographer, to get his input on what to purchase.David seemed very receptive to that so that's
what we did today.
I figured we would just look but Best Buy was
having a sale on Nikons and for once, they had a really attentive employee
helping us.I did have David look up the
same camera on Amazon, but it was quite a bit more expensive there.So he jumped and bought the camera which came
in a kit with an extra lens and bag.He's already taken some really neat pictures today.
David needs to be goodat something and have an interest in
something other than Marvel superheroes and legos.I'm hoping photography will be it.If not...there's always Craig's List for his
camera, I guess.
It was funny.When we first walked into Best Buy an employee asked if he could help
us.It must have been a slow
morning.Normally, I have to scour the
break rooms to find anyone to help us in that store.I said, "Yes - where are your
cameras?"He looked at me for the
longest time and said, "Cameras - for what?"
I was dumbfounded.What else are cameras for?I looked at him strangely and replied slowly,
"For taking pictures..."He
stood there a minute longer and then recovered, laughing, and said, "Oh,
yes, of course - my mind just went blank for a minute there!"Wow...somebody needed some coffee! And for once, it wasn't me!
Will and David cleaned out the garage last
weekend.Next week the city is having a
clean-up day where extra garbage trucks will be sent around to collect curbside
refuse so this was in preparation for that.The upside is that I have a very tidy garage now.The downside is that I have to look at a mess
in the yard of piled up garbage until clean-up day a week from today.
I was actually very encouraged by how much
Will was willing to get rid of.Two
years ago when we tackled the garage shortly after Paul's death I could not get
that kid to let go of much.I know it
was his way of trying to hold onto his dad.I commented to someone recently that it seems like Paul's presence is
getting smaller and smaller, more and more boxed up all the time.At first, he was still all overour house.Even though he was dead, his clothes were still in the laundry, his
shirt was hanging on a hook in the bathroom, and his things were all over the
home.Bit by bit, his presence was
condensed as I gathered up his stuff and made decisions about them.It seems like the more time goes on the more
I am willing to either get rid of things or consign them to my hope chest.I don't require them to be out anymore to be
constantly comforted andreminded of
him.His presence in our home is
I know this is natural and probably a sign of
healing.But it's kind of sad, too, how
a person can be such a huge part of your life but once they're dead...they're
gone.Bit by bit, their memory fades
away and eventually we'll all be gone, too, and there will be nobody left to
remember and mourn the one that was lost.
I am reminded of that verse that reminds us
life is "but a vapor."