Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 941

Dec. 26, 2015

Day 941


It's over. I survived another Christmas of widowhood.


And it wasn't totally terrible, either.  I did better this entire season than the last two.  But Christmas Eve night we went to the service at church, which I was fine for throughout.  And then, as I'm out in the foyer, wrestling Ellie into her coat, a friend came up to me and with this sympathetic I-feel-so-sorry-for-you, wish-I-could-fix-your-heartache  look that I know too well (and appreciate as much as I can see it coming from a mile away anymore) asked me how I was doing.  I've never been great at faking things and honestly told her, "Ok - just, ok."  This friend isn't possessed of a huggy type nature, but she wrapped her one arm around me and whispered, "I'm so sorry."  Her kindness made tears spring to my eyes.  And then just at that moment, another friend, who IS huggy, came over to me, wrapped her arms around me and said softly, "Hey, Girl - you are loved so much."


And I knew I had to get out of there right then or I would lose it.  So Ellie and I bolted for the van.  About 20 min. later Will and David finally showed up and David was complaining about how "unsociable" I am. 


Maybe someday he'll understand.


And after that I was really fine - until we were opening gifts yesterday morning.  All of a sudden, this intense grief wave just slammed into me.  I didn't even see it coming.  Emotionally, I was reeling, but you know, it was Christmas and I couldn't run off wailing to my room.  That would be a  real quick way to put a damper on the holidays. I don't even think the Grinch could top that!   So, I just kept on unwrapping presents and taking pictures of the kids.


By late afternoon  it had passed and I really felt ok once again.


Which has me wondering...will I ever be free of the blues at Christmas someday?  Time will tell.  I wonder, too, if I am doing the right thing by keeping things from the kids.  Maybe someday I'll hear them complaining that I wasn't "real" enough when walking through this valley.  The mom is the emotional barometer of the home and I've just wanted to keep their emotions at a balanced level.  If I insisted that they feel what I do, then they'd be down more than they are up.  But they may never  fully appreciate this.


A fellow widow friend posted this in a meme on Facebook last night and I thought it was so good:


It's hard to rejoice when your heart is hurting and it seems like the world is celebrating around you.  But the same God Who loved us enough to send His only son understands you better than anyone else - and He's closer to you now than anyone else can ever be.



Plans changed during the day.  Mom and Dad went home early because Mom wasn't feeling the greatest so I was kind of at loose ends.  I ended up watching the Dolly Parton movie that was on NBC.  I was really surprised at how good that was.  I thought it was going to be something about her rise to fame, but  instead it was just a 2 hour movie about a period of a few months in the life of her family while growing up - themes of faith, resilience, and trusting God when it hurts.  I could probably watch that again. The little actress who played young Dolly was really talented.  She reminds me of someone I know in real life but I haven't put my finger yet on just who it is.


Oh - Lizzie did break her foot.  I felt so terrible - seriously terrible, like worst-mom-in-the-world kind of terrible.  I had taken her to Urgent Care on a Monday.  On Friday of that week I got a phone call from Urgent Care letting me know they had been trying to get ahold of me all week long.  A radiologist had read the x-ray and decided a bone was actually fractured.  Ugh!  And here, every single day that week I had been forcing her foot into a shoe even though she complained that it hurt because, after all, it wasn't broken!  She's still in a boot now.  She might get out of it next week, but I'm not sure.


I've started reading, "Little House in the Big Woods," the first Laura Ingalls Wilder book, to the Littles most every night.  I plan to go back and forth between her books and some Beverly Cleary ones until we've read everything by these authors.  Sam seems to actually be more into the books than the girls are, which surprised me.  But they still listen.  Laura included a lot of the little songs her Pa used to sing for them and I always sing them to the kids as I'm reading, making up the tune if I don't know it already.  So I was singing one the other night when I got to the word, "darky" in the song.  I quickly realized the song was a little ditty about a black man.  For the time period of the story (mid 1870s) it wasn't inappropriate.  But for now, it's highly so!  Fortunately, none of the kids caught what I sang and when I came to that word again in the song, I quickly changed it to, "that man."  Oh, wow.  Times have changed!


And on a related note, late last week Lizzie and I both got handwritten apology notes from that boy who made that racist comment to her.  They came addressed to me in a school envelope, so I don't know if that was something the principal required the student to do or something he did on his own (or was told to do by his mother) and then asked the school to mail them to me.  But, I was impressed anyway.  One was addressed to Lizzie and the other, to, "Lizzie's parent's."  Lizzie said he also verbally apologized to her at school.


So, anyway, it definitely sounds like he is chastened and repentent.  That's the best possible outcome out of an unfortunate situation to start with.  I did write to the district superintendent and told him how pleased I was with how this was handled by the principal.  He wrote back and thanked me for telling him and said he'd definitely commend the principal, too.  He then went on to tell me how much he enjoys Ben.  Everyone enjoys Ben!


A few weeks ago Lizzie went to a birthday party.  Unfortunately, she didn't have a very good time.  She said the birthday girl spent all her time with her other friends and not her.  But when I picked her up the mom gushed, "Oh, your Lizzie is SO polite!"  It was interesting to me because in recent weeks I've heard that from other adults about Sam and Ellie, too.  It makes me think that there must be an awful lot of impolite little kids in Pleasantville if mine are coming off better in comparison.  I know my kids and I know how rude they can be.  But everyone else's must be awful!


Speaking of bad behavior...Ellie's latest ploy whenever she gets in trouble is to shriek, "You don't love me!"  Sigh...I don't remember the boys ever pulling that one on me.  Lizzie hasn't either, but that's probably for other reasons.  We were in Hy-Vee one night recently and I took away her mini shopping cart because she continually rammed it onto her siblings heels.  Oh, boy, was she angry.  She yelled, "You don't love me!" and ran to the opposite end of the aisle.  Then, she refused to stand by me in the check-out lane and when I tried to put her in the cart, she splayed her legs open so they wouldn't go in the leg holes.  About a night later she got ahold of my key fob and pushed the panic button on it.  Of course, I was in a different part of the house so it took me awhile to get to her, find what she did with the fob, and get my van quiet again.  That same night, she took antibacterial cream and Glade spray and put them all over the mirror in her bedroom.  I remember reading a story when I was a kid about a little boy that was kidnapped.  He was so terrible that the kidnappers ended up returning him before they ever got to their destination.


That would be Ellie.


A week ago I was up to my eyeballs in cooking.  We had two out-of-town guests for a couple of nights - Nathanael and Eric came down to hunt with Will and some other guys from church.  They had a good haul altogether - 8 deer.  David shot his very first on Sunday.  He was so pleased!


Butchering Day happened Tuesday.  I helped a little, but not much.  However, I did package all the meat, which was quite a job - several hundred pounds.  We ended up buying another freezer because we just didn't have room in ours.  It's a nice problem to have, minus the $300 for a new freezer part...Will said he may buy it off me someday when he has his own place.


Tomorrow Will leaves with Eric, his father, and grandfather for a few days down in southern Iowa for even more hunting.  They're staying in a hotel.  So I suppose it's just as well I got the additional freezer.  Eric is a superb shot and gives most his meat to us.


Will finally had his root canal on Wed.  By Sunday his gum was beginning to puff up and I knew that was infection coming back.  He wouldn't let me open it up, though.  Wed. morning his face was visibly puffy.  So, he had his appointment early that afternoon.  The dentist did lance his gum which was just full of pus, I guess. Will said that was the worst part.   Then he did the root canal.  He discovered that Will had 5 roots, which is a lot. The dentist said he had not seen that in 12 years, commenting that when he was in dental school he watched a dentist do one with 7 roots, which was highly unusual.   Most people only have 3.  He couldn't see the other two when he drained the tooth twice before.  So, that's why it kept getting so sore so quickly.  Since the tooth had a temporary seal on it, there was nowhere for the pus to go except for into his gums.




So now we let that heal and then he needs an appointment for the crown.


I bet Dr. Fuller is going to eventually stop taking any calls from our house.  Between Will's extra roots and my "cement-like" teeth (his words) he's not going to want to have anything to do with our mouths!


Well, I need to get going here.  I have dinner plans with a friend who is only in Iowa for another day.  I need to hear all about her love life (she's younger than me).  Earlier today David said in all seriousness, "I think you need to get out of the house."  Evidently, I was appearing stressed to him.  I was able to tell him I was already on it!


I'm actually in a pretty good mood today.  Sadly, I think that's because Christmas is finally over.  I'm pretty sure that's not the right attitude to have.


This may be my last post for the year, I don't know.  I'm not exactly regarding the new year with anticipation.  I'm kind of nervous about a few things -  the uncertainty of my job, starting college again, Ben's graduation...


But I won't be alone.


Which is reassuring, particularly when I really stop to think about the truth of those words.

























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