Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 948

Jan. 2, 2016

Day 948

A new year full of new possibilities...

My house is currently full of stench.  This week while Will was gone we developed a clog in the pipes that made using the kitchen sink an impossibility.  He's home now and cutting pipes.  Apparently, there's a food back-up in the pipes.  Yuck.  I don't think I'm going to replace my garbage disposal once it goes.  It's too easy to use it as a grinder and forget that food really needs to mostly go in the garbage.  Will's not very happy with anyone in the house at the moment.

His hunting trip went well, at least, even though he didn't shoot a deer.  He said it was still fun.  His friend, Eric, shot a 9 point buck and gave us most of it.  I spent New Year's Eve processing it all by myself and ended up with 59 pounds of burger.  I thought that was pretty good!

Ellie was writing on the packages for me.  I instructed her to write "DB '15."  I happened to glance down in to the tub where we were putting the packaged meat and saw that they all read "16" instead.  I asked her why and she shrugged and replied, "Sixes are easier for me to write than fives."  Makes sense.


We got quite a bit of snow at the beginning of the week.  The city's brakes on the plow went out while being used.  The driver stopped by my house and gasped, "I'm not driving that thing no more!"  So, I had to spend some time finding someone to fix it.

Since Will wasn't home, the shoveling duties fell to David.  He suggested one day to Ben that he could help him do the shoveling.  Ben looked at him, aghast, and protested, "No!  I might get cold!"  Well, then - we wouldn't want you to do that, then, would we?


I ended up not going to church New Year's Eve because Lizzie had a slight vomiting incident late that afternoon.  She was perfectly fine later, but I didn't want to take a chance that this was the start of something bad and have her throw up all over the table at church.  Plus, I really don't like talking to people all that much, so any chance to be a homebody - particularly when it's cold out - I'm going to jump at.

I processed the deer and around 10 I flipped on the New Year's Eve celebration stuff on the tv.  It made me so mad.  This was NBC.  There were 5 people sitting around, trading one-liners, basically.  It was Carson Daly from the Today show (I like him), one of the "Real Housewives" of that show franchise on cable tv - she was black, but had obviously had her face done because it was so tight she couldn't make a real expression.  She had dyed, flat, blond hair, which was interesting in light of a comment she made just a few minutes after I turned the tv on.  There was a gay guy sitting with his legs crossed and joking about homosexuality, a liberal female comedian and some other guy.  So, they were reviewing 2015 and like I said, trying to all be stand up comedians.  They got on the subject of Raven Symone's comment earlier in the year and this is when I shut off the tv.  Raven Symone was cutie preschooler on the Cosby Show in its later years.  She stayed in tv, but that's her best known role.  She decided she was gay a few years ago but  I kind of wonder if that was an attempt to boost her sagging tv career.  I don't know.  Anyway, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier last year she made the bold comment that she does not consider herself to be an, "African American."  Rather, she continued, she is simply, an "American."  I probably don't agree with anything else that will ever come out of her mouth, but this I applaud. 

Well, these NYE's commentators jumped all over that.  The liberal, white comedian said that was the "most racist thing" she'd heard all year and the reality Housewife star (remember - also black and sporting platinum, obviously not hers, hair) joked, "Honey, her hair is nappier than this couch I'm sitting on!"  What - ??  It was just stupid.  The actress hadn't said she didn't consider herself to be black, she just said she refused to identify as a hyphenated American.

That's when I turned the tv  off.  I wouldn't pay to spend my time with these dumb people - why should I invite them for free into my home via the television set?

The kids gave me a book I've wanted for a long time for Christmas (Francine Rivers, "Bridge to Haven") and I picked that  up and started reading where I left off earlier in the week.  It was a much more satisfactory way to bring in the new year than watching the stupid television filled with stupid people.


The kids had a busy week with friends.  My friend, Julie, brought over her 6 year old Sunday afternoon so she and her husband could go hunting on Monday.  However, the weather was so awful Monday they couldn't go.  So, Faith ended up spending two nights here.  Then, Tues, the Littles all went to the Merritts.  This couple had a total of 9 children, ages 7 months to 9 years with them - and they hauled them all to the Science Museum.  Really brave or really, really crazy...

Before I brought the kids over, Jenn texted to see if I wanted to go get a pedicure.  Her husband had the idea and volunteered to treat us both.  So, I quick shaved my legs and hoped the workers wouldn't make too many comments in Vietnamese about the state of my feet.  They didn't, but ended up about burning the skin off my legs with the concoction they used to massage them.  It was so bad I had to slather my legs in aloe vera later that night!  But I've had the pleasure of looking at my pretty green toes all week long every time I take off my socks - so what are minor, 4th degree burns?

I was able to get my kitchen all painted before I went to pick up the kids the next day.  Very productive.  I did a red accent wall.  I'm not completely happy with the shade of red it ended up being, but it will work for now, I guess.  Someday, I might deepen it to a truer red.


A friend posted a video on her timeline of the recent funeral of a man she knew.  He was younger and left behind children as young as their preschool years.  Only, his funeral wasn't called a "funeral."  Instead, it was referred to as a "celebration of life."  Viewing this clip really solidified some thoughts I've  developed in the last couple of years regarding the use of the term, "celebration of life" over "funeral." 

First of all - just stop.  A funeral is NOT a celebration.  The only exception I can possibly think of might be for a centurion who had suffered with sickness a long time before succumbing.  Maybe then.  But even when younger people (as in, younger than 100 years) die after long, painful illnesses, their death might come with a sense of relief, but it's not celebratory, either.

A funeral is a time of sadness.  It is a time to mourn.  It is a time to pay respect and homage to the person who had died.  It is a time to support those closest to the deceased.

It is not a time to dance around the auditorium, arms uplifted, wearing jeans and t-shirts singing 77 verses of the chorus, "Yes, Lord" which is comprised of exactly three words - repeated ad nauseum.  This was the video I watched this week.  That's not respectful.

I know the arguments against this.  Christians will say that we have every reason to rejoice when a loved one goes Home.  After all, they're free of earth's shackles.  There's no more pain, no suffering.  It's temporary...blah, blah, blah.  I know all this.  I agree with all this.  But a "celebration of life" leaves no room for sadness.  It can make the bereaved feel guilty for feeling desolate and experiencing normal grief.

Death stinks.  It hurts.  It shreds your heart and tears at your soul.  It is not a time to celebrate.  And I think this is terminology and thinking  need to go.  Pretending death and funerals are not what they are - doesn't make them not what they are.


I mentioned that this week the kids spent some time at the Merritt's.  Seven months ago they adopted an adorable little boy at birth - were even present for the birth.  Lizzie wanted to know yesterday why the birth mom chose to give up her baby.  I explained that it was because she loved him very much and knew she couldn't give him the best kind of home.  And because of that love, she was willing to let another family have him.  Lizzie was quiet and then asked, "Does that mean my birth mom didn't love me?"  She then added, "Because she didn't want me to be adopted?"  Her mind continually amazes me.

So we had a long talk about the differences in the two different adoptions she was familiar with - willing birth adoption like with Baby Titus' and non-willing foster care removal/adoption like her own.  I was able to assure her that her birth mother did, indeed, love her and all the other  siblings - but the kind of  love she offered wasn't enough and it wasn't healthy.  It was a good conversation.  I always feel drained after we talk about this kind of stuff because I want to be careful to say the right things at a level Lizzie can understand.  I don't want to trash-talk her birth mother, but I want to to present an honest picture of what happened as well.  A lot of things would be easier if it had been a willing birth adoption!


Well, that's all I know for this first couple days of the new year.  The kids head back to school Tuesday and my classes start the following Mon.  I need to get on the phone to BVU and make sure they're really ok with me starting since all my financial aid stuff hasn't all come through yet.  My new laptop I ordered for classes arrived this week.  Oh, I hope I'm doing the right thing.  I'm so afraid I'm going to fail at this endeavor!

I suppose I had better go and get supper ready.  Then we'll be headed for the bedtime countdown.  Tomorrow is church.

Will says I will be without a kitchen sink and dishwasher until Tuesday.  He is replacing all the pipes connected to it.  I did the dishes today in the bathtub.  The entire basement smelled horrible by the time he and David were done working but they doused everything with a bleach solution and it's much more bearable now.

Monday will be/would have been Paul's 45th birthday.  Last year I did a picture collage on Facebook for that event, but I just don't feel like doing that this year.  I tried to go decorate his grave today with some birthday things but I got stuck trying to get in the cemetery with all the snow and ice!  I was eventually able to back on out of there and just went home.  Paul will have to have a tipped over Christmas tree and wreath at his grave for his birthday, instead.  But I am planning on making his favorite foods for Monday night's supper.

It's something, anyway.  Even if it was just a normal night, I'd still remember the significance of the day.  That's  something that will always be there for the rest of my life.


What I have learned in two years of widowhood:

• God is good - so, so good
• I am loved far more than I ever knew
• I have amazing, resilient children (I am reaping what Paul sowed into their lives)
• Darkness eventually gives way to light
• Strength and wisdom are mine for the asking
• I don't have to have all the answers
• God delights in carefully and tenderly mending torn-apart hearts

Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely about the whole "celebration of life" thing. I think we as a culture are afraid of grief so we try to sugar coat it. I keep thinking about Joseph of Egypt (I have probably said this before) that he mourned for his father Jacob for over a month after Jacob died at the ripe age of 130 years or something. But Joseph mourned and wailed.

    So sorry about the pipe mess. UGHGHGHGHGHGHHHHHHHHH!!!