He watches over each of His sparrows. And He watches over me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just a Note...

Hey Babe,

     How are ya? Silly question huh - you my beloved are just fine aren't ya! Been feeling a little down today for various reasons - wondering how to "fix" it and realized I could "write" one of "those" letters to you,

     I hope you don't mind if this time I allow some "friends" to look over my shoulder as I do so - they are most special ladies. I've never met them but we are as close as if they lived next door. They are my Facebook widow sisters. I know that you "know" them because I am sure by now you have met their husbands and you are all perhaps sharing notes. Really, though, I don't know what is going on where you are -  but I know for sure WHERE you are!

     You know I have told many people that I was prepared for you to die (yes I use "that" word now for it is the truth - I didn't lose you - I know where you are) but I was not at all prepared for how to live after you died (ugh, there's that word again). This life as a widow is so strange, some days are not so bad especially now that 14 months have passed. It's not at all like it was those first few months when I was in what I have come to understand is a "widow's fog" - that term is not in the dictionary yet - but it should be. 

     I made a major decision last week and decided to switch cable companies - probably not a major decision for all the neighbors who did it before me - but for some reason I wavered back and forth with it. Now that I have done it I think I made the right move - but I gotta be honest with you - it would have been so much better to hear you say "Just do it".

     I'm doing ok with the bill paying and the basic house upkeep, although there are some things that are giving me some anxiety. I am so glad you showed me how to use the snow blower and all the other things you showed me in those last years we were together. We were fortunate that we had some time to do all of that. I have come to realize that the difficult things that happen would probably still happen if you were still here with me, however, I do believe they might be easier to deal with if you were here. But - you are not - you are THERE.  You made it! - and even though I grieve over your physical absence in my life I rejoice in knowing that YOU ARE THERE!

     However, that being said I still remain here behind in this strange new world - I am still me - I wear the same clothes, drive the same car, sleep in the same bed, live in the same house - with all of those things being the same how can my life be so entirely different........

     "Lonely" is a new word in my life these days - its a constant struggle - but, there again, I am learning how to navigate through the nights and the days without you - which is exactly what you expected me to do isn't it?

     Tonight our daughter came by to pick up your table saw and the chop saw and a few other things. She has been gradually taking your tools and setting them up at her place. Oh, my beloved the things she is making out of wood make me smile. She is every bit as talented as you were - such joy I have in seeing your abilities live on in her! One of her last comments on the way out the door was that she needed to go eat because she was getting cranky and we had a little giggle because that is another one of those things she inherited from you - the need to be fed on a really regular basis! I am wondering if there is food in heaven - probably not because you don't really need it - but if there were you would be having biscuits and gravy every day - and with no worries about calories or cholesterol!

     I shed a few tears after she left tonight because it suddenly hit me that this will be the first time in 25 years that I have not lived in a house with a table saw as part of the equipment - but I am getting through it - and that's the key word I have found in this strange journey "through". Just as you have traveled "through" the gap between life and death I must travel through to the next thing that God has planned for me. I don't know what that is yet - but I know He has plans for me and I must admit I get just a wee bit irked when I think that you might know what they are and I don't - but you know how I am about wanting to "know it all" don't you!

     I started this blog and it has been incredibly healing for me - I so enjoy writing and putting my thoughts on "paper". Decided to keep working for now, although I believe there is "something else" out there for me and when God is ready He will show me.

  And, as you know, our God has been right there for me every step of the way. He has never left me nor forsaken me and has guided me and provided for me daily. I admit there are times when I fret about the future alone - but I make myself remember how He cared for us over the years and especially how He cared for you in your last months and the gift He gave both of us in calling you home as you slept and then I can settle down a bit - for my life is in His hands and there is no better place for it to be.

  So my dear YOU ARE THERE and I am here and for now I will be at peace for that is God's plan for us - your love remains in my heart and in my life - and always will - whether the table saw is here or not.

Love ya babe!

     I feel better now - be at peace this night dear ones - for He loves you so.......





Sunday, August 19, 2012


     Some years ago - well actually a lot of years ago - as a teenager I remember listening to a popular song by Roy Orbison that said this:

                                                     Only the lonely
                                                     Know the way I feel tonight.....

     On July 10, some 14 months or so into this journey, I wrote this is my journal:

     "The loneliness will not leave. It is firmly camped out and appears to be here to stay. It screams at me and taunts me. Without others to talk to I loose track of myself and who I am. I detest its presence here  It has far outstayed its welcome.
     How will I learn to embrace it as a part of my life now? Embrace means I must get close to it and face it head on.  Instead of embracing it, I want to tell it to go away. Yet it remains. When it noisily has its tantrums and screams at me to pay attention to it, I want to shout at it and tell it to shut up.  Yet, it still screams and cries and grabs at my leg for my attention.
     Therefore, my attention it will get.   For I am coming to see that as a screaming child is soothed by an embrace, perhaps this loneliness will also calm itself if I embrace it.
     We have battled each other for well over a year now and I am weary of this fight. I do not know if I will ever learn to like it; but, perhaps by facing it I will in the silence hear the lesson it is here to teach me."

     How we all know the "screams" and "tantrums" of "lonely" - eating alone, going out and coming in alone, the empty bed, the empty chair, the unused coffee cup, the empty hook where the hat used to hang, more room in the closet and the dresser than we need, the unending silence, and so much more................

     This morning when I woke up I said this:

    And very gently He once again reminded me - I am here - I am with you - I will never leave you or forsake you:

     And He does - and He has. On the days when it seems lonely's tantrums are at their worst and I cannot deal with it anymore He comes in many different ways: sometimes the way the son shines through the window; sometimes the way my little precious kitty cat snuggles close; sometimes a random call from a friend; sometimes wise comments from Facebook friends like this one: "I am never alone, though no human be with me, I am never alone."

     And so I embrace "lonely" and I draw close to Him - I talk to Him out loud, I write to Him in my journal and yes sometimes I watch mindless TV - (don't we all?)

     And I have discovered that He is so very real .......He KNOWS that I am lonely, and He understands. And He has graciously caused me to see that this season of living with "lonely" is part of the plan - a plan I can't understand but one in which I am determined to place my trust - for after all He who causes an oak to grow from a tiny acorn and flowers from such tiny seeds certainly can be trusted to cause something to grow from this "lonely" I am living with.............

     I know there will be more lonely days - and nights - yet I will press on and keep drawing close to Him - my Comforter, My Shelter, My Rock - and in the silence I will listen to Him speak to my wounded heart and wait patiently for the growth that is to be.

     Draw close to Him this night dear one - press in - you will not regret it - for He loves you so.



Sunday, August 5, 2012

A New Hat

     When I first met him, he was wearing a western hat much like this one -

     And he wore it well with much confidence as he conducted the square dance class I was attending.
As time went on I learned that he owned several of these and wore them all with pride - they set so perfectly upon his head - he was such a dashing sight and I fell in love with the "man who wore the hats".

     After we married and began our life together other hats became part of the collection for "the man of hats"

        The standard cap worn for yard work and especially in his woodworking shop - many colors, many different logos - some still have sawdust embedded deep in the fabric which I have chosen not to remove.

     Then there is the engineer cap - worn faithfully each time he worked on his model train layout which he was working on the night before he had that stroke that took him from me seven months later.

     And then there is this one - a bright, neon orange cap that he wore everywhere - and I mean everywhere. He didn't care that it didn't match anything and was for hunters - he said he wore it because he liked it and after a time I became used to using it as a beacon to find him in crowds - especially after he had to start using the motorized shopping carts and would end up anywhere in the store!

     So many hats, so many memories that I treasure in my heart.

     Today I undertook a long avoided project. I cleaned up and packed away all those beloved western hats. They have remained on the rack in the bedroom just as they were the day he left our home never to return - almost two years ago.

     I had been able to lovingly store the others many months ago - but for some reason I could not take down those western hats- the one he was wearing when I first met him; the one he was wearing when he kissed me for the first time; the one he was wearing on the day we married; the one he was wearing on the day we left the West Coast and came to the Midwest.......... So many memories..........

     Today it was time. Time to lovingly pack away those hats. I won't lie - it was hard - very hard. I even had to call on some dear sisters for prayer support. As I cleaned each one and wrapped it with care and placed in the box I realized I was holding a memorial - a private memorial to the man who filled my life with love for 25 years. I was honored for 25 years to have those hats on the wall and I have the memories in my heart. His beloved hats are safe now from dust and the elements, as they should be.....

     And I have realized he is safe now as well - safe from this world and the elements in it. He doesn't need those hats anymore.......

     He has a new hat now........

    A Crown of Life - bestowed upon him in the early morning hours of 5/22/11, just as promised in James 1:12.

     Enjoy your new hat my beloved - I know you are wearing it well - you deserve it!

     As this day closes I am comforted, for I too am on my way to receiving a "new hat" right here where I am in the here and now - A crown of beauty for ashes has been promised to me - I am one step closer - as are you dear ones. Be at peace this night and know He loves you so.......