Where Have All My Words Gone?

Without Dan and the daily stuggle to survive the darkest moment of my life, my desire and ability to take words and weave them into a tapestry has vanished.

I always said that my writing was an expression of my heart. Now, it causes me to wonder about my heart. The lack of words would indicate that my heart is sterile. It has nothing. It holds nothing.

Maybe, that isn’t totally accurate. The void may be the fact that I am living in a numbness that is ongoing. Love is missing.

It was love that filled my heart and made me feel alive. It was the love from Dan that defined my womanhood. It was Dan’s love that held the magic and now, the magic is missing.

There had to be something that was inherent inside of my heart that was the essence of what Dan loved. My head is trying to convince my heart that this is a truth. My heart is bleak.

Lately, with all of the holidays, anniversaries and Valentines Day, all I can think of is that my heart has died within me. The sparkle has gone from my eyes and the smile has vanished from my face. Yes, I can still smile and my eyes are still open yet, there is something missing.

These days are full of freezing fog, dull gray days and the threat of ice and snow. So it is with my heart. My heart has become a block of ice. It no longer beats with the color of red. It is as gray as the winter skys. It is lost to me and I grieve for the person that I once was.

As David cried out in the Psalms, “How long, oh Lord, how long?” This is my daily cry…”How long???”

How long will I feel this sad? How long will I feel so lost? How long will everyday look like the same gray and empty day that comes to greet me?

No one has answers and my heart and head will continue to battle over this bleak reality of emptiness.

I continue to search and I want to plan my life. But, now more than ever, I realize that it is a falsehood to believe that I plan anything regarding my life.

The quest is to find balance between the hope of life and the lack of hope in it.

Is this the sum total of my years? I lived and I knew love. Now, I live and I can only remember what love was. It isn’t much to build a life around, is it?

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Changes….Part I

A Work of ArtAs some may noticed, I haven’t been posting as frequently as I did in the past…there are several reasons.

At first, it seemed that what was in my heart was already written. I have found that grief can be a continuous “loop” of emotions and images in my mind. There have been days when I wished that I could hit the “Stop” button and take a rest from my tumultous feelings and intrusive thoughts of Dan’s death.

But, unfortunately, there is no such button and the continuous play of these ever present memories wear me down both physically and emotionally.

Weariness is a thief to the body, mind and soul.

I didn’t post as much because I felt that writing and re writing thoughts and feelings that I had expressed here was a redundancy that no one should be subjected to, not even me.

Also, in the past few months, this old computer has made quite a few unnerving sounds that only supports my fear that it is about to take a major and expected full stop. It  is getting “old and moldy”. I have spent many hours at this keyboard that  resulted  in loosing all that I wrote. It has become a frequent occurrence.

When this happens, I don’t know whether it is a part of grief or my natural “red head” reaction to frustration because my next thought is to take a hammer to this churning box of circuits and make a permanent “adjustment” in its motherboard. Thank goodness reason returns  and I count the cost…close to a thousand dollars to replace it…and I don’t have the money for that, so I put the hammer down and start over.

Much of my lack of posting  has its base in my “technical difficulties”….there are other reasons….

AmazingAs the months and weeks approached in marking Dan’s death, a restlessness began to “boil” inside of me. I talked with my grief counselor and found that everyone has different reactions when this milestone is reached. Some become more emotional; I, on the other hand, became more anxious which results in a lack of patience and a relentless need to keep moving.

She asked how things were going at work. I replied that I had a few frustrations and I told her about  things that had happened that was leading to my discontent. The majority of my differences are with personalities. I assured her that it was  nothing that I couldn’t handle and I expected some of this kind of frustration as I have employed people when I owned my own companies. I find that I do not enjoy working with an all female staff…I prefer working with men… male clients, male coworker…I am not the sorority sister type.

I also told my counselor that I had a “knowing” that I would not be with this company for much longer. As I explained this intuition, I demonstrated what I was feeling about my job by placing my hand to the outer perimeter of my peripheral vision to show that I knew that a change in employment was coming soon. I also said that I felt that it would be better for me, yet I was relunctant to make any change because of not wanting to leave my clients.

I explained that, in April,  I had been offered a position with an Indianapolis based company who provided home care for children and that, even with the offer of more money, I decided to stay with my present employer. I continued to explain that I believed that my clients gave more to me than I could ever give to them. My loyalties lie with my clinets over any loyalty with the present company.

Yet, in my heart of hearts, I realized that I just could not face changing anything as the first anniversary of Dan’s death loomed before me. I suspected that my decision to stay rather than accept the new position was one that was rooted in grief and anxiety.

Little did I know just how accurate this forknowledge would be.

In late May, I talked with the scheduler and requested that I have Tuesdays  and Thursdays off. I told the her that I knew that they were having trouble replacing the 22 hours that were lost when one of my client’s grandmother became disgruntled with the company and changed agencies as provider for her granddaughter’s care. The issue that prompted the change wasn’t one of quality of care, but rather, an issue over how her hours were administered by this company.

Since April 1st,  the company tried to replace these lost hours, but 22 hours is a lot to replace in a short time. One of my goals was fast becoming unattainable. I wanted benefits i.e. paid vacation time and medical insurance.

I stated that it was clear that I was not going to qualify for these benefits before my anniversary date and that with having only 25.5 hours/ week, I felt that  I didn’t need to go out on a daily basis. I knew that I could work those hours  in three days and that would help with the wear and tear on my car,on me and was more cost efficient for me.

 After some discussion, she agreed to my having one day a week off rather than two that I requested. The schedule was modified for me having Tuesdays off.

I also discussed with the scheduler that even without paid vacation time, I wanted the week of Dan’s death scheduled off. I explained that I needed the time because I didn’t know how I was going to emotionally process this anniversary.

I was concerned about the financial impact of loosing the weeks hours, but emotionally, I really didn’t care. I would find a way to meet my obligations, even if I didn’t eat…it would not be the first time that I had to do without something. Time is what I needed…more than anything.

It is just another example of how so many health care workers are denied health care coverage and benefits because many home health care companies refuse to guarantee hours to the field staff.

Never mind, that is another post….

Two weeks before the unpaid vacation, an opportunity came that would allow me to pick up 20 extra hours. That would pay for my week off and I accepted the extra hours gratefully.

What it would require is for me to work the extra 20 hours as well as my regularly scheduled 25.5 hours. It would require my regular clients to adjust the times that I normally arrived, but it definitely was able to be done.Lost in the Storm

By mid week, there was a problem….

Untill Then, My Love

It has been a year since I heard the sound of your voice, felt the soft caress of your hands or watched your sly smile and that mischievous glint in your green eyes.

It has been a year since I have felt your warm embrace and felt safely encircled by your strength.

It has been a year since I was able to touch your face and to tell you how much I love you. To reassure you and myself  that we were a team and we could face any adventure together.

It has been a year that I have been alone with my thoughts. Thoughts  filled with tortured memories of your last moments, of  the tears that you cried when you knew that you were leaving me for the final time.

It has been a year since I have felt complete and whole.

As I face this anniversary, I understand, for me, that there will be no relief from this terrible loss of you and of myself.   I realize that I may never heal from cancer’s cruel tearing us from one into two. The wound is still so fresh and it has torn my heart so deeply.

You were the best part of me and I feel that I lost my way when you could no longer walk by my side. I am so much less by your leaving…

How many years will I walk in the shadows of this time?  A lifetime of brokeness seems as long as eternity itself….

But, until, I can see your face again, Until that moment when I translate from this form of existence into the next, may God watch between you and me until we meet again..

Dan  Russell 01

Until then, my love, until then….

Another Anniversary

It seems impossible that a year has come and gone since this day.

Dan and I knew that this anniversary would be our last one together.  Thanks to the extraordinary show of love from family and friends, the simple ceremony with the pastor and a couple of friends that we first talked about became a wedding with a dinner reception. We could not have imagined this when I first asked him what he wanted to do for this anniversary and he replied, ” Get married in church”.

This was a far cry from the setting of being married in a bank vault by the Justice Of The Peace in Jellico, Tennessee. (Yes, we always were a little “unconventional”)

As I looked through these pictures, the tears came when I remembered that it was almost 5 months to the day that this wonderful man was gone from mylife. How grateful I am that we were given this amazing gift and how deeply moved I am to realize that Dan was loved so well by those who sacrificed and gave us this occasion.

I remember thinking that this Renewal Ceremony was going to be Dan’s “life celebration” and he was going to participate in it. At the time, that was my primary thought as we prepared for this special day.

Today, I am so glad that I did not understand nor know the depth of the pain his death would bring to me. If I had known, I doubt that I could have enjoyed this moment in our life. I would have had dread and fear instead of happiness.

I know that the day will come when I will be comforted by these memories, but for the present, I am tearfully gratful to see the love in Dan’s eyes for those who came to be a part of our love. He and I are so blessed to have family and friends that love us like this. I feel so humbled by their willingness to put love into action.

The Changing Sunsets

It seems that I am surfacing from the overwhelming pain of January, only to realize that the next few months have more pain to bring.

Maybe, it is the anticipation of these things that are more stressful than the time itself.

I am not looking forward to Valentine’s Day. Dan was so good at being romantic. He truly enjoyed the flowers or the gifts he bought  me.

The second time when we began dating, I was seeing a man in Canada. Dan knew about this man and, when the Canadian would call me at work and Dan would answer the phone, Dan would tell the man to stop calling me…what a stinker! He was dating other women, but he didn’t want me to talk or see this guy! Then, there was the time that the Canadian sent me flowers and Dan took the card off of the bouquet and wrote his name…he was so full of it!

I really never needed the candy or flowers on Valentine’s Day. I was content in knowing that he loved me and he never failed to tell me.

In the late afternoon or as we were drifting off to sleep, he would ask, ” Have I told you that I love you today?”. I felt so lucky to have someone who wasn’t afraid to tell me that he loved me. Because I always heard his words of love, these special days were already filled by his love before they got here. He never wanted me to feel that he took me for granted.

I miss hearing those words.

I miss his warm touch and his mischievous grin. I miss his hands. I loved the callousness that hard work placed on those gifted instruments of touch. I loved the way his hands looked when he played the bass. They reminded me of my brother’s hands as he played the guitar.

In those hands were so much talent. He could turn a wrench, pick up a hammer or draw  anything that his mind’s eye could see. I miss watching him draw pictures for my grandsons and their amazement that PapPap could draw dinosaurs and monster trucks.

I miss his arms and the safety that I found within that circle of soft caring.

I miss his eyes. Those beautiful emerald eyes that were the window of his soul.

I remember the family doctor saying that Dan intimidated him the first time they met. I asked the doctor how could that be? Then, I remembered that most fail to look into Dan’s eyes. His eyes told everything. Maybe, that is why he always wore those “Blues Brothers” dark glasses. He was hiding his soul. If you failed to look into his eyes, he could seem intimidating, but once you saw his eyes, you instantly knew that you had nothing to fear.

Each day, I keep looking for the moment when I do not have him constantly on my mind, but, so far, not a day passes when he isn’t the first and the last thing on my mind. 

He said that he had to leave so that I would fulfill my destiny. But, my heart still whispers, “You are my destiny. Now, what am I to do?”

Last evening, the sunset was glorious. The sun pillar sun-pillar-at-sunsetwas so high that it tickled the belly of the highest clouds. And, of course, my thoughts said, “Dan, did you see that one?”

He would have loved it…then, I wonder what glorious sights he sees when he looks from the other side of the sunset. How glorious are things from Heaven’s perspective?

I know that things must change. That is my head talking. My heart is so stubborn. It refuses to see the changing sunsets and accept that they are viewed by just me…

Maybe, the day will come when Dan is just another memory, but I can’t imagine it or hurry my heart…it is still with him.

Time In A Bottle

As I think about this day, the first Wedding Anniversary without him, I wonder,” Do you still have wedding anniversaries when you are a widow? ?”

It was our day, now it is mine. Mine alone.

As I write about the beginning when we were 17 and 18 years old, this day becomes a reminder that, it isn’t only our Wedding Anniversary, but today is exactly 38 years from our first date.

Instead of Spring, there must be something about “Midwinter” that became our time. Warmth from cold, love from second chances, and dreams from painful losses, all are contrasts and so were we.

I was the “good girl” and he was the “bad boy”. Later on, I was the “business woman” and he was the “hard core biker”. I was the Christian and he was the Lost Soul. How could there be compatiblity? So much for eHarmony if we abided by perceptions.

The past opinions were costly perceptions that caused us to live with lost time and love lost. He was told that he wasn’t good enough for me. I never knew this until we married. Those opinions cost us 25 years. What is the price of time?

Like the song, I wish I could save those 25 years that we were apart in a bottle. I would have loved to been his young bride with the hope of family and children with him. Instead, we had the later part of our young adult life and the beginning of our middle age years.

I am grateful for those years that were seasoned with life experience. Sometimes, when the pain seems too great, I ask myself if I would have walked away from him had I known about the premature loss from cancer? Then, I realize, I would have been even more resolved to be a part of his life if I had known he would die at 55.

Saving time…if only there was a way. But, there is no way to save time when it is lost….just like Dan, it is gone…

The Story Continues….

As I returned to school on Monday, the refrains of “Mr Bo Jangles” were ringing in my head. But, whatever pleasure that I took in replaying the memory, it was erased when the same girl appeared at the door of my Econ class.

She was there to tell me about another supposed “date” that she was on with the Preacher’s Son. I must have been a second cousin to a mule because the more she talked, the more I was resolved to not believe anything that she or anyone else said. I was living in my moment and I liked it there.

I didn’t see my old boyfriend in school for a few days. I didn’t know where he was, nor did I care. No one said anything about him to me, either. I guess I made myself quite clear that I didn’t want to know anything about him and if I did, I would ask him myself.

The next week was my father’s birthday and the family was going to go out to eat in Indianapolis. I asked the Preacher’s Son to go with us.

At first, he said that he was busy. I know I had a perplexed look on my face. I didn’t quite understand why he acted like he didn’t want to go. But, after a  few hours , he called and said that he rearranged whatever he was to do and he would be joining all of us. I was thrilled.

The rest of the week, I would see him for a few minutes out of the day when I went to work. He was in and out of the office to collect his bills for his delivery. He would smile or say “Hi”, but he didn’t have time to talk.

Finally, the Saturday night of my dad’s birthday party came. I was so excited. The Preacher’s Son wanted to drive, but my dad insisted that we all ride together…bummer!

As I think back on that event, it must have been very uncomfortable for him. Going to your boss’ birthday dinner and being on “high alert” because you were there with the boss’ daughter…the Preacher’s Son had “moxy”.

Things seemed to go well, but I noticed that the Preacher’s Son seemed to avoid my sister. He would answer her questions, but he never relaxed, not like he did when he was at my brother’s house.

When we returned at my house, he didn’t stay. It was Saturday night and my parents were insisting that I go to bed early because we had church in the morning.

He gave me a “Good night” kiss and I said that I would see him in the morning, but I didn’t. He wasn’t at church.

I don’t know why, maybe it was because my mother had a strict rule about a girl not being forward and asking about a boy, but I didn’t inquire as to where he was. I just knew that he wasn’t there and I wondered why. I could have asked his mother, but then that would have been breaking my mom’s rule….and that would have been trouble for me later.

This was new territory for me. I had no idea what was happening. I guess I thought that, since I broke up with my old boyfriend to date the Preacher’s Son, that he would take over that part of my life. I didn’t know so much.

I didn’t know that the Preacher’s Son’s mother advised him to “date around” and not get serious with any girl…and he took his mother’s advise.

Days went by and I didn’t see him at work. Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and I was beginning to wonder if I would be seeing him. I was wondering if what I thought he felt was the same as what I was feeling. I was perplexed and confused by his actions and even more by my emotions.

The week of Valentine’s Day went by and I didn’t see the Preacher’s Son at work. He wasn’t messing up on his time card and he was in and out of the office making deliveries. There was no time to talk. He didn’t call either.

12_77_57-red-rose_web1Valentine’s Day was on a Saturday that year and about 10 AM, the door bell rang. My mom went to the door and there was a delivery from the florist. The Preacher’s Son had sent a bouquet of flowers. I was overjoyed and I thought for sure that a call would follow.

Lunch time past and about 2 PM, the door bell rang again. It was the florist. This time, there was a single rose in a vase delivered. It was from the old boyfriend…still no call.

The rest of the evening past and I was feeling so disappointed. Yes, I liked the flowers. They were my first flowers sent to me by a guy,  but I would rather have the guy than the flowers. I never received a phone call from the Preacher’s Son.

Sunday came and I saw the Preacher’s Son in church, but he left before the service was dismissed and I didn’t get to thank him for the flowers.

The rest of the day, I spent in my room totally wondering what was all of this about. The phone rang and my heart took a leap. I was hoping that it was the Preacher’s Son, but it was the old boyfriend.

He asked if I received the rose and I said that I did. I remembered my manners and thanked him. He knew that I couldn’t talk on the phone very long, so, before I had to get off of the phone, he asked me if I would meet him. He needed to talk with me.

I didn’t want to do that. He had embarassed me at the basketball game and I was still mad at him for that. He kept telling me that it was really important…so I told him that I would see him at school tomorrow after lunch.

I was really beginning to dislike him a lot. I knew that he was behind the daily harassment by “the freshman girl” and I also knew that I really disliked the “spies” that he had stationed in the hallways…as if I didn’t know that he had done that one…

I guess I had a sense of obligation because of the rose. I just wanted to get this over with and I was preoccupied with wondering what had gone wrong with the Preacher’s Son.

Life seemed so much simplier when I just had homework, musicals, school and work….and not so many emotions. What was happening and why did it feel like crying?

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The First of “Firsts”

Today is the first anniversary for my blog. In many ways it has been a long year and then in other ways, it has passed so quickly.

Also, it is my husband’s birthday…He would have been 56 years old. I know that when we were in our “30’s”, we thought that 50 was so “over the hill”, but in light of being in that decade and seeing all of my peers who are “young” enough to anticipate their days with their grandchildren, his death seems so premature.

I had hoped to complete my husband’s life story, but with work and finding that writing those posts take so much energy and emotion out of me, I didn’t get it accomplished…that doesn’t mean that I am going to quit, it just means that I can’t write towards a “deadline” as a professional does.

As with my singing, my writing is an outward expression of my innermost being. If my heart isn’t into it, I don’t do either one satisfactory and my husband doesn’t deserve to have his memory recalled without forethought and my best efforts.

To write the next part of his life, I need to talk to his brother. I know what my husband told me about that part of his life. The events that took placed left a terrible prejudice in his heart for many years to come. It is so important that I tell the story correctly and set the stage for one of the amazing miracles in his life.

As I watched the sunrise this morning, (imagine that, I wake up early enough to catch a sunrise and sunset), my thoughts were of him and the tremendous life force he was when he entered into this world.

I smiled to myself and thought of the phrase that he announced when he wondered into the neighbor’s kitchen for some of her donuts, “Here me am!”. That announcement seemed to echo when he was born into this world. Its waves of energy have been silenced in his death, yet there remains, in all of us who loved him so dearly, a part of that lifeforce.

In us, he echos and we are forever better for knowing him and loving him. He will always resonate within me. He is like the last note of a symphony or the last rays of sunset…your soul has been touched and you habor those moments within you senses. They are totally awe inspiring and you are the better for it.

I recall the moonlight that bathed this familiar place on his last birthday. I was so grateful as I listened to him sleep. How I would love to hear those quiet, familiar sounds again..

They are not totally gone. I wrote about it on this blog. I have that moment and I remember the sound…It is a poor substitute, but it is better than having nothing at all.

It is the first of the first. It is the first birthday without him. It is the day that he began this life. What a wonderful miracle of life he was! It still feels so utterly impossible that he is not here, but the wave of reality overwhelms me.

When I began writing this blog, I think that I knew in my head that it was his last birthday, but it is my heart that can’t seem to grasp that he was not going to be here for this one. Now, my heart must latch onto this new reality and process the pain. There are moments that I think that this pain will kill me…but, again, my head knows that this is a state of grief and I must walk through it.

I wonder if they celebrate birthdays in Heaven? If they do, I hope someone tells him “Happy Birthday” for me and that I love him so very much.

In The Present

Time,. We measure it. We manipulate it. We feel it pass and it is either dragging on endlessly or it is flying by.

In an of itself, it is mankind’s concept. Nature doesn’t measure time in minutes, hours and days. It is measured in seasons.

The old adage, “Time heals all wounds” comes to mind. I don’t think that the wounds ever totally heal, rather they are just less visible or we fill the time with other things so that we don’t focus on the cause of our pain.

But, in time, there is the past, the present and the future. While here, we live in one of those dispensations. I have seen so many people who get stuck in the past, or they are always planning for their future. They are afraid of living in their present.

At 26 years old, I learned a valuable lesson about always planning for a “future”. I was a young wife and mother. I worked at the local hospital on second shift. My neighbor was also a nurse at the ER of the same hospital and she and I would watch each others child while we worked. I would bring the kids to work with me and she would take them back home with her until my son’s grandmother got off work and then he would stay with her overnight and I would pick him up in the morning.

This arrangement and the fact that we lived next door fostered a friendship with her and her husband. Their daughter and my son were best friends. My neighbors were in their 30’s and we all had a lot in common.

I remember the day that they returned from vacation.  They had driven all night and arrived home in the early hours of the morning. When their little girl came over to play with my son, my friend came too. She told me about the property in Maine that they purchased while on vacation. She shared all of their future plans and trips that they would be making as they built their retirement home.

At my age, I thought that they were a little strange for thinking about retiring when they were years and years away from it, but that is the viewpoint of youth.

As evening approached, she, her daugher and husband left to go get ice cream at the local Baskins and Robbins. I had no idea that I would be the last person to see her alive.

On their way back from the ice cream place, a car ran a 4 way Stop sign and hit them broadside. The impact threw the little girl out of the back hatch of their small car and, when she landed, she sustained an open skull fracture.

My friend was 5 months pregnant and the impact caused internal bleeding. As her fellow ER workers labored feverishly to replace the fluids that were leaving her body at a faster rate, she looked over toward her daughter. Her child was her main concern. I think that she knew that she wasn’t going to be there for her. All the efforts of her co workers were futile and my friend died.

Her husband was severely injured and he was transported by Lifeline to a large hospital in the city. He was in ICU for a couple of weeks while their daughter fought for her life in another city hospital.

She survived but she was definately brain damaged and she never was the same little girl that was my son’s best friend. Her father was an odd sort prior to the accident and it only caused him to be a bit more pecular.

I remember thinking that the accident changed all of their plans. They had decided to make so many sacrifices for their future dream. At some point, I realized that my neighbors were always living in the future and not enjoying their present.

Maybe, I took the wrong lesson from this event, but in light of my life with my husband, I am very glad I saw the importance of living in the present. If my husband and I did as this couple, we would never experienced the many wonderful places and things that we did. If we had waited for “retirement”, he would not be here with me and our life would have been devoid of some wonderful memories that I hold dear.

I took the correct lesson from that friend’s life and I purposed to live as much in the present as in the future. It is in the present that memories are made. They are the warmth that your heart needs when it is alone.

It is the in present that you are to make sure that tell your loved ones how you feel. There is no magic moment that causes you to think, ” I am going to tell them that I love them, tomorrow”. You do it in the moment that has presented itself. That way, there are no expressions of love left unsaid.

What of my present? Normally, I like to ” get on” with the task at hand. My temptation is to move the unpleasantness and the pain on down the path and into a past state instead of dwelling on it, however, I know that my husband’s death is not something with which I can move. It “IS” and therefore, it is a “milestone” and it set a course for my life.

After 25 years and 2 failed marriages, my husband’s life impacted me when he walked back into an old familiar door and there I stood. He wasn’t expecting me. He was expecting my brother. He was unaware that my brother had been killed in a racing accident 6 months earlier.

I didn’t even recognize him when he walked in the door, but the moment he spoke, I knew him. I was amazed that he was crossing my path, especially, at that particular moment in my life. I was  “thunderstruck”.

Seventeen years later and 7 weeks after his passing, he has “thunderstruck” me again. My present is totally re arranged and I am living in the state of the present with multi-emotions and lost direction. That man could always shake up my world!

In life and now in death, he has caused me to look at myself in a new light. Even though I did not asked for it; it has come all the same.

Through him, I began to write this blog. Through him, I realized that by walking this path, I was gaining while  loosing him. I gained the support and friendship of a community that fails to exist in my physical world. How glad I am to have this blog!

Through him, I gained children and grandchildren that biologically would never be mine, but by his sharing them and by making me their step mother, my life has been enriched.

Through him, I also suffered many things by the circumstances and choices he made before he re entered my life. At the time, some of these sufferings were very bitter, but the joy that his love gave me always out distanced the pain and the disappointments.

Through him, I learned that this thrist for life is never quenched until we  see the face of our Creator. It is in that moment, we release our hold on these temporal things and we grasp the new life that awaits. This metamorphosis is so full of awesomeness that, at the moment of passing, it leaves a wondrous expression on our face.

Now, it is time to face my new definition of “Present”. I have to learn to walk, talk and think as a “whole” person instead of part of a team. I have to look out for myself and my best interest because most everyone has others that need their efforts… No one else is responsible for me.

Today, my present is a sobering place, but at the same time, it is my place. I am defining it. I am living in it. I am not hurrying through it. It is what I can make it.

Many days, I am helpless to make it anything more than something that I must pass through, but I also am aware, that I do not travel it totally alone.

I take every wonderful and sad experience that I had with the love of my life with me. I am forever changed because he lived, he loved me and he died and that has become a part of my fiber.

As with all living things, we adapt. We take our sum total of life experiences and we forge ahead. That is what we were designed to do and so I must do it.

I wrote in one of my posts that I would live for us both. Brave words that are yet to begin. When I wrote those words, that was what was surging through me. Those words existed while he was yet on this earth. Those words are still true. I still must live for us both.

To learn how to do that starts in this present, and to accomplish that, I must find a way to reconcile our lives as they once were and take it forward to what is awaiting ahead of me. I can not leave him behind, but I must allow him, yet not rely on what he would do or be totally directed by those memories.

So, I am trying to walk in this present state of mind and I continue to place each step as carefully as possible. I am trying to find a little progress out of each day. I am aware that there shall be days that I walk backwards instead of forwards, but I will be walking, none the less….

To the present and what it holds for me, Today….

Living the Moment

Today has been exceptionally hard. My husband and I were talking about the Wedding/Renewal ceremony and the next moment, we were discussing his funeral.

We held each other as the sobs came pouring out of both of us. He is so tired all of the time now and he is loosing weight at an alarming rate. He said he wasn’t going to speak to me about the funeral until we got through with the Renewal ceremony, but I already knew that he is loosing this battle and it is always on my mind. He said he thought that I already was sensing what he was feeling. Yes, I have been feeling his weariness and his sorrow….

I started reading to him the book, “In Light of Eternity” by Randy Alcorn. It is a book that has perspectives on Heaven. He needs to hear what is between the covers of this book so that he will not be so afraid and so he won’t keep hanging on to me and the things of this earth.

He bravely said that he was trying to hang on and not leave me, but every movement causes  great effort and his hands are shaking in their lack of strength. He is fading. I doubt that we will make it to March. I think that we have weeks left and not months.

March is so hard for me already. Both my parents died in March. My birthday is in March and my mother was buried on my birthday. It took years for me to not think of my mother’s death before thinking of my birthday. My Aunt Frankie and I were with my mother at her passing.

My mother’s passing was unusual. We thought that she was sleeping. The next moment, she sat up in bed with her hands stretched upward. She had a look that is beyond description. I don’t know if it was one of terror or of sheer surprise. I think that the angel came and it was so awesome that she was afraid.

I went to her and held her in my arms as she breathed her last breath. She closed her eyes and then she was gone. Her passing and the look on her face was what I thought about on my birthday. A few weeks later was when my husband came into the door where I worked. His return helped with the hurt of my mother’s passing.

Somehow, love came back into my life and I began to celebrate my birthday again. Oh please, not March. Not March. I don’t want his passing at all, but I know if a miracle doesn’t show up soon, he will be leaving me before spring….this will be the harshest of winters for me.

Now, in the midst of planning this celebration,  I have to think and concentrate on how to arrange his burial….that will be no small task. I also have to think about informing his children about his condition…I am too tired now to think on these things. I am weary with grief and I just want to set with him and hold his hand….

Everything in me says that this is so unfair, but no one promised that life would be fair. Life just is. And there is no promise of tomorrow, just today. That is why we live in the moment and not for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come….and if it meant that he would never leave, then it would be alright if tomorrow never came so that I could live in this moment….