Monday, September 30, 2013

I Choose Life

This life is not all there is. This life is a rehearsal for our real life, our forever life in the presence of God. Steven just has heaven before I do. That I'll get there someday and see that smile of his again is just a matter of time. But the desire to pull the covers up over my head and not come out is still a strong pull. If I do that I would be choosing to not live, which is like choosing to die. Not a physical death but, certainly emotionally and spiritually.

If you are not turning toward God, you are turning away from him. I choose life. Life toward a God that knows me better than I know myself. I will not be destroyed with this heart crushing sorrow and disappointment. I want a life that is open to new joys as well as additional sorrows. I'd just like to request it be a while before the other shoe drops.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Satan's Goal

One main goal of Satan in a believer's life is to drive a wedge between them and God. And what better time to attempt that then during calamity? It is a period when emotions are raw and faith is questioned. We are at our weakest, and confusion can lead to fear.

Being self controlled and alert means I need to stay in charge of my emotions and decisions. But circumstances have me at a disadvantage right now. How blessed I am to know where my strength comes from. And I also know how this whole story ends.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Can I Still Blame Steve?

In every home things happen that no one claims blame for. Unfortunately for me, I can't point a finger anymore. All this time it was I missing the garbage can. I thought my aim was straight on. And then there is the sink after brushing my teeth. Could it be that someone comes after me and brushes? Who leaves windows open with the heat on? Who doesn't empty the drain in the sink, or close the garage door?

A quote by Bob Moawad: "The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Time Is On My Mind

As I watched my grandson dump his plate on the table and eat with his hands, that which we would eat with a spoon, I was reminded how easy life is as a child. There was no care of what others thought of his manners. He would have plunged head first into the river's current had one of us not grabbed him. No fear of consequence. If he doesn't want his toy, he throws it.

I remember as a teen, I could hardly wait to get out from under my parents rule. Little did I realize what the big bad world had in store for me. Life as an adult.

The reality of what I'm dealing with now is overwhelming at times. There are lawyers and probate, accountant's and taxes, medical and funeral bills and decisions to make. Every facet of my life seems askew. Emotions, my physical health, my faith walk, my relationships, all feel somewhat broken. I'm broke and the only thing that will fix me is...time.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Temptation Looks Like To Me

"How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?" (Psalm 13:2)

Can I have faith enough to not ask God to take away the suffering, but trust Him to sustain me through it? None of us want hard things. A flat tire on the side of the road can be a learning experience on tire changing but no one would choose it.

When we are in pain we become vunerable to the enemy's tempting. What does that look like for me? To be honest, it would involve envy of others who are in a loving relationship. Also the deep desire to lay down and sleep and not get out of bed. Probably the worse for me is to be angry at smokers. How dare they continue doing this and then put someone in the position of caregiver to watch them waste away to nothing. I think when I say things out loud (or write for the world to see) it brings to light what I'd like to deny and keep in the dark. Step one.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Have Insanity

I have always felt that despite adversity, I've done pretty good at keeping sane. It's only recently as I go through this mourning process that I have begun to doubt my sanity.

How a person can be fine one minute, and burst into full fledge tears the next, is new to me. But it happens everyday. I have triggers that will put me over the edge, scenes in my head of Steve in his sickness that are unbearable even today. One of many is the day we passed the mirror in the hallway on the way to the bedroom. He was using his walker and stopped. I saw so much emotion in his face as he assessed his reflection and realized what this cancer had done to his body.

He has a new body today. He is strong and healthy inside and out. He had comfort and joy.

I have insanity.


First Came Faith Then Came Love

Faith in God came easy to me. I wanted to believe there was a plan and purpose for me. Gosh, it seemed so big. And what a relief to know there was someone else behind it all.

Then came love. When I felt and accepted the unconditional love of God, everything else fell into place. That God loved me was amazing, but I needed it really bad. So I clung on and never let go. Even today. I had a friend ask me if I was mad at God, and I said no, I'm just glad he was there to pick me up.

Monday, September 16, 2013

With Knowledge Comes Confidence

It's not just missing Steve and the ora of his energy, it's the absence of anyone. There are several minutes in each day that I used to have someone by my side and now I don't. At a time when major decisions need to be made, I need to think hard, then cry because I have to do this and I'm a baby at heart. Then I make a decision and if it turns out to be wrong it will be me to blame and I can cry about that. I hate my weaknesses.

I wonder if someday in the future when I've grown into the new me, I will look back at this silly woman and shake my head at her. This Denice of today who aches and cries. She thinks if she doesn't know something it is out of stupidity. Who needs to learn that with knowledge comes confidence.

My head hurts from thinking about this. I think I need a nap.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Someone Stop Me

I have a bad habit on the weekends of mastering my task list and sometimes I know I need to stop but don't. Steve was good at sensing my inability to stop the 12 projects I would have going in each room. He would see me rubbing my lower back and getting crabby. It was then he would take me by the shoulders and make me put down what I was doing. He's lead me in to the couch, make me lay down, give me the remote and my stack of books and tell me next time he walked in this room I better still be there.

He had no idea how much I appreciated that. Now I don't stop. Another thing I will need to learn.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dream Weaver

I woke up feeling hang dogged. My mind was filled with blah, blah negative thoughts. As I sat down to do my devotion, my dream from last night came back to me and I realized my mood was the result of my dream emotion. In the dream, I was joking around and said something offensive. A foot in mouth moment, but an insult to a certain race, one of which was within hearing distance. I can't explain the ramifications of this comment other than to say it was unforgivable.

How do you shake that? I started praying and ask God to remind me that, it was a stinking dream and He is the only one whose opinion really matters.

I'd like to say that was it and I went about my day with my chin up, but I didn't, so I won't.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Dearest Steven, I'm Having A Bad Day

My Dearest Steven, I'm having a bad day. Why did you have to go and die? You came into my life and saved me from myself. When bad things happen, you are there to talk to. When I cry, you hold me. When I fall, you get down with me. When I overreact, you tell me I'm overreacting.

I've have this bad day happening Baby, and I can't stop crying. I'm on the floor, and you're not here to talk to or hold me. You're not on the floor with me. And don't even try to tell me I'm overreacting.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Light Of Misfortune

I talked to a friend recently about some serious health issues in her family. I realized at that moment, that the light of misfortune was now shining on someone other than me. While my heart goes out to my friend and her family, I feel relief at not having the heaviness of praying for that miracle for Steve. But, looking at her pain filled face I felt helpless at not knowing what to say or do.

Lord, don't let my experience of anguish be wasted in my life. Use it. Use me, to help others who feel their soul has been pierced beyond repair.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Figuring Out Who I Am

I don't know who I am. I once was Steve's wife. We were a bit of a comedy team, like Sonny and Cher. We insulted each other with ease and it was fun. He led, I followed. We agreed to disagree about some things by not bringing them up. I'm not sure how healthy this was, but it worked.

Then, I was Steve's caregiver. This role was a year that started off slow and gathered speed. The last few months I would not know how to describe. Maybe as overwhelming. When Steven died, the framework of our plans and dreams collapsed.

As I note each era of my life, I know I'm entering one very different, simply because I'm a single entity. No one is relying on me, like when the kids were young or Steve was sick. With the singleness come choices I've never had. I can change anything, from the color of the walls to the country I live in. I frankly don't remember a time like this.
It's confusing to have this much freedom. To go from being taken care of, to taking care of someone else, to being responsible for only me.

It's important for me to not forget where I came from. My past has woven me into this woman. With age comes wisdom. Wisdom to examine my faith, morals and integrity. I know Steven made a difference in my life and it is a legacy I'll carry with me forever.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

No Season Dread

I have spent a year dreading each season. You can't get excited about any future thing when the one you love has terminal cancer. A holiday's meaning loses its appeal. They are just more markers leading to the inevitable. Steve was diagnosed in June of last year. When fall came I wondered if he would make it to another summer and if so, would he be heathy enough to do the things he loved. As winter drew closer the weather stayed mild. Steve fished into December. We put off brain radiation until January. But this last spring refused to come. I knew he was running out of time. I prayed for God to let it warm up, but the cool weather and rain held on. The circle had come back around to Summer. And we knew Steve would not make it through it.

Now as we enter fall I find nothing to dread. There is no inevitable with the one I love. And as sad as that part is, I can find hope in a new season, a new beginning.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Anniversary Baby

My Steven,

Today would mark our 20th Anniversary. That's a big deal. I loved it that we were married Labor Day weekend. It gives us three or four days of celebration, instead of just one.

What would we have done? Camped? Or maybe have a dinner somewhere? We weren't much for eating out. Maybe some steaks on the grill. Cheering each other several times saying, 'Oh, did we cheer?'

I miss you everyday Steven, but today I will think of you all day and wish you were here for 'our' big deal. And, I'll accept your gift of the beautiful diamond necklace hidden away in your closet. I'll think you were saving it just for today. And I'll hear your voice say, "Happy Anniversary Baby...nothing but the necklace."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

List Making

I have lists for everything. It would drive Steven crazy, which I enjoyed. But, list making was my way of freeing up brain space. When I started using Notes on my iPhone, I was ecstatic. I had pages labeled movies to watch, books to read, window measurements, health updates and medications, websites to go to, phone calls to make, blog ideas and many others.

I was adding my info into Steve's iPad and when I added my notes they duplicated so there was 2 of every note. So I went through and deleted one of each. The next day when I opened the iPad, my notes appeared and then disappeared. I almost cried. I got my phone and they were gone from there too. I hadn't backed anything up. But, even weirder was that Steve's notes were there. I hadn't seen them before. And low and behold, there was a draft of a letter he wanted to write me. It was precious. Especially since he didn't always say how he felt. It also told the 3 prayers he said every day. I still cry every time I think of this. And as Mary in the Bible did, I will treasure up all these things and ponder them in my heart.