Today has been one of my first special days to get through. It was my husband’s birthday. It is strange to live that day without him around. I was remembering last year when we did a party for him outside in the yard with just family and one friend. He was not well then and didn’t really enjoy it.
I am sure that this day is better for him. He didn’t cope well with being unable to do the things he loved. Even though he was able to be with family during the last months it wasn’t the same for him.
Now it is time to accept this day with joy for the time I had with him. That is what he would want.
For the last few days I have been thinking about what it means to lose a spouse of almost 59 years. It has reminded me of something my grandmother said after she turned 100. She remarked that no one she had known for most of her life was still alive. No one could really grasp her journey.
I have remembered that statement and thought about it over the years. Now having lost my husband and all but one friend I grew up with I can begin to understand what she was talking about. Fortunately for me there are still people around who are my contemporaries and so there are still those who remember the things I do. That is a blessing.
I have realized though that there is a kind of loneliness in missing the person who lived most of my life with me. There are experiences that no one else shared. I know I will continue to miss being able to connect with him over our life together.
There is also a loneliness in knowing that I am alone in a way that I have never been. Thank God I have a loving and wonderful family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will continue to fill my life with joy.
Friends also help to dispel the sense of being along. With them are also many shared memories and I know that there will be many more with those I will connect in the future. I tend to look at the positive and continue to savor all that life has to offer me. This is just an in between time that brings thoughts and ponderings to light.
This past week I was able to get my second covid vaccination. It is a relief. Now I have to look to moving forward. It looks as if I will be moving to the community (that we were both to move to) at the beginning of June. I am so longing to be finally settled. I have felt so disconnected.
We were also able to go to church on Sunday and that was so wonderful. I hope that before long we will actually be able to connect in a deeper way. Masks make it so difficult.
Before I move I need to donate my husband’s things. This is hard to think about but they will mean so much to those who need them. I will feel as if I am giving part of him away but he would be glad that his things can be used. This is just another step in my grieving…another move forward.
Moving my dogs into an apartment with no outside access will be a change for them but I think they will be happy wherever I am. they are very clingy.
This has been a good day. I got to spend most of it with my daughter. The only sad spot was picking up my husband’s ashes. Doing it with my daughter made it meaningful. We will be able to do a memorial service in the fall at the church my husband built. He loved it so. We want people to be able to come and I want a military presence since that was such a part of his life.
We spent lots of time in a garden nursery center that was amazing. Just being outside with lot of plants and flowers brightens the soul.
I was a able to get a few plants to put outside and two indoor ones to make my apartment home. I love plants. However, I can’t say I miss the huge yard we moved from. It was truly overwhelming. I never could reach done….not even for a day. It was just constant. Probably one of the few things I don’t miss after moving.
So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have been unable to compose any posts. My mind has been unable to settle enough. After the week of absorbing my daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis Austin was hit by a winter storm that not only shut down power but decimated the city’s ability to provide water. My daughter’s home had power the whole time but still has no water. We are tired, thirsty and smelly. On Wednesday we moved from our apartment that had no power and only moments after getting my husband settled he died from what we believe was a heart attack. We are overwhelmed. This morning I read this poem in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Prayers from Prison” and found great solace from the words of the last two verses of the poem “Joy and Sorrow.” I place them here for your reflection. I know I will read them often.
“What then is Joy? What then is Sorrow? Time alone can decide between them, when the immediate poignant happening lengthens out to continuous wearisome suffering; when the labored creeping moments of daylight slowly uncover the fullness of our disaster Sorrow’s unmistakable features. Then do most of our kind sated, if only by the monotony of unrelieved unhappiness, turn away from the drama, disillusioned, uncompassionate.
o ye mothers, and loved ones-then, ah, then comes your hour, the hour for true devotion. Then your hour comes, ye friends and brothers! Loyal hearts can change the face of Sorrow, softly encircle it with love’s most gentle unearthly radiance.”
This recent surge of covid has really been depressing. So many people are affected. This is a sad comment on how everything is going in our country. I am so sad. It seems as if there is one tragedy after another. I guess living in this country I didn’t appreciate the sadness and lack of hope experienced by those in countries that suffer famine, violence, hatred, fear and deprivation. I’m only getting a small taste of all of that but it is enough to give me a better understanding.
In reading comments from others tonight I realized that in addition to giving up my home and many “things” this change has caused me to move away from being the “matriarch.” It was always my home that some of my children came to during Christmas time. It was my table where we ate and I considered it my job to be sure that everyone had a good Christmas.
Now I seem to be in a new world. One where my role has changed and I am not sure how I feel. I miss so many things besides the obvious. I miss my volunteer work, my caring for others who I could help, my place in my local community. All of this is gone. In many ways I have lost myself.
I know that this will change and that covid has made this a problem that it would not normally be. In another time I would have been able to get out and meet people. Find places to help and volunteer and covid ahs taken that away.
This is something to ponder on and find ways to plan for something new.
This is the first night that I have attempted to write anything. Having lived for almost a month in chaos has me really drained. We are finally able to feel as if we live in our apartment. It is a very quiet and tree filled area. It is, however, much different than living in a neighborhood where everyone smiled and waved to each other. It feels emotionally cold although I am sure that is just me adjusting to a different world.
Right now it is hard. My family is mostly busy during the week with work and school even though available for help and ememrgencies if needed. It feels very lonely although in truth no different than our former home during covid. Getting out is the same and it was lonely at home too. It just feels different in a different space. I know these feelings will pass and some of it is homesickness but at the moment it makes me sad.
Sometimes waiting is so hard. All of us waiting for a vaccine and for something to change. In lots of ways putting life on hold. We have to find ways to continue to live even if in a different way.
I am holding on to that hope for now and managing.
I am sorry to have missed so many blogs and so many of you on wordpress and on facebook. I will try to get back to my former pattern so that I can reconnect.
In this week coming up to Thanksgiving in the US I will be counting my blessings and they are many. Peace, Suzanne
I hate to keep writing that days have been tough but it is the truth. Trying to divide what we want to move with us and what we do is confusing. Also, accepting that this is it finally. I have wanted it here but now that it is it is really stressful. I have been fighting anxiety and taking meds when I usually don’t need them.
Change is hard and not what we usually want. We need this and it will take a while to get things organized. So many doctors to set up for my husband and visits to them. When we get it all set up it will be a gigantic relief. We already have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist and that is the most critical one since his primary problem is the infection in his knee replacement.
At some time I will be able to think again and write about interesting topics instead of whining about my stresses. I am looking forward to that. I have also written so little on my other blog “heargodinothervoices.” my thoughts about God have been thanking him for his support with me and his continuing care.
This week will be busy so I will write when I can and know that the community will understand and support me.