Friday, April 30, 2021

Checking In and Checking Out


entering the Grotto at Hollis Garden
photo taken by Terri D

Hey everybody, it's been just one adventure following another these last couple of months: road trips putting mileage on my Ford. Now I'm packing my bag for an air trip.  I'm "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" to see The Cook on Fifth Street (my mother) in her nursing home. 

FYI: she hasn't lived in her house on 5th Street for several years, but that's the pseudonym she chose for herself back when I was giving people special names here on my blog.

COVID has wreaked havoc with me, as it has with just about everybody. Aside from my most obvious and painful loss, this trip I'm taking is my fourth attempt to see my mother over the past twelve months. All the cancellations were due to COVID restrictions and ramifications.

I am thinking this would be a good time for me to take a little break from blogging so I can devote myself to the purpose for the trip, do a little more reading, nap a little more, and enjoy the familiar hospitality of Sister and Former Farmer. 

One of the big adjustments to life as a widow is having to be the one in charge ("the buck stops HERE!"). While Beloved may have said with a smile on his face that I've always been the one in charge, it was truly a shared deal with us and I sorely miss all the things he did to take care of me. He was very good at this. I'll make a list of the things I've had to learn since his departure for Heaven's Gate:

- how to change the ink cartridges in the printer

- how to operate his car with features my car did not have

- keeping track of oil changes 

- always looking at the car tires

- learning to pay attention to warning lights on my dashboard

- how to turn on (and off) the generator

- how to change the battery in the car's keyless start fob

- how to buy and change out the filter in the air handler

- what to do with all the finance-related snail mail

- keeping an eye on the gas tank during road trips

- when to ask for help with computer updates

- greater diligence keeping track of passwords

- when to ask for help with the smoke alarms

- when to ask for help with the sprinkler system

- what to do when a neighbor's lawn company mistakenly treats my yard

- what to do when the AC guy shows me the accumulated mold growing on the air filter

- buying salt pellets for the water softener

- what to do with his stuff (clothes, desk, garage, books, etc) 

- driving myself everywhere instead of enjoying the view from the passenger seat

- how to collect and organize documents for tax time

- grocery shopping without his help to push the cart and unload it

- learning how to pray more about EVERYTHING 

You may look at the list (which is not exhaustive -- this is just what comes to mind right now) and think I'm quite the weakling. You may wonder if I did anything of worth when Beloved took care of it all. 

But of course we had a nice division of labor here. I planned detailed menus and grocery lists, cooked a big variety of very healthy menus most days of the week, I cleaned the house, kept it organized, and helped my man dress appropriately for any occasion. I also pulled weeds.

We did practically everything together, and especially after he retired a few years ago. He was my best friend. He held my hand all the time. Aside from the day he died, his funeral a few days later, and the first time I saw his grave headstone, one of my worst days was on our wedding anniversary when I remembered a line in our wedding vows, "Till death do us part."

That realization hit me like a hard broadside car collision: we were no longer married to each other. As odd as that sounds, this didn't come  to me until three weeks after his death and it brought me very, very low. 

Well. (sigh) That was a few months ago. My ability to cope is getting stronger. This is not a pity party. I'm just making note of changes that have come to my life. While I look back at these things, I marvel at the Lord's mercy, protection, generosity, and overall watch care through it all. I have MUCH for which to be thankful.

With that said, a trip out of town is most welcome because I will be with people who will look after me for a few days and I can rest. I don't know when I'll be back to blogging, but just want my readers to know all is well with me and why I'll be silent for a time.

Until next time, grace and peace to you.

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you... He will rise up to show you compassion... Blessed are all who wait for Him!   ... how gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you ... Although the LORD gives you adversity and affliction... you will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Isaiah 30:18-21

Here is a link to a song that says it well for me:

Goodness of God

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