Friday, February 26, 2016

There are days I just can't get over the goodness that surrounds me.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend texted me and asked if I needed any help with house projects. Turns out I had a little project that I thought I needed help with (though later it turned out that I think I could've done it all by myself)... so I said "I would LOVE it if you could help me with..." I bought the supplies for the job and he showed up a few days later and just took care of it.

Later, I posted on FB to find out if anybody knew of somebody who could help me with what I thought was a simple thing in the office. A friend volunteered to help me, came over, saw what needed to be done and came back later to take care of it. (And in the meantime two or three other friends also volunteered to do it.) 

Two days ago, I looked out the window to find a friend gettin' ready to prune my apple trees....for the FOURTH year in a row. I didn't ask him to do it. He just showed up. 

Now, when my friend, Todd, offered to help, the verse in the Bible about helping the widows and the orphans popped into my head and all of a sudden it occurred to me that I'm one of those.... I knew it, but hadn't associated myself with needing to be taken care of... It was (and still is) an odd thing to think about. It's a very beautiful thing and very strange to be in this spot.

I am in awe of the wondrous love of friends that surrounds me.... Just can't get over it.

These days, I find myself crying more than I have before... And, as I told my friend, Laurie, I don't really mind the tears but I am often surprised when they show up... Sometimes they don't stop for a few minutes.

The times I feel them most strongly, lately, are when my children do something that I know he'd love to see... And, I often want to tell him something or ask him something. Or, go to sleep with him next to me -- rubbin' my head... Or, wake up with him next to me.

Oh... this grief thing. It is sumpthin' else!

Thank goodness for all the love around me. Thank goodness. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Grief is such a strange thing. I can go for weeks without many tears and then one day, they just overflow and sometimes it doesn't seem like they'll stop.

It also must induce a type of fear or something too... fear of trying new things (that could be innate in me, though), fear of moving ahead, fear of the unknown. 

I keep thinking of so many things that I think would be fun or adventurous or smart to try, but I just can't move forward. I dream of a new baby puppy, but I'm sort of scared to take that on all by myself. I dream of a part-time job, but how do I even go out and let the world know that they need me on their team? I dream of downsizing and finding a house and yard that is more compact, but how do I even begin to get this house ready to sell?

It seems like the WISE thing to do is to proceed with caution... I mean, it hasn't even been very long since Harv died.  And, in some ways it's just now hittin' me. 

In the midst of a giant life-change for her, I remember Laura telling me that someone told her not to make any big decisions for a year. That seems right to me...and yet, I kinda feel antsy and like I need to DO something.

One or more of my children have said to just make one decision and then the rest will fall into place. I'm pretty sure that's right, too.

But, I think what it kinda boils down to is that my partner isn't here to bounce ideas off... (I know, though, that he'd encourage me to do what I wanted to do) And, whatever I take on is pretty much all mine... can't share with him the way I did before.

The other day I was walking and I was thinking about new puppy and I was reminded (as if Harv was right there in my head) of a time before we got Raney and he said "There's never a convenient time to get a puppy." Which kinda made me smile. 'Cause that's true. 

Maybe Raney and I need a little levity and puppiness in our house right now.

Who knows?

Thursday, February 11, 2016


I've been thinkin' about Valentine's Day and knowin' that Harv's not gonna be here for it. I've been kinda bothered about it, but not really upset 'cause it wasn't a GIGANTIC thing for us.  We would usually go out for a nice dinner and we'd give each other cards and sometimes he'd give me flowers and chocolate. But mostly, I haven't been terribly concerned that we wouldn't celebrate together.

Last night, as I was gettin' ready for bed, I noticed the stack of things on my bedside table. It's been buggin' me for a while 'cause it was gettin' too "tall" and things weren't sittin' flat. So, I decided to straighten things up.

I found this:

It's a book Harv made for me with 100 reasons why he loves me.

Call me crazy, but he was talkin' to me last night. He was sendin' me a very clear message.

I love you, too, Harv.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Thank you...

Sometimes I think about how good our family and friends have been to us from the very beginning of Harv's illness....and I still can't get over it. People continue to be good to me... I think I've written most of my thank you notes, but sometimes I think of individual things and wonder if I properly said "thank you" to everybody. 

Cards, letters, Facebook posts, emails, meals, flowers, yardwork, dog-walkin', toilet-cleanin', sittin' with me, arranging the details of his memorial service, showin' up for his memorial service...some of you from far, far away. It really IS a big deal that you helped throughout his illness and traveled here to be with us and helped celebrate the life of my good husband and are helping even now to lighten the burden of grief. 

It just blows my mind. Still.

For all of those things -- and many, many more -- I want to say "thank you." 

What a gift you all are to me...

Lots and lots and lots of love to you all.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Miss Scaredy Pants

When Harv and I were engaged, we talked about money. He loved to save. I loved to spend. I loved to spend more money than I actually had. Thus, when we were about to get married, I had some debt. Harv, wise man that he was, didn't think it was a good idea to start our marriage with debt. So he paid mine (after I ashamedly and reluctantly admitted how much there was). 

I knew that I never wanted to disappoint him by racking up debt ever again. We had a financial plan. We stuck to it.  And, while I have always been pretty good at spending, we both made sure that we were never in debt (not counting house payments and short-term loans on cars). And we were able to save as well.  

In addition to that, I happily turned over the managing of the finances to Harv when we got married. I loved not looking at checkbooks or investments or savings accounts. "Just tell me how much I can spend and I'll behave." Harv and I had occasional "financial summits" as we called them to discuss where we wanted to give, how much to put away, what financial goals we wanted to have. I never liked those even though I appreciated that HE appreciated my input and that we jointly made household $$ decisions. But, mostly, I ignored the finances (except for my weekly budget) and let him do his thing.

When he got sick, he tried to teach me how to handle the KBoards finances. He composed an instruction booklet with all the steps and sat with me as he taught me how things should go.  It all seemed like "blah blah blah" to me. I did it a time or two. And, then... he seemed to be handling his illness pretty well and so he went back to taking care of it again.  Whew! That was close! He took care of all of the finances for KBoards through the month of August -- which is pretty good 'cause he would've had to handle it into the month of September. Good man...

So! I've done it since October. I know pretty much what to do and I do it. But I reeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllyy hate it. 

It is now time to collect all of the papers and compile them in a neat pile and take them to Mr. Tax Man ('cause I'm not EVEN gonna try to handle the tax stuff THIS year!).  

But here's the thing... every time I have to handle the finances, I have a visceral reaction that literally brings me to tears. (I don't sob and I'm not out of control, but the tears DO come.) It feels like I'm forcing myself to conquer some giant physical obstacle that is terribly frightening. You know what I mean? The kind of thing where you know you MUST jump to save your life, but you don't want to? Or, the feeling like when you're in an airplane and there's turbulence and you hate it, but you can't do anything about it?  

Today I tried to figure out why I get such a physical reaction. And, I'm wondering if it's 'cause I'm scared I'm gonna do something wrong. What if I screw it all up? What if I disappoint Harv? What if I forget something? 

In my head, I know it's irrational. Harv has taken good care of us. I have people around me to help me. And, worst case scenario, I forget something....but most likely, if I forget to pay somebody, they will let me know and I might have to pay a little bit more.

But, here I am today... procrastinating the tax paper compilation 'cause.. YUCK. 

I will conquer it, though. I will do my best to make him proud. And, I know that each time I take a step, it gets easier...and next year will be easier than this year.  

Until then, I will tell myself, "GoFightWin!, Miss Scaredy Pants. GoFightWin!"