Sunday, August 12, 2012

A New Life

This blog has been closed for some time but as I have healed and grown in the past months, I have now decided to continue my writings in another blog. It's been a tough year and a half since Elbert's passing and I've learned a lot about grief, being a widow and wondering what life holds for me. I've missed all of you and have wondered how things are going in your journey with the care of your loved one. I'd be so thrilled if you'd come for a visit at my new blog.
It's a New Day, a New Life

Love you,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time for Goodbyes

Life seems to be full of hellos and goodbyes. How delightful it would be to just say hello and goodbye was never a word to deal with.

I said goodbye to my sweetie years ago as I watched his mind slowly succumb to the ravages of Alzheimers. It was what they call a 'long goodbye'. Then, there was the final goodbye.

It was a year ago Jan. 3rd that we lost him. Tough year. I have struggled and struggled to find my way out of that deep, dark hole. I have had help from so many wonderful friends and of course, my family. But, I realized recently that I was not feeling good about this blog anymore. It dragged up so much out of me, remembering all the pain. There is a saying 'You can't move forward, if you keep looking back'. or something like that. I have gotten to a point in my life where I need to move forward.

Don't think for one minute that I don't miss Elbert as much as I did a year ago. I will always love and miss him terribly. Yesterday was a rough day, I cried alot just remembering all our wonderful times together. I got depressed. I was sad. And, I felt myself falling down in that dark hole again. To save myself and my sanity I must keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I have decided to close this blog. It's just too difficult. HOWEVER.... I would never want to lose my friends that I have made here. I just hope you will hop on over to my other blog Living Life On Main Street. We will move forward together and that would make me happy. You all have been the dearest and most loyal friends. I wish you all the best as you continue on your struggle and hopefully I'll see you commenting and keeping me updated on Living Life on Main Street.

God Bless each of you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Trip To The Beach

Twice a year Shirley and I go to the beach for a week of scrapbooking with about 20 women. We look forward to it so much and this year was no exception. But, all the best laid plans of mice and men and women who crop ... well, you know how that goes. Nothing seemed to go right this year. We probably should have just stayed home.
                                    (this picture was made last Oct.)

We arrived Monday around noon. A few of the gals were already there and Shirley and I got settled down to working on our scrapbooks. It was a small room, no view to speak of, couldn't hear the ocean waves or see the water except for a sliver from the upstairs room window. Restaurants were closed and we liked to have never found a place to eat.

And, eating got Shirley into a ton of trouble!! We ate Monday night and she woke up Tuesday morning with her throat swollen nearly shut, she could barely swallow, she was having chills and a fever. She did continue to stay up until 5:30 that afternoon, went to sleep and was not able to get up until 9 the next morning. So, we headed home and a doctor visit for her.

The night we ate out, she had eaten some habanero peppers that were hidden in some mango salsa and had a severe allergic reaction. There's a name for it but I don't remember what it is. The doctor said next time, she'd go into shock so she is now equipped with an epi-pen to carry with her, just in case. Boy, that was scary. Glad we are back home and she is slowly recovering.

So, no... the beach trip was not a good time for us. Maybe next time.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's a rainy day and I was just sitting here thinking.......

Remembering days (and years) past. There are times I feel like I have climbed to the top of the stairs and then I stumble and go plunging down, around and around into that big black hole

and tears come and I feel such a hole in my heart.

I miss his smile!!
He was always smiling, so happy, so much fun. Gee, I miss that.

I miss his hugs....

He loved people. And, he could be such a kid.

How did this happen? We were supposed to grow old together ... But years of Alzheimers stole him from me. He'd always been there for me and I cared for him for those long trying years. I found out one thing about myself...

I will pick myself up, climb those stairs again and start all over, taking one day at a time. It's been 14 months since he left ....

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Inspiration

This is the last in the series of Widows Who Have Inspired Me. 

I could not possibly do that series without mentioning Nancy Reagan.

I was impressed with Nancy long before she lost her Ronnie. They had a devotion to each other that is seldom seen and I really admired that. People griped and complained about her while Pres. Reagan was in office and that must have hurt her deeply. But, how very deep must have been the pain as she watched her husband's brilliant mind just waste away and then to have him gone from her forever. We widows/widowers have experienced pain like that.

I remember her during the long, difficult and very tiring funerals. Flying back and forth across country, being on public display with your grief. Her demeanor was impecable. She showed such grace, such strength. She inspired me beyond measure.

I own her book 'Love You, Ronnie', the collections of letters and notes that her Ronnie had written to her over the years. I love to read that book. And, I am so happy that I have my own collection of letters my dearest sweet husband wrote me over the years. Here is a picture of him writing to me right after we first met. He's the guy on the right. Oh wow... that was an eon ago.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Woman of Courage

In this series of inspiring widows I could not leave out the woman who inspired me the most. My Mother.

I was still an unborn babe when my Dad died. That tragedy (he was hit by lightning)  left my young Mother a widow with an 8 1/2 year old and an unborn child. It was during the  lean years of the Depression. She had no skills, no money (my Dad was a farmer). She must have been scared to death besides deeply grieving the loss of the love of her life. Their car was sold, so was the wagon to probably pay for the funeral. The mule had been killed in the lightning strike. 

There was nothing she could do but move in with my grandparents. She soon went to work at a nearby cafe/tourist camp cleaning rooms. Later on she walked 3-4 miles to town to work with the WPA, first cleaning and sorting books in the library. Maybe that is one reason I love to read so much! Next she went to work, the WPA again, cutting fabric to be made into dresses. Always walking to and from work, rain or shine, hot or cold.

I never saw my Mother complain about anything but she must have been exhausted from her daily grind and she'd come home to a tot of a girl (me) who wanted stories told to her as we fell asleep in the same bed. I can actually remember my Mother drifting off to sleep right in the middle of the story. 

My Mother did not remarry until I was 13 years old. My step-dad died several years before she did. Not once did I see her without grace, without a heart of gold. She drew such strength from her faith and from her upbringing. She set such a wonderful example for us girls... to tough it out through thick and thin teaching us that life is what it is and that we should make the most of every day, to be happy with what we had, and to be gracious to everyone. My Mom died in 1996. I grieve her still.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inspiring Widows

I am inspired by the strength of widows, at least a goodly portion of them. I want to introduce you to a few that have inspired me.

Today I was thinking about my Grandmother. I called her Ma. That was short and sweet... Ma. Doesn't take much effort to say it. Ma.

My Ma was a little woman barely over 5' after she got old and got all slumped over. My Pa was about 6'4" and those two looked like Mutt and Jeff together.

He'd seen her at a dance, her auburn hair catching his eye and he vowed he'd marry her. Only problem, he'd have to wait until he became of age. He was a tad younger than she. So, she waited and he became old enough to have a wife and they got married and started a family. My Mother was one of those children.

Pa was my favorite but I have fond memories of my Ma, too. I am the age right now that she was when she became a widow. Hard to imagine. She was always quiet, in the background, her oldest daughter even had charge of the household so Ma piddled in the garden, gathered eggs in her apron to bring into the house and she was the best and fastest blackberry picker for counties around.

Ma was a widow at 78, like I say, my age. I was 14 when my Pa died and then later on I married and moved away. I didn't spend much time with her until much later. By then she was sitting by the window watching the world go by, never complaining (oh, lordy I could take a lesson or two from her).

 I know she missed her husband so much but she never talked about it. It was held inside her, letting her grief mold her into the woman that I remember.

Elbert and I moved back near Ma in 1969. She'd been a widow for 20 years at that time. She was 98 years old, still fairly sharp, hard of hearing but what I keep in the back of my head is her ability to just 'go on with life'. She was tough, she was strong, and she lived until she was over 100. I can't imagine being without my Elbert for 22 years like she was without Pa that long.

I was standing by her  bedside when she passed. It was peaceful, easy, she was ready to go be with her Lord and Robert, her husband long gone. Her life inspires me beyond measure. She'd lost children, her husband, her hearing and yet she moved through life one day at a time. I hope I can do the same.