I WON'T BACK DOWN

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

CROCKPOT AUTUMN SOUP Recipe


I like this soup in the Fall – it is simple to make and tasty too ;-)

I put it all in the crockpot (and added a handful of sliced Chanterelle mushrooms because I was curious) and let the goodness begin … it was delish!



AUTUMN SOUP ~serves 4 (1-3/4 cups each)

4 teaspoons Margarine * 1 cup EA diced Onion & Celery * 4 cups Chicken Stock (homemade is best) * 3 cups cubed Butternut Squash * 8 ounces dry Navy Beans * 2 teaspoons Bacon Bits

The peeled squash was slick, so I held it with a clean dishcloth while I finished peeling it.
Sliced Butternut squash waiting to be seeded before cubing.
Cubed Butternut for the soup ...
Combined Autumn Soup ingredients in crockpot. I freeze my stock in 2 cup measurements, then crack it to add to my crockpot.

Bring to a boil on HIGH – then turn down to LOW and continue cooking 4 to 6 hours; depending on your crockpot.

**********
While the crockpot soup was cooking, I put sweet potatoes on the stove to cook because I want to mash and freeze them for future meals – and I also got busy with the mushrooms Mike sent home with me the other day … (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/10/something-old-something-new.html)

When these sweet potatoes are cooked, I am going to mash them and season them with a Fall blend of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg … and freeze them in individual serving sizes to add to my meat meals Freezer Fare :-D
The canned Chanterelle Mushrooms were stored for another day; I’ll make a mushroom soup with them later on. The bagged Chanterelle mushrooms were sliced & frozen for future use. I added a handful of sliced Chanterelles to the Autumn Soup posted above.
I put the Cauliflower Mushroom to soaking … and started cleaning all the whorls with a soft bristled toothbrush to get as much of the forest floor out of the tight curls as I could.
The Cauliflower Mushroom wasn’t as sturdy as it felt, and it kinda came undone while I was cleaning it. That’s okay: it will cook up easier in pieces ;-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BEGGING OFF THE HOLIDAYS


I went for a walk along the Pennsylvania Avenue Dike this afternoon. It was enjoyable – but I did miss Bob being with me. He would have enjoyed the walk today.

It was bittersweet for me. I enjoy walking; I enjoy walking in various places. There is NO place really, spanning all of Cowlitz County, Wahkiakum County, Lewis County, Clark County, Pierce County, Chelan County, Pacific County, Clatsop County where we did not walk together while we were together … no matter where I walk, Bob will always be a part of those walks.

While I was walking, the kids called: and I begged off the holidays again this year. I just can’t do them right now – they understood. I couldn't do them last year because I was in the hospitals August thru December 14th; then I was grappling with widowhood: this year I am grieving, which I didn't really start to do until after March 2019 after funeral stuff was settled. Even now, because of legalities issues, I am not fully able to grieve because life keeps interfering with that hard and necessary process. Every interruption sets the process back and interferes with getting on with life. It's a ride that apparently there is no brake for.

I still cry sometimes talking about Bob; today was one of those days. Probably because of where I was in the moment … and possibly because while we were talking a Great Blue Heron lifted up and flew over my head – and a White Egret was fishing practically at my feet - and Bob liked to watch herons as much as he liked to watch eagles. Every time I see an eagle or a heron I think of Bob:

Bob would be calling my attention to the bird.
Bob would have liked to see this .. and correcting me, telling me that “this bird is a ‘heron’, not a crane.” LOL Egrets are really just a type of heron, while cranes belong to a separate group of birds ... Cranes' necks are a shorter than those of herons, and they typically hold them straight.
Got something to eat: GULP!
Mallard Ducks. We always enjoyed the ducks here. And looked forward to Spring babies …
Almost stepped on this Fuzzy Wuzzy nestled in the grass along the gravel road.



I started crying when I was telling the kids about the bird, and that’s when I begged off the holidays. I said, “I think I’ll pass these upcoming holidays, and maybe in the Spring things will be calmer. Let’s shoot for Spring. I love all of you and I really do want to see your new home … but this is a happy time for you guys; and I am not happy right now: I don’t think I can pretend. I miss your Dad. I miss your Grandpa. I miss my husband. And right now, I can’t control those emotions when they come on me; they have to run their course.”

Bless their hearts (and I mean that in a good way ;-)), they said they understood, and that it is still early in the grieving process, and that I need to do what I need to do to heal. If that means separating myself from everyone and everything until I am comfortable being in the thick of things, that is okay with them. I think they are finally “getting me”. When the time is right, I WILL be glad to jump in the middle of things … but, the time is not yet right. I don’t want to take all these emotions to their new home where peace and happiness is so important this time of year. I am truly at peace and joyful knowing Bob is in Heaven – but I am also truly missing him. Deeply. And I can’t turn off the waterworks when they start. Yet. Yes, I do get out and go visiting locally; BUT if things get too emotional, I can come home; in another State, I couldn’t do that as readily. It would be complicated. It would put stress on everyone.

Maybe next Spring, things will be calmer and more doable.

And maybe not.

Maybe that part of my life is closed – not seeing the kids, but jumping in the car and going to wherever they are … maybe they will have to start coming to me. I will NEVER be comfortable driving in the city. If they can find a way to get from here to there bypassing Portland and the freeway, I could try that. But as long as getting to them involves driving through Portland and dealing with the freeways – no. Probably will never happen.
Even without grieving – just being a passenger driving through Portland and on the freeway stresses me out! Bob did ALL the driving when it came to Portland and the freeway.

We’ll see what 2020 brings.

Friday, October 11, 2019

SOMETHING OLD – SOMETHING NEW


I’ve personally known Cheryl & Pam for at least 44 years … and even longer if seeing them on school grounds counts ;-) Cheryl is the oldest (2 yrs older than I am), Pam is the middle one, and I am the ‘baby’ of our friendship circle. We are old friends – yet we are new friends.

This afternoon we had a “girl’s day out”. I picked the girls up at their homes and ferried them to our first destination in our car (Bob/my car, which is now solely mine): Pam first, then Cheryl. Though I had been to Cheryl’s house with Bob, I had never driven here myself; I could mentally picture the location, the general area, and her looooong gravel driveway … but I was not entirely sure how to get there. So, before I left our (my) carport, I punched in Cheryl’s address on the car’s GPS, picked Pam up at her house along the way & set out to collect Cheryl; on a hope and a prayer :-D

The GPS pranked me twice; the last “you have reached your destination” announcement causing Pam & I to dissolve into laughter because the destination reached clearly was NOT the destination we aimed for. But we eventually reached Cheryl’s accurate location: and off we went on our planned adventure.

First stop was ‘The Little Crane’ country diner in Vader. I like Vader; it’s a sleepy rural town that lives on despite shutting the school down a few years ago because it was so out of the way, there weren’t enough young families ensconced in the sleepy community to warrant keeping the school open. Our adventure was kind of a ‘going home’ moment: both Cheryl & Pam lived in Vader while growing up and before their parents moved their families to the Elochoman Valley area of Wahkiakum County, where I met them in Cathlamet decades ago as we were starting our young families – Cheryl was married to Bob’s brother Ralph then, & they had a 3 year old daughter, and Cheryl & I were pregnant together in 1975 … and Pam was visiting Cheryl a lot with her infant son, Spenser – Pam is Cheryl’s cousin.

Anyway, we all like Vader and The Little Crane diner. Lunch & companionship was good. We had a fun time, and I enjoyed hearing about their childhoods in Vader. I enjoy getting into the country countryside. We are thinking of making today’s diner date an annual ‘thing’.

Something old; something new.

Cheryl’s husband, Mike was mushroom picking; so, after our leisurely lunch, we went back to Cheryl’s place to see if he had returned yet – he hadn’t, so Cheryl suggested we hop in her car and drive over the backroads to the little County Park in Toledo: sounded good to me! This day was turning into a day-tripping adventure; I am always up for that ;-)

Bob & I had been to Toledo & Toledo’s County Park many times, but he always drove; I, as passenger, watched the landscape and didn’t pay too much attention as to how we got there. But now … I WANT to KNOW. So, while Cheryl drove, I took notes on how to get there so I can make the drive on my own whenever the mood strikes me: it’s a nice country drive, and the Park is small and country serene.

Though Bob & I had been to this Park many times with & without our granddaughter on hot summer days to swim, we had no inkling there was a walking trail – this was news to me today. And I liked finding that out: I like walking, and I like getting out of Longview to do that ;-)

I think I will be driving back to revisit these trails periodically; I like day-tripping. I like Toledo – Bob & I would often pass through Toledo on our way to the backroads of Jackson Highway. It will be fun to do that again.

Bittersweet.

But fun.

A specific direction for a day I need solace.

Another ‘something old – something new’ …

Trail walking at Toledo County Park with Cheryl & Pam.
Apparently the trail makes a loop - we kept it short and walked the left fork. LOL
Cheryl. She claims there is a sturgeon in the Lake. I will have to revisit and see for myself ;-)

We had a good walk in the Fall sunshine and my lungs did okay. I like fallen leaves, but sometimes their sharp & crisp decaying odors play hell with my asthmatic lungs. I am not noticing anything concerning tonight, so I am thanking Elohim for keeping me safe while I enjoyed my outing with the girls.

It is good to get away from home for a few hours.

It is good to enjoy living life without the heavy pall of grief.

For a few hours.

When we got back to Cheryl’s, we chatted a little more. And Mike came home with his mushroom gleanings. Before I left, they sent a pint of canned Chanterelles & some bagged fresh Chanterelles home with me … as well as 2 Cauliflower mushrooms. I said I had never heard of such things as cauliflower mushrooms; so Mike showed me a page in his book of mushroom descriptions, and I read it.

And I brought those 2 weird looking things home with me – I trust Mike when it comes to mushrooms; he has been picking and eating them a long time. Tomorrow, I will clean and stash these mushrooms; I may even sample a chunk before putting the rest in the freezer for future usage. I don't use doctors, but very sparingly - I believe in 'medicinal foods'; mushrooms is one of those medicinal foods:

CAULIFLOWER MUSHROOMS: they look more like blobs of congealed egg noodles. Interesting. The benefits of eating Cauliflower mushrooms

For Him ~ For Me

Most anything that you want, girl, is all right by me.

Girl, ‘cause I just wanna make you happy
That’s all I’m tryin’ to do
Yes, I just wanna make you happy
And spend my lifetime with you

Our love for each other was genuine and intense – from the moment we met, ‘til the day his spirit left Earth. Bob’s eyes literally smoldered when they lit on me. I felt cherished. I knew I was loved. Passionately. Intensely. The air surrounding us sparked with the intensity: our love towards each other was tangible. People noticed it.

I always felt blessed and highly favored to have had Bob in my life, and to be loved by him. Exclusively.

My life with Bob seemed extraordinary – Bob made it his mission to please me. In every way. He told me in 1974 that if I married him, I’d never regret it … and I never did. He loved me with a pure and true love. He pampered me. He spoiled me for anyone else. My King bee treated me like his Queen.

Our love for each other humbled me.

Because Bob loved me so unconditionally; so wholly, and with such a purity because he was a good man with a good soul … I became a better person. I wanted to BE a better person.

For him. For me.

Though I had loved Bob from the moment I saw his face, when he pursued me and caught me, I felt undeserving of his attentions. Of his love. His fussing over me confused me – until Bob came into my life and showered me with attention and love, I had never experienced real caring or love that wasn’t shallow. I was happy. I was thrilled. I was scared. I had trust issues Bob had to wade through.

Bob’s love towards me was a whole new experience. I wondered about it. I gloried in it: I loved the passion. I loved him with an intensity that kinda frightened me – but I was not sure how to deal with the intensity of his love: I felt unworthy; I came to Bob with baggage.

He knew I loved him. Deeply. Passionately. But I had serious trust issues that had nothing to do with “us”; and those issues did, on occasion, affect us. Bob was patient. He always told me I was worth the wait. Bob loved me – a difficult woman under any circumstances – effortlessly, purely, and beautifully. Bob was love personified.

I miss the way Bob loved me.

Bob lavished love on me the way women dream of being loved by a man who adores her. Being loved by Bob taught me that love CAN be trusted.

Now, I am finding myself distrusting anyone concerning anything, again. That may be an unfair assessment – but, I am ‘right back there’ again.

Admittedly, I am standing on shaky ground.

My new life began across the Columbia River, in another State, on December 14th, 2018 at precisely 8:05 a.m. at OHSU in Portland, OR.

My new life started seriously taking shape 45 minutes from home, August 30th, 2019 at precisely noon; when I laid his cremains in the family cemetery in Eden Valley, WA.

The significance of the moment … though I have been dealing with the seriousness of the situation for months … has set me back some. Where I was making headway, I now find that I have regressed: I am back to stuttering (that started with the onslaught of widowhood). And some days I am paralyzed with unrelenting sneaker waves of raw grief that keeps me off balance. Since August 30th, it has been a continual ‘1 step forward & 3 steps back’. Simple things are difficult endeavors again. Whole days can pass and I wonder at the end of the day what the heck I did with the day.

I am living with grief.

I don’t like it.

I don’t like that I no longer have control over my life – I have always had control of my life; I did give way on some ground with Bob because I loved Bob and I trusted Bob with the small pieces of my life I allowed him into, but in general I always had a firm grip on my life’s situations & circumstances.

Now, every day seems like I am engaged in a morose game of a pick-up sticks-scenario life. My current life lays scattered in a precarious jumble of shattered pieces I am delicately trying to pick up and form into a workable solo life.

I miss my old life.

The life I had with my husband.

I am living with grief.

I don’t like it.

I feel like I am living a provisional existence that will never be set right again.

And that scares me.

I want to honor my husband’s memory by living with joy those memories gave me.

Fully. With hope that there is light at the end of the grief tunnel.

With some degree of happiness; a half-cup level would be welcome.

But I.D.O.N.T.K.N.O.W.H.O.W.T.O.D.O.T.H.A.T.

My kids want me to come spend time with them during the upcoming holidays season, and I would love to do that. But I also know that my emotions right now are in a vacillating ‘bummer’ mode. I can’t promise a jovial attitude. I am not feeling celebratory – and in truth, I may never feel festal again given the entire Fall & Winter months of 2018 were filled with death watch vigils. I watched my life wither and die from August 3oth to December 14th. Festivity is not on any future dockets that I can foresee in my new life.

I do “get out of my head”. I do get out of the house. I do engage in busy work. I have been to Grief Share meets. I have joined Widow Groups. I have talked with local widows & widowers. And it is disheartening to hear that some of these people have been caught in the life-sucking grip of grief FOR DECADES.

God help me!

I do not want to be tip-toeing trough my life for decades.

I love Bob.

I do not want to replace Bob with another man or with a deliberate erase.

I will always love my husband.

Bob is my forever man.

But I don’t want to be snared and hamstrung by grief for the rest of my life – I do not, for 1 second believe that Bob would want me paralyzed with grief, or crying every day until I am laid beside him in our familial cemetery plot block.

‘Most anything that you want girl’, at this point in time, would just be a reprieve from these unrelenting waves of grief.

So, Babe, if you can hear me … and you can see what I am struggling with in my new life … I would really appreciate some slack in the grieving process.

I can’t rebuild a happy new solo life if I am crippled by the extraordinarily happy life we shared together.

I Love you, Babe.

Always.

But I need some real relief with the grief thing.

OX

Thursday, October 10, 2019

1 CORINTHIANS ~Chapter 13



1 CORINTHIANS ~Chapter 13

If I speak with the tongue of men and even of angels, but have not love, I am like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And, if I could prophesy, and could understand all the mysteries, and knew everything, and if I had perfect faith so that I could remove mountains, but lacked love – I would be nothing. Again, if I gave away all my goods to buy food for the poor, and gave my body to be burned, yet had no love, it would be no profit to me.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious, or vain-glorious, or arrogant. Love is not unmannerly, does not pursue selfish aims, is not quickly irritated, does not think evil. Love takes no pleasure in wickedness, but rejoices in the truth. Love is considerate in all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Prophesies will come to an end, speaking in tongues will cease. Knowledge will pass away. For our knowledge is only in part, and our prophesies are likewise imperfect. But, when the perfect comes, then the imperfect will disappear. So, when I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man I gave up my childish ways. At present, we seem to see only blurred reflections in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now, I know only in part – but then, I shall understand fully, even as Elohim has fully understood me. And now we still have faith, hope, love … these 3 remain, but the greatest of all these is love.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

HERBS & SORROWING SLIDE SHOW


The first thing I saw this morning when I walked down the hallway to make my morning cup of coffee, was a fog bank lifting …


It reminded me of those early morning and late evening drive to and from the local hospital this time last year. Sometimes the fog settles so thick in here, it is hard to see even a foot in front of you.

One late evening last October I was returning from the hospital and Ron’s grandson had parked his car kitty-corner in the carport – with it’s ass-end over the Fire Lane markings and into the main street of Pheasant Lane: if I hadn’t been watching so carefully I could have hit it because it blended in with the shrouding fog. When I notified Candy of the foggy hazard and asked her if she’d talk to Ron about it … Candy did nothing. Typical, and expected; but I wanted it on record in case there was a future accident. I am glad that family is gone now: now praying for Candy to leave the premises.

Thinking of those heart-rending drives in the fog last October, and WHY those drives were so urgent and necessary hurt my already bleeding heart. Fresh pain hit me like it was only yesterday; and in my heart, it was.
(https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/12/that-woman.html)

I MISS BOB.

9 months/25 days/1 hour & 51 minutes since becoming a widow. Only a short period of time … yet, an eternity.

Without the love of my life.
(https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/12/widowhood.html)

I have been in a perpetual blue mood since clearing the dresser of Bob’s jeans 14 days ago.

Every day brings a new untried reality to my new status in life.


But it is H.A.R.D. when every place and every thing constantly revives memories that cripples you on every level of your life now. I am even stuttering again: I haven't done that in a couple months. I only do it when highly stressed - I noticed that life change right after I became a widow.


Hoping the spiced coffee would boost my mood from the deepest depths of blue the fog bank catapulted me to, to a lighter shade of the sucking emotion, I sipped it while glancing out the livingroom window to see how my mums are faring. I like lining the front porch steps with them:

Front porch Mums Pots; Parrot Tulips & Foxgloves to come into their glory in Spring, are on the 2 lower steps.
The white mums are really too much for the small pot they were sold in; I’ll have to switch those to a larger pot.

The White, Yellow & Purple Mums Pot is not doing so good this year – I was surprised they even survived & thrived this year because they were literally forgotten about last year while I sat death watch with my husband … and my mind has been filled with widow’s-fog-cobwebs most of this year. Hopefully, I will be dealing with everything much better in 2020, and they will look better next Fall: that’s the plan anyway ;-)

It would be a shame to lose them. I want to hang onto as many things as I can that were part of our life together - tired of losing ties to him.


When I was looking my neglected plants over March 29th this Spring, to see what survived … I was surprised and happy to see new growth on the dead looking Chrysanthemums :-D
The poor things ... not a very pretty sight this year :-(
This is how the combo pot should look … and normally does when I am on top of things around here; hopefully next year I will be. Chrysanthemum Pots ... 3 in one. Cut in half and re-potted. Sorry about the poor picture.

Coffee finished; I made the bed. And thought that I should probably bring the herbs pots in the shed into the house to overwinter: I had squirreled them in the shed when we got hit with our first seasonal frost a few weeks ago – it was the only frost so far, but I didn’t want to chance them getting killed by a frosty nip. Some herbs, like the French Tarragon & Rosemary will absolutely die; and I am not in the same financial bracket I was 9 months ago. I have to really be careful now how I spend $$$. I’m fluid – but just barely. I can’t afford to be careless.

So, I started shifting the pots from the shed to the house; and pulled the Shallots on the way back inside …

Potted herbs stashed in the back entry/laundry room awaiting cleanup before being shifted to the livingroom.

I cleaned the herb pots up: washed pots that needed exterior cleaning, & pulled the violets that had reseeded into a few of the herb pots while they were in the garden area; then I watered them before setting them in the windowed areas:

Cleaned up pots set atop a large plastic bin placed in front of livingroom windows. Oregano, Chives, Marjoram, English Thyme & French Tarragon.
German Thyme set on a little low stacking hassock & garbage can lid. May not look pretty ... but it suits my need at the moment.
Rosemary reset in pot. I love my roomy country farm kitchen sink! Thank you, Bob for buying it for me - OX. Thank you, Chris, for putting it in (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2017/09/happy-new-year.html).
Sad about this … Bob’s Grandma, Myrtle Smalley, gave me this pot in the 1980’s. Now it has to be replaced :-(
Potted Rosemary placed next to the potted Coleus’ in the livingroom window.

And I sliced the shallots for the freezer; and pulled the dried herbs off their stems to be stored in their labeled containers – I had set the harvested herbs to dry weeks ago …

Pulled & sliced Shallots; pretty easy to grow from seed, so I will plant a lot more come Spring ;-)
Dried herbs ready to store: Rosemary, Tarragon, & English Thyme.

I also moved some furniture around, messed with the fireplace mantle décor again (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/10/rainstorm-thunder-spiders.html), and placed MOD little crocheted scarecrow where it will bring a smile to my face everytime I see it:

I switched out the China Blue vase for the 4-sided-Owl vase. Bob spotted it at the last Bazaar we did 2 years ago: he saw it while walking around, told me about it because he knew I like owls … and the greenery arrangement was nice too; so, I bought lottery tickets, placed my bid: and won it! I am glad I will have that memory every Fall when I use this vase.
MOD Crochet Scarecrow on the kitchen window sill.

But no matter how busy I was, I was hit with some serious blues all day long.


I noticed the heavy sorrowing coming over me like fog rolling in after I cleaned out Bob’s dresser drawers the other day (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/09/i-could-learn-to-hate-cleaning-house.html).

I should have left that drawer alone following so closely on the heels of his Celebration of Life event (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/08/between-now-and-then-until-i-see-you.html).

My heart whispers “I can’t believe he’s gone …”

My mind screams, “Believe it!”

My eyes blind me with tears, and my throat is raw from chocking on those tears.

I MISS HIM. I miss everything about him that made him his unique self – the man I love.


Slide show clips of our life together never ends … and I really don’t want it to end: even if watching it replay over and over and over again is killing me.

It is torment.

It is sweet torment …

1974 - April 19th. Our 1st date. Bob was 24; I was 17.

We were inseparable from that 1st date, until the day Bob stepped off this planet. By the end of August, we couldn't wait another day to start our life together ... we called Judge Hall and set the time for that night. After Supper we called our parents and let them know where to meet us if they wanted to witness our marriage. The parents were seriously PISSED. We didn't care ;-)

1974 - August 27th. 9 PM - Our Wedding. Bob was 24; I was 17.
1976. July. Home after our California Coors Beer run. We were young. And in love. And thirsty for a beer that wasn't sold yet to the public outside a bar in WA State.. As soon as we pulled into the driveway, a block party happened - the 3 cases of beer didn't last long. Bob was 26; I was 19.
1978. October: my parent's house. Bob home after his 1st death - he literally died in front of me when he passed a blood clot following an emergency surgery to save his fractured left leg. The leg was salvaged - he was paddled back to life - and we were thankful to be given another chance at building a life together. Bob was 29; I was 2 months short of 22.

While working and living away from home in 1981, Bob died his 2nd death and was rushed to the local hospital - tests were run for 72 hours straight. And when I went to collect him, I was told, "Find a good nursing home Mrs. Hargand, your husband's brain was without oxygen for 25 minutes - he will be in a vegetative state the rest of his life. I'm sorry."

My husband was 31 years old. NO WAY I was putting him in a Nursing Home! I said, "Thank you for your diagnosis, but, my God is bigger than that. I am taking my husband home ... and God will heal him."

I did.

God did.

At first Bob didn't know who I was, where he was when he got home (that house was the home he grew up in), and he had to relearn talking all over again. But Bob KNEW he loved me - that never changed. We were favored with 38 more years of a good marriage.

1981. October. Bob home after his 2nd death - docs never figured out what caused him to die for 25 minutes before suddenly coming back to life and scaring the EMT and witnesses to death when he sat up on the gurney (tagged for the morgue) and said, "WOW! I think God means business this time." Those were the last words he spoke for 6 months. Bob was 31; I was 24.

Our daughter was told at 16 she'd never have natural children of her own - Yeshua laughed :-D And, HE - the Creator - blessed our union with TWO grandchildren: "natural born" & 18 years apart. Alyna was graduating while her mother was giving birth to her baby brother. We were excited.

 
2014. July. We drove to Vegas to see our newborn grandson. A BOY! There hadn't been a boy in the family in 41 years! Bob was 65; Azariah was 1 week old.

So, you see, I can’t begrudge Elohim for wanting His son with Him – He was gracious to favor us with those extra years to enjoy our life together. And we were blessed and highly favored all of our married life with a solid, passionate, and abiding love.

It really wasn’t that hard to let Bob go Home – he was ready. I was happy for him.

It is the learning to live without him that gets to me.

It is staggering under the heavy sorrowing coming over me like fog rolling in – so stealthily that one doesn’t even realize they are shrouded, blinded, and disoriented until they notice they have been hemmed in by a fog bank they can’t see their way through without battling a creeping claustrophobia that threatens to undo them (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/08/boulevard-of-broken-dreams.html).

That is how I feel when this grieving sorrow creeps up on me.

I don’t actively court misery: it just happens. Out of nowhere. For no apparent reason. I can’t seem to stop it before I am caught in its grip.

106 days out of every 356 days for the rest of my life I can expect this?

ELOHIM!

MERCY!

I want to move forward. I really do.

I just d.o.n.t.k.n.o.w.h.o.w.



Please, Elohei …

I shagged my hair the other day because I like my hair layered. And then I cried when I got home because a memory came hot and swift of how Bob loved my hair. He liked it long. He liked it shagged:


 
Remembering how Bob loved my hair shagged was an emotional connection … so I slipped into one of his roomy tees. Although they are very big on me, I always liked wearing Bob’s tees, polo's, and woodsman flannels shirts. Man! I miss my man!

He liked to touch my hair ... run his fingers through my hair. I remember how upset he got one afternoon when he came home from work and noticed I had cut my hair into a cute, short, pixie style. He wasn't even all the way in the door yet, and said, "What have you done to your hair!" Our daughter was an infant and I didn't want to be dealing with long hair while tending to infant needs that were pretty much on-going with barely a break to drink a hot cup of coffee; so I whacked my hair off so all I had to do was wash and comb it: d.o.n.e. Then I could take care of my baby and have time to play with her too ;-) I told him, "It's only hair, Babe; it will grow back. But I have a baby to take care of now, and THAT takes priority over hair." It took Bob a while to get over my short hair. I never cut it again, except to tidy the ends.

Though that memory warmed my heart, it also hurt.

Help me rise above the sneaker waves that are sure to roll in from August 30th to December 14th and threaten to suck me under.

Every year.

For the rest of my life.

I used to love Fall & Winter months.

I don’t even think I like them anymore.