September through October, I spent every day with him at St. Johns hospital coming home only to fitfully sleep before going back in groggy early mornings.
Monday, December 31, 2018
While the tail end of 2018 ended with sorrowful rejoicing, there were many happy and memorable moments before that awful day of August 29th that forever changed the fabric of our household.
Mid-January 2018 found us enjoying a very scenic, and very long roadtrip through the Gorge. There is place there on the backside of the reservation that is very wild and filled with ancient prehistoric landscape of towering volcanic spires and basalt rock outcroppings; my husband knew I loved this wild looking place. The tail end of January found us on the road again – this time to Carnation, WA, which is famous for the Dairy that makes the Carnation Milk products. It was a fun spur-o-the-moment exploration.
In February we walked the local dike and watched the otters frisk and the ducks splash; we even saw a fuzzy-wuzzy. Rosy Finches visited our bird feeder and we finally got snow on the 18th, but Hubs took me up the Toutle towards Mt. St. Helens anyway because the snow was much deeper and he knows I love snow.
March ushered in Spring with a Robin sighting, and I got 2 of my longed for rain barrels: had I known then that THAT was what would send Candy over the edge and lead to my huband’s eventual death, I would never have gotten them; but hindsight is not foresight. So now I have the barrels, but I do not have the love of my life. We also enjoyed 3 mini vacas to Richfield’s Wildlife Refuge, where we enjoyed the wildlife and oohed and awed over the snow white swans; the NW Flight Museum in Olympia; and we also visited the Veteran’s Museum in Centralia. All very interesting.
In April we did several more dike hikes to watch the ducks and threw ends of my homemade bread to them so they came real close to the riverbank and gobbled the bread before it sank; my husband scouted for turtles and pointed them out to me. The end of April found us at the Seaside Aquarium in Seaside, Oregon laughing at the clowning seals and enjoying a sunny walk on the boardwalk.
The month of May was busy with many dike hikes to observe the baby ducks; and at home, we eagerly watched the bird house Hubs built and placed outside the livingroom window – there was a swallow family being set up there and we waited with baited breath for the first sign of baby birds: however, it was not to be; for reasons of their own, the couple abandoned the nest in the birdhouse and the lone egg I found later never hatched. We took a day off from household chores and drove to the Portland, OR Zoo. Then a week later I started a garden in the few planter boxes my husband had built for me in the Fall of 2017, and I made a little tiny scarecrow out of a pair of little Batman PJ’s that had glow-in-the-dark-outlined bats on them and hung them from a shepherd’s hook screwed securely in one of the planters boxes: we wanted to see if they would glow in the night. THAT upset the neighbor, Ron. So now there are TWO things happening that will eventually lead to the August 29th showdown on the front porch that will subsequently lead to a trip to the local ER which will end at OHSU in Oregon. Small and petty grievances that will cost a life and leave a huge hole in our family tapestry. But … we didn’t know that; we were enjoying our life. We didn’t know that these would be the last experiences and adventures. We thought we would have many, many, more years together while making these memories.
Still ignorant of the festering eruption building on the homefront, June found us on an over-night roadtrip around the Olympic Peninsula where we enjoyed an entertaining and adventurous roadside tour of the exotic animals in the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA. – and we drove to Neah Bay to view the beautiful Native American artifacts in the archaeological and anthropological Makah Museum where we were awed by the lengthy skeletal remains of a whale hanging above our heads; and on our way home, we also made time to check out wild and beautifully scenic La Push too, which is part of the Quinault Indian Reservation: Hubs had wanted to go there for a long time, but something always cut into the time and it got put off … I am glad now that we made the time and did it. It was worth it and I am glad he experienced that while he could still experience life. Later in the month, we also drove to Lake Tipso, which lies between the Mt. Rainer National Park and the Wenatchee National Park … but we couldn’t walk around the lake because the late season snowpack was too deep; so we just enjoyed the snow and came back home thinking we would go back later – like in August, or September. That never got to happen.
July we traveled to Troutlake via Cougar access to view the Osprey nests, view Trout Lake with Mt. Adams in the background, and visit the Cedar Creek Grist Mill on the Lewis River in Woodland on the way back home. The Osprey nests were no longer on the ends of the bridge where they have always been, Trout Lake is disappearing; but we did have an awesome view of Mt. Adams, and we did see several colorful moths and butterflies, so the day was not a total bust.
In July my husband built me the rest of the planter boxes I need for a full garden harvest, and I designed/planted a wrought iron sedum planter stake, and Hubs set it in place. He installed 2 more rain barrels for me, which gave me a total of 4, to see me through the gardening season with rain water gathered; it rains a lot in Washington, so these will rarely be dry – now every time I look at those planter boxes, the rain barrels, and that sedum stake now, I will remember my husband doing these things for me because he loved me. And I will refuse to allow the neighbor’s pettiness and the Park manager’s ignorance to rob me of that happiness. Had I known that my husband’s thoughtfulness would rob him of his life, I would gladly have sacrificed the want to garden. We still made time to do short hikes along the dike where a large Blue Heron was in residence.
It was at the end of August that our world began to crumble: Ron ran complaining to Candy with nonsense; and little hitler showed up … and as it goes with all pissing wars, the rest is history. My husband ended up in ER; and in and out of hospitals for the next 4 months. And he never came home, alive, again. September through December 2018 was a nightmare as I came to grips with the reality that my husband was not going to be coming home.
September through October, I spent every day with him at St. Johns hospital coming home only to fitfully sleep before going back in groggy early mornings.
September through October, I spent every day with him at St. Johns hospital coming home only to fitfully sleep before going back in groggy early mornings.
November through December after he had been moved to OHSU in Oregon, I packed a duffle and literally camped out by his bedside not wanting him to be alone … and needing to be with him for as long as I could be. It was emotional. It was healing. It was scary. It was liberating. We were both going home … but to separate homes, where we would live separate lives until Yeshua brings us together again. Will we know each other when we meet again? Yes; we believe so – Yeshua was easily recognizable when he rose in his eternal body, so it stands to reason that we, too, will recognize each other when we get our eternal bodies. But our lives will be different because the realm in which he now lives – and in which I will eventually live in too – is different than what we experienced here on earth.
And so, looking back on the past year, I am reminded of the MANY LOVING things said and done, and I am thankful that Elohim favored me with 44 years of a good marriage to a good man who was a joy and gave me joy. 2018 was 97% GOOD and that is what I will take away with me when it fizzles out at midnight tonight.
And I will embrace ALL that 2019 will bring me. Because that is what my husband would want me to do. By the grace of Elohei I will.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
I woke up this morning around 4:30 a.m. feeling there was something left undone. What that ‘loose end’ was I did not know. So I began to pray. I prayed for the people I know and love; who I have recently learned are struggling with serious illnesses and did not want to burden me with their sad news in the midst of my recent sorrow: 2 are suffering bouts of pancreatitis and didn’t want to mention it to me because of our recent struggle with it – and probably because they have recently seen how serious pancreatitis can get and where it can lead. Though their situations were clearly brought on by alcohol, and my husband’s was not … well, they need prayer: so I prayed for them, hoping they will do what needs to be done medically and seek Elohim for salvation. The other 2 have been told they have cancer. Well, again, they need salvation. So I prayed; and I prayed hard and for results.
And then I realized that Elohim was dealing with me also.
I don’t need salvation, that is already secure, but what I did need was a clearing of accounts – a complete wiping clean of the wrongs done me and my husband. Though I had forgiven verbally and on paper in writ because I know I have to do that in order to successfully move forward and not get lost in mourning, I had not really forgiven in my heart because my sorrow is so great, so raw; and my feelings of righteous anger is so valid. But I listened to Elohei this morning as He spoke a soothing balm to my wounded soul. My desire is to be the woman He created me to be, to be His example and His ambassador as I finish out my walk of life on this earth before I join my husband in that glorious celestial home that waits me. I cannot be the woman He desires me to be, and I cannot be His example or His ambassador, and I may even jeopardize my entry into His celestial kingdom if I refuse to submit to true forgiveness: I must truly forgive and stand aside to allow Him to work in the situation – and as He works, I will stop feeling anger or bursting into tears every time I think of/catch a glimpse of those 2: I may even, through the grace of Elohei stop feeling anything at all towards either of them over time. He has already begun doing that, and Candy’s letter the other day was a start in the right direction (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/12/dreads-justice-and-cutting-ties.html) – her recent actions on my behalf will not change the disastrous facts, and my husband will not miraculously be coming back through the front door, but she is contrite and wrongs are being corrected as humanly possible. Yeshua is looking out for me and He is gently prodding me with His Shepherd’s staff to get out of life’s weeds, back on track, and stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to life. And I am thankful for that gentle prod.
The simplistic understanding of the dictionary definition of “forgive” is “to stop blaming”: but forgiveness actually goes deeper than that. To forgive someone means that you release them from the weight of the penalty they deserve for the hurt and harm they have caused you; harmful hurt done either knowingly or unknowingly. The benefits of true forgiveness are gifts to both the giver and receiver. Because to stop the blame and grudges … no matter how valid … and to forgive, ultimately releases us from resentment and allows us to experience freedom and peace; and it lifts the heavy weight of recriminating burden off the shoulders of the oppressor. Yet knowing this to be true, we still struggle with forgiveness (1) because we want our tormentors to know that we want them to suffer for what they have done to us (2) we feel righteously vindicated in any punishing action we take towards our oppressors. But, if we claim the Name of Yeshua as our banner, and if we claim kinship with Him as sons and daughters of the father, then we MUST forgive – not so much for the sakes of those that have done us great, and oftentimes, irreparable harm, but for our own sakes; for the simple reason that God forgiven us when we did not deserve forgiveness. And living in His forgiveness is where peace is found.
for·give/fərˈɡiv – verb; stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Synonyms: pardon, excuse, exonerate, absolve
Saturday, December 29, 2018
This year will be a very low-key birthday celebration for me; normally my husband would have me up early, bundled up warmly, and in the car to "go find the snow" because he knew I loved the snow and wanted it on my birthday; he always got a kick out of hearing me squeal with delight when the first snowflakes started falling – if he saw them before me he was always quick to say, “Val, look out the window”, and smile indulgently when I got excited. One year he was working away from home - I believe it was the year loggers were allowed into the Mt.St. Helen's Red Zone to do cleanup logging of the blast fallen trees - and he had loaded the backend of his pickup full of snow, cab high, to bring it home so I would have snow on my birthday. Of course I shared it with all the kids on our block ;-) My husband was the block hero that day as the kids waited patiently for the snow to be shoveled out of the truck so they could play in it.
But he isn't here now … and I don't much feel like snow this year. So, it will be a low-key day today, watching some old black-white Youtube movies and enjoying the cookies Cheryl baked; and that she and Mike brought to me yesterday, checking on on me/making sure I am doing okay because they love me. The feeling is mutual: they are good people and I am blessed to count them as friends.
Friday, December 28, 2018
MOD Striped Baby Swaddling Blanket
I designed and started working on my simple stitch baby blankets while my husband was in and out of the hospitals November thru December 2018 before his spirt stepped off this planet and entered into eternal Shabbat Rest and life with Yeshua: I chose this simple design because while I needed to keep my hands busy; my mind was too occupied with my husband and his immediate needs and starting a complicated fancy design was totally out of the question. As far as I know this pattern has never been done before … at least to my knowledge. I designed and worked my simple baby blanket pattern after the simple knitted dishcloth – minus the openwork edging.
I started the red striped blanket at St. John’s Peace Health hospital and carried it with me to OHSU in Oregon where I worked on it and I never left my husband’s side except for brief 4 hour periods when I had to come back home to WA State and take care of business that had to be done in person.
I finished the red striped blanket; and then started the blue striped blanket at OHSU (my home away from home) and worked on it between Hub’s testing’s, scans, and eventual death … I finished the blue striped blanket at home Thursday evening.
My simple pattern makes a baby swaddling blanket and is worked entirely in garter stitch measuring about 36” square before washing/drying; I use Red Heart worsted, which shrinks very little and is reliable to hold shape.
Working on these blankets while my husband was fighting for his life – and eventually losing it despite all that was being done medically with the best medical specialty staff in the best medical facility in the PNW that caters to the most medically complex patients (OHSU ranks among the best hospitals in America in 7 specialties; my husband’s condition being one of those specialties) – kept me from going crazy during the most trying period of my life.
The instructions are very simple and straight-forward. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help you move forward :-D
MOD STRIPED BABY SWADDLING BLANKET PATTERN
MATERIALS: 1 pair EA #6 knitting needles – straight & round; Needle Point Stoppers; Red Heart knitting worsted; Scissors, Tapestry needle
PATTERN: CO 2 sts; knit 1 st, inc.
Row 2: K 2, inc, k to end
Row 3: K 2, inc, k to end – repeat this row until you have 180 sts on the straight needle, then change to the round needle on following row. Continue Row 3 until you have 240 sts on needle.
This blanket started at St. John’s Peace Health in our hometown and carried with me to OHSU grew too big to keep on the straight needles; so on the first brief 4 hour trip back home to WA State, I switched all the stitches to a round needle and packed it in a large plastic bag inside the duffle I hauled back and forth.
DECREASE ROW: On this row you will begin the decreasing part of the pattern which will make the blanket evenly squared; K 2, dec by knitting the next 2 sts together, k to end.
Next Row: K 2, dec, k to end – repeat this row until you have 180 sts in round needle, then change to the straight needles and continue dec’s. Continue dec’ing until you have 3 sts on needle. EO and weave in loose ends.
I like the way these blankets look and I hope you will too ;-)
This morning I took the car into the Toyota dealership we bought it from last year for a much overdue maintenance check – it was supposed to go in before my husband ended up in the hospital for 4 months straight; but this morning I had the time, and it was time, so in it went. While in their lounge waiting for the shuttle to take me back home, I saw the most interesting dog:
Hungarian Puli dog
It was covered with dreads! So I struck up a convo with her owner because the dog really interested me … I don’t want one, but I was curious. The woman said she acquired the dog 6 years ago while her army unit was stationed in Germany; the dog was brought across the Hungarian border and was 1 of a litter of 6. It is and ancient breed and was a female, and her name is Huffy. I asked her if it was easy to keep clean, and she said, “Oh yes. The hair self-cleans because it is not oily hair and the dirt and debris just falls off; any loose hair just winds itself into the dreads. And under all the dreaded hair, Huffy only weighs 25 pounds – she just looks large because her hair is so bulky.” So I told her about the 1/2 Timber/1/2 Gray wolf I was blessed to have as a furry companion before I had to put her down due to spreading foot cancer: Precious was self-cleaning too because her outer coat hair was hallow and the dirt and debris just fell off – it also dried very quickly. But unlike the Puli, Precious did shed her insulating undercoat and her neck ruff in the Spring, leaving a trail of “cotton” hunks everywhere she went.
And when I got home and checked the mail I saw a letter from Candy; so I opened it and then called to thank her … it appears she did actually read my letter (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/12/that-woman.html) and took the necessary steps:
We didn't “dispute” anything ... we had the property line SURVEYED … the colored markings are still on the rock; had Candy actually come to LOOK she would clearly see that Ron is an unrepentant liar. The bricks are unimportant to me … it’s the principle of the issue that matters. And the quip about wandering veggies – never a problem from MY side because I always made sure my veggies did not wander beyond the boundary line. Ron, on the other hand cannot truthfully claim the same.
I believe in karma, and Ron will eventually have to face reality because karma will slap him in his smug lying face faster than I can. But, for now, as long as that pathological narcissistic killer leaves me alone and stays out of my way … I will be content.
Justice is a fine thing.
Ramona called me again this evening and I was very cold to her, having very little to say UNTIL she said, “What are you doing tomorrow for your birthday? David thought he might drive me down …” And then I said, “No. No; I don’t want either of you here tomorrow: or ever. My husband, on his death bed in ICU in September stated that now it was time to stop the familial bullshit and start being a family – and the 2 of you verbally agreed. But you didn’t stop, did you? No, you didn’t. You stabbed us in the back in October, less than a month later. You LIED to a DYING MAN to his FACE in his own home. You LOOKED at him and lied, knowing neither of you ever had any intention of doing what you were mouthing. I don’t want either of you here tomorrow. I don’t want you here ever again.” And I hung up when she went into a defense laced with more unadulterated bullshit. Of all the nerve! I never want to hear her voice again and I will continue to hang up on her every time she calls using a new number. I should have cut these ties years ago: she was always a liar, and her husband has always been a self-serving jerk. They are both judgmental and overbearing. I don’t want to deal with it anymore … I don't take time to make time for it anymore.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
This is a tasty dish and leftovers freeze well. Good source of protein.
CHEESE TOPPED MEAT PIE Recipe ~ serves 8
1 pound ground Beef * 1 small green Bell Pepper, chopped (about ½ cup) * 1 small Onion, chopped (about ¼ cup) * 1 jar (2 ounces) diced Pimento, drained * ½ cup all-purpose Flour * ½ cup Milk * 2 Egg yolks * 1 Egg * 1 tsp. Salt * 1/8 tsp. black Pepper * 1 Tbsp. Margarine * 1 TBSP all-purpose Flour * ½ tsp. dry Mustard * ¼ tsp. Salt * Dash Cayenne pepper * ½ cup milk * 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces) * 2 Egg whites
Gather all ingredients measured out for easier flow in the cooking process ...
Cook and stir ground beef, green pepper and onion until beef is browned; drain. Stir in pimento. Spread beef mixture in ungreased pie plate, 9 X 1-1/4 inches:
Beat ½ cup flour, ½ cup milk, the egg yolks, egg, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper with hand beater until smooth. Pour over beef mixture in pie plate:
Heat oven to 375-degrees. Heat margarine in 1-quart saucepan until melted. Blend in 1 TBSP flour, mustard, ¼ tsp. salt, and the cayenne pepper; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly – remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute. Add cheese and cook over low heat just until cheese is melted:
Beat egg whites in a medium sized bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold cheese mixture into egg whites; spread over beef mixture:
Cook uncovered in oven until golden brown and knife inserted halfway between center and edges comes out clean – 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 27
And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they placed Paul, together with some other prisoners, in the care of a captain named Julius, a member of the imperial regiment. We went on board a ship from Adramyttium, which was about to sail along the coastal places of Asia Minor. And as we set out to sea, we had with us Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica. The next day we made a stop at Sidon. There Julius, who was kind to Paul, gave him leave to visit his friends and to refresh himself.
Then setting out again, we sailed along the south coast of Cyprus so as to avoid the contrary winds. And then, having crossed the sea along Cilicia and Pamphylia, we arrived at Myra in Lycia. There the captain discovered an Alexandrian ship that was bound for Italy, and transferred us to it. We sailed along slowly for several days and had difficulty reaching Cnidus. As the wind would not let us go on, we sailed along the south of Crete, passing Salome. And though hardly making any headway, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.
Since much time has been lost, the fall festival was already over and navigation had become dangerous. Paul therefore gave warning. “Sirs,” he said, “it seems to me that this voyage will likely end in disaster and great loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also of our lives.” The captain, however, put his faith in the pilot and the owner of the ship rather than in what Paul had said. Furthermore, the harbor was not fit to winter in, so the great majority favored the idea of setting out to sea again, in hopes that they might possibly reach port and winter in Phoenix, a harbor in Crete facing northeast and southeast.
Then, when a gentle south wind started to blow, they supposed that their plan was favorable, so they weighed anchor and set sail, keeping close to the Cretan shore. But it was not long before a terrible gale, known as a north-easter, burst down upon them. The ship was caught in the grip of the wind and could not face it, hence we gave up and were driven before it. As we passed under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, we managed with great difficulty to make the ship’s boat safe. They hoisted it up and then they bound ropes around the ship to brace it. But from fear that they would be thrown upon the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the sail and let the ship drift.
The next day, as the ship was violently tossed about by the tempest, they began to throw the cargo overboard. And on the 3rd day with their own hands they threw overboard the ship’s tackle. For many days we saw neither sun nor stars, and a great storm continues to bear down on us, so finally we lost all hope of being saved.
And when they had not food to eat for a long time, Paul stood among them and said, “Friends, truly you should have listened to me and not set sail from Crete to undergo this disaster and loss. But now I want to encourage you to be of good cheer, for there will not be any loss of life among you, but only the loss of the ship. For last night there stood by my side an angel from the God to whom I belong and whom I serve. The angel said, ‘Paul! Don’t be afraid! You must appear before the emperor, and Elohei has given to you the lives of all your fellow voyagers.’ Therefore, cheer up men! I believe in Elohei, and that it will turn out exactly as it was told to me. We shall, however. Be shipwrecked on some island.”
On the 14th night of the storm, as we were drifting about in the Adriatic Sea, the sailors about midnight began to suspect that land was near. By taking soundings they found the depth to be 120 feet. When they had gone a little further, they sounded again and found 90 feet. Then, fearing that we might be dashed against the rocky shore, they dropped 4 anchors from the stern and waited for dawn to come soon. The sailors were planning to abandon the ship. So, under pretense that they were going to drop anchors from the prow, they lowered the boat into the sea. Then Paul said to the captain and the soldiers, “These men must stay in the ship or you cannot be saved!” Then the sailors cut away the ropes of the boat and let it go.
Just before the break of day, Paul urged them all to eat some food. “Today is the 14th day,” he said, “that you have not had time to eat because of your being on watch. I beg you, therefore, to take something to eat. You need it for your own safety. For not one of you will lose even a hair of his head.” Having said this, he too some bread, gave thanks to Elohim before the all, broke the bread and began to eat. All of them, then, much encouraged, helped themselves to food. There were, all told, 276 of us on the ship. When they had satisfied their hunger, they threw the supply of grain into the sea in order to lighten the ship.
When daylight came they could not recognize the land, but they spied a bay with a bench and resolved to run the ship ashore there if possible. So they cat away the anchors and left them in the sea. Then they loosened the ropes on the rudders, hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the shore. But they struck a shoal, made by 2 opposing sea currents, and the ship ran aground. The prow of the ship stuck fast and was immovable, but the stern broke up under the violent pounding of the waves. The soldiers had in mind to kill the prisoners, fearing that they would swim ashore and escape. But the captain wanted to save Paul and prevented them from carrying out their intentions. He ordered all who could swim to jump overboard and strike out for the shore. And as for the rest, some should use boards, and others should grab anything they could find on the ship. And in this way it came about that they all got safely to land.
This is SO HARD!
So … I took care of most of the name changes the day before Christmas after Hub’s Death Certificate finally arrived; couldn’t do anything until then. Today I am still trying to switch everything into my name, and was totally unprepared for hidden transfer fees and delayed transfers - taking Hub's name off the house title/property tax is $46.00 ... not large, but when you don't have it, it IS a large sum. Ditto for the vehicle title transfer, which is $37.50: I hope and pray I will have these sums available the end of February to get it done. I thought that since both our names are on everything it would just be a simple procedure to pull his name and switch everything to my name only – but ((((NO))))!!!! – I have to also have the Titles on hand with Death certificate and Marriage License; WHO walks around with these things on their person? And then AARP has UPPED the Insurance costs to an additional $22/yr because now "there is only 1 driver instead of 2"; uuhh … oookaaay. Seems to me the price should go down since there is only 1 driver. Right? And the Bank wants me to WAIT 3 months - at least - to be sure "any forthcoming checks in his name can be cashed instead of held up if you do it now." I get it, kinda: but I just don't want to be dealing with grieving and crying anew for months on end when having to put things off.
I just want all of it o.v.e.r already! Losing him is hard enough without revisiting it again, and again, and again just to make the tax man happy. How can I move forward if I am kept in suspended limbo or am dragged backwards time and time again?
No one tells you these things beforehand so you are prepared. Hubs and I discussed life after death many times over the past decades, and he did everything he could to make sure I would not be left struggling if he went before me. I thought we had everything covered: apparently not. I hope there are no more sudden surprises.
It is hard to find them out unexpectedly when you are already dealing with so many other things you now have to do on your own :-(
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
For years my husband and I debated and struggled with the topic of physical burial v.s. cremation, but 3 years ago we finally settled on cremation: it is cheaper and we could not find in the Scriptures ANY DIRECT FORBIDDANCE of cremation. People from Jewish and Christian background have their differences of opinions, but opinions are just that: o.p.i.n.i.o.n.s.
What sealed the deal for us was the fact that the process of cremation is by far less invasive and less expensive than the process of a physical body burial. We did not want an autopsy, and we did not want to donate our organs; these are things that we felt very strongly are unnecessary invasive practices that dishonor the body. Some disagree, but be that as it may, this is our viewpoint and we aren’t going to change it: when my husband recently passed from this life into the next, I was asked at his bedside if I wanted an autopsy, and I said, “No. We all know how and why he died – there is no point.” Then I was asked if I wanted to donate his organs; again, I said, “No. We believe our bodies were created for us specifically, and we believe in the resurrection of the dead … we want our organs to be buried with us.” Plus, my husband was 69 years old when he passed; his organs were pretty much worn out.
And we believe, according to our Faith, that when our physical body ceases to function as a living entity, our spirit (aka: soul) departs and is immediately in the presence of Adonai Yeshua. Scripture bears this belief out in Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and & Isaiah 43:2. It is clear in Scripture that for Christians, death is NOT the end of our existence – death is merely the separation of body and soul, not the end of who we are or what we were created to be. Plus there are NO DIRECT SCRIPTURAL FORBIDDANCE concerning cremation, even though there ARE direct Scriptural references concerning the handling of a dead body.
In that understanding we made the decision to have our bodily remains cremated. So, while making funeral arrangements for my husband on the 14th, I saw that it was so economical that I also made arrangements for MY OWN cremation and internment at a future date when Elohei calls my name – 2 for the price of 1 makes sense, and doing both also took the pressure off survivors so they don’t have to make a decision they don’t agree with, and their grief won’t be made more difficult. As of today, while I am typing this post, my children and grandchildren are not Christians … and they have no desire to become Christians: death hits them hard because they see death as a final farewell and the end of all existence. I, on the other hand, consider death a graduation and the beginning of real living. So I do not mourn as the world mourns.
And I personally believe Elohei can raise a body reduced to ash as well, and as readily, as he can raise a body reduced to decayed sludge; for us, we began to view cremation as a valid Christian burial practice. And, for us, cremation also seems a more humane way of caring for the deceased than some of the death disposal practices of ancient days … or even current days in some ethnic cultures.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
The weather outside looks worse than it actually is; it’s not really cold here – 49-degrees – but the continual falling rain and wind gusts blowing in off the river makes it seem bitterly cold.
Yesterday while it rained, I worked up a pair of Alien Slippers …
I like ‘em; and I think the recipient will too ;-)
Again I used the public domain Slipper Socks original pattern (http://www.knitting-crochet.com/crochet/slisoc.html) and tweaked it to fit the design I had in mind:
After the head features were designed and sewn in place, I worked the body as directed in the original pattern. The first slipper took the longest because I was designing as I worked it up – the second slipper went much faster.
I am soooo thankful for these orders because they helped redirect my thoughts and kept me from slipping into crying jags.
Today I got busy and cooked 4 Dinner meals (5-Bean Soup, Meat Loaf, Spaghetti Sauce, & Tuna Noodle Casserole) to be divvied up between this week’s meals and leftovers frozen for future meals; I do this all the time, but the difference this time is that I am freezing 1 serving portions now, so they will go further (8 to 12 future meals now). I also went over the checkbook balance and the little savings I had squirreled away – squared those figures up with the Bills Tally January through February 2019 – and it looks like Elohim has been gracious to me :-) It appears that I will be able to skate through the next 60 days with little to no financial worries until the pitifully slashed Social Security check arrives the end of February … at least, THAT is WHEN I am hopeful it will arrive if there are no more unforeseen bureaucratic snags. When widows are dealing with all other death fallouts, they should not have to jump through government hoops or dodge government loopholes on top of everything else. But for now, it looks like I have ducked a well-aimed bullet and Elohei is watching out for me :-D
I will be able to “make it through December”, as well as January and February 2019.
Friday, December 21, 2018
I woke up this morning thinking I would call Steele’s Chapel funeral home to find out if Hub’s cremation remains were ready to pick up; but while I was downing a 2nd cup of coffee and working up the nerve to reach for the phone, they called me and informed me that the cremains, the Death Certificate, and the kids’ memory remains (to later be slipped into their own personal Urn Vials) were ready for pickup. So I called SIL and asked her to go with me. When we got there, the receptionist bagged up the container and said, “He had big bones … lots of density there.” I thought that was kinda insensitive, but yeah, he did have big bones: Hubs was 6’2” tall and built husky – solid as a rock. He did have big bones, He also had a big heart.
It was sad to see my gentle giant reduced to ashes stashed in a container no bigger than a teenager’s shoe box …
Later I had to go down to the Social Security Office to show the Death Certificate and Marriage License. ((((SURPRISE!)))) Hub’s benefits were cut 25%! I was NOT expecting THAT. The fella doing the subtraction was trying his best to be kind while doing an unkind activity (I actually felt sorry for him). He did what he could to give me every financial break allowed, including a pitiful widow’s portion (aka; “surviving spouse’s beneficiary), which allowed me a pitiable $25.80 addition to a drastically reduced income. And to add injury to insult, I was informed that I won’t receive a stipend from Social Security until the middle of February 2019 because I won’t turn 62 until December 29th, 2018 … and “the office is backed up for the next 42 days” in which my claim will be reviewed and handled. This wonderful bit of bureaucratic news should tickle January’s bill collector’s funny bones :-(
I came home and refigured the family budget and I think I should be able to manage the bills and steer clear of the cat food isle if I am very, very frugal – I AM very, very frugal: every lose penny around our place already screams when I pinch it; now I will have to pinch until they are black and blue ;-) The kids are concerned and are being as helpful as they can be, but I really NEED to work this out on my own. I have to KNOW that I CAN DO this on my own. Hub’s always had confidence in me, so now ((((I)))) have to have confidence in me. I did take pictures of the ‘fridge, the freezer, and the cupboards … and sent them off to the kids and grandkids so they can see for themselves that I am eating healthy and there is not a can of cat food in ANY pictures.
And I have to lean on Elohei a little more: He is ALWAYS available to lend an ear, to listen to my cries, to put up my tears in a bottle, and to support me when I am too weak to stand. He won’t rage at me out of helpless frustration, treat me like I am dense, or make me feel like an imposition. People are human; and humans will behave like humans.
I can’t help the timing of Hub’s death (holiday season); it was and IS “inconvenient” – neither one of us saw August coming down the pike; we certainly did not expect him to die at Christmas time and throw an unwelcome warp into everyone’s lives. Inconvenient things happen at inconvenient times … THAT is what MAKES them inconvenient. I, like everyone else dealing with this death, has BEEN inconvenienced. I do NOT want to be another inconvenience: I don’t know what I will do, but I do KNOW that I WILL DO what needs to be done; and Yeshua will help me figure that out.
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday ... not.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Tuesday of this week my pink Christmas Catcus began to bloom and that bit of cheerfulness catapulted me into moving forward – that brilliant burst of color gave me a nudge to get on with a purpose and a goal; this is what Hub’s would have wanted: he would not have wanted me to shroud myself in mourning misery and despondency as most think I should. He is not dead … he is alive, and more alive than he has ever been! All that took place in OHSU last Friday – on that final day of his life here on Earth – was that he shed that ravished body that housed his spirit. Now his spirit will live on forever throughout eternity. And so I am getting busy with getting on with my life until I join him there ;-)
I did a couple decorations … nothing fancy, just enough to be festive:
The candles in my windows this year remind me that we are to be a light to the world ... Hubs never ceased witnessing to those who attended him in the hospitals, or to those that visited him. He believed that even if he was not healed, his testimony was supposed to be given/heard. He truly believed that whether he got yet another reprieve, or whether he left his body, “maybe I’m going through this because someone needs to hear my testimony about God’s love and faithfulness”. With every breath he took and expelled, he talked about God. He was a light to the world – and I believe that light will continue to go forward in the lives of the people he ministered to before Yeshua gathered his spirit home.
Christmas Ivy Basket
Hanging Christmas Ivy
Kitchen tinsel garland along archway leading to Dining Room
Dining Room tinsel garland along archway leading to kitchen
Tinsel garland running along hallway leading to back rooms. Same tinsel garland runs along the LV archways. I like tinsel garlands at Christmas time, but it is getting very hard to find locally.
I received some Christmas orders (Thank Elohim! I needed those to redirect my thoughts) that I started working on and finished in record time; now that I am the only one in the house, I can work for hours on end with very little breaks ….
MOD Santa Hat ready for pick up – started late in the evening Monday, and finished the next afternoon.
I worked 2 adult sized (XL/male) Slipper Socks Tuesday – just standard; nothing fancy – so no pictures of those;LOL. But these cute little slipper socks for a child were fun to work up ;-)
MOD Pikachu Slipper pair ready for pick up – I started these yesterday morning and finished around 9 p.m. last night
I went online and looked at some pictures of the Pokemon Pikachu figure, and added those features to the original ‘Unisex Slipper Sock’ pattern I found online a few years ago. I only took time away from working on them to get another cup of coffee and eat a few sandwiches now and then. I like the way they turned out, and I think the recipient of these slippers will too :-D
Started MOD Pikachu Slippers yesterday – face in place
Stripes along the side ...
Ears designed, worked up, and sewn on. Back closed up.
And I went into town this afternoon to do some grocery shopping … all the way into town, not just to Wal*Mart a few blocks away from home. It went better than anticipated and I even figured out how to work the car heater … don’t laugh! It was a big moment for me ;-) I have driven this car a lot, but basically Hubs did the driving since he retired, and I never paid attention to the little details. Now I HAVE TO … so I will. I only had one weepy moment when I stopped at AT/T and had Hubs & 1 phone removed from the account: I was fine until he was deleted, and then the tears came and rolled down my face before I could stop them.
One step at a time.
But at least I AM moving forward. I know some people who have stopped in their tracks when a death hits them where they live – I refuse to let that happen to me: that is not living, and we are meant to live until we are called home. I can … and will … live alone, but I will not become a mourning zombie.