I WON'T BACK DOWN

Monday, December 31, 2018

GOODBYE 2018 - WELCOME 2019


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.

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.