I WON'T BACK DOWN

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Conversations with the Widowed ~ Q & A Time


POSTED BY KELLEY LYNN ON OCTOBER 25, 2019, and answered by Valeria on October 29, 2019:

So, since I have been writing for this blog for a number of years now, which I love doing, there are times when I either: 

A: cant really think of anything new to say or write about without sounding like a broken record, or 

B: get tired of hearing the sound, or the type, of my own voice and my own story. 

When that happens, which is the case tody, I prefer to focus on all of you instead. 

I think it would be kind of fun to ask you all some informal questions, to my widowed community, so other fellow widowed peeps can see your replies in the comments and we can all get to know each other a little bit more. I have been asked by adminstration to please remind you that when you post comments and replies on this blog, your comments are not anonymous and they are public. So if you dont want your words posted public, I will not be offended if you choose not to participate. Its all up to you, 100%. Also, if you dont feel like addressing all of these widow-related topics below, feel free to only answer five, or two, or none! Ive done a lot of writing in this blog over the years, and I just thought it might be kind of fun to hear more of your stories, from your words. 

So, lets have a conversation: 

I look forward to your replies. 

Tell us the name of your person who died, and how you met. 


What are 3 things that come to mind about your person who died, that you would really love for people to know about them? 

The 3 things that come to mind about my husband, Bob, that I’d really love for people to know about him is that Bob is love personified – he truly loved unconditionally and always dealt with people on a 1-to-1 equal status level. Bob was a natural ‘people piper’ … people flocked to him and just enjoyed being in his company. Bob was an honest-to-God peacenik: n.o.t.h.i.n.g.r.a.t.t.l.e.d.h.i.s.c.a.g.e. Nothing.

What has been the most unexpected or surprisingly hard thing for you, since the death of your loved one? 

The most unexpected and surprisingly hard thing for me in this, my new life, is the crying. Openly. Unexpectantly. I can’t control it. I hate crying; crying always meant vulnerability to me – I never really even cried around Bob. IF I cried openly, Bob knew I was dealing with something monumental and felt frustratingly trapped. I am not a girly-girl. I am tough – I am never in situations of entrapment. But since becoming a widow, the crying happens and I can’t stop it. I feel trapped by this new life. And I don’t even care anymore if people see my weakness …

Name something you have done after the death of your loved one, that you are proud of. (it can be ANYTHING, and this includes making it through the day.)

I am proud of the way I have been able to do things solo that I could never – or would never – do when Bob was still with me in the flesh. I have gone on solo adventuring drives, reached out to people (never did that before, I am a DIYer), and made friends without Bob (never did that before either - was never aware I COULD attract friends on my own; I am a LOT to handle with or without Bob by my side); I recently crossing the Hoffstat Bridge in the Mount St. Helen’s area of our home State: this bridge is very looooong and spans about a 2,000 foot deep ravine; when Bob was still present in the flesh, I always pulled over when we got to it, and said, “If you want to get us to the elk herd on the other side … you drive from here.” But I recently did that drive on my own (literally cried with relief & kissed the ground on the other side. LOL). I swear I could feel Bob smiling with pride and applauding my victory ;-) Last night I got past another long drive hurdle. I am doing this! Bob is proud of me.

What is the greatest thing that loss has taught you? 

The loss of my husband’s physical presence in my life has taught me that life goes on – and that because his spirit continues to live on, I am always loved and never truly alone. Bob is still very much alive, and his love still surrounds me.

What would you love to tell the general public about grief and loss? What do you wish they knew or would be more understanding about? 

I would love to tell the general public that grief and loss never goes away: it subsides, and then comes back in sneaker waves. Unbidden and totally unexpected; and your world is shaken again. Widows constantly live in a gray world. It is not something we want: it simply IS. Widows do not immerse themselves in the gray, but the gray exists and will always exist. We crave color in our new life, but all the color in our world – which runs parallel to everyone else’s world – is now muted and has lost its brilliance. We are doing the best we can to live joyful and vibrant lives in a world that has now lost its sparkle for us. I am thankful for the people in my life who understand that and don’t expect more from me than I can give at any given moment, and given day of any given week of any given year. My husband was my life … and my life has drastically been altered. My husband colored my world with glorious and unconditional love: that all ended for me December 14th, 2018 at 8:05 a.m. My life is different now. The shades of this new life I live now don’t “pop” anymore. People who know me and knew us, understand that. I don’t have time for those who don’t; trying to explain to those kind of people drains me, and I don’t need the energy vampires in my life. Selfish? Maybe. But I make no apologies.



Name the song that means the most to you and your person who died. If you want, tell us why.

There are too many songs that meant a lot to the both of us at different times of our relationship and marriage! But, I can pick 2: “Happy Together” by The Turtles, because we were happy together all of our lives – and we couldn’t see us loving anyone else but ‘me for you & you for me’. And “One Hot Mama” by Trace Adkins – my husband made that his ring-tone for my number: for 44 years Bob told me I turned him on and was one hot mama ;-) Even with his last breath. Bob loved this fat and sassy grandma, who he always looked at with eyes of love and remembered as his 17 year old young chick bride. LMAO




Have you picked up any new hobbies, taken on a new career, or done something else that you would have NEVER predicted you would have done in your "other life"? Tell us about it. (mine is becoming a Real Estate Agent - SO RANDOM!!! Don would be like "Huh??? Whered THAT come from???" )

No new hobbies. No new career. But I am making a new and bold move to another State, forging a new and bold life with my kids and grandkids who live too close to the city for my comfort. This is a huge step for a country gal. But, one I believe Bob would be proud of. I am also stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to trusting people with my heart. I am learning to love as Bob did – unconditionally and whole-heartedly. Trust has always been a big issue in my life: even with Bob … and I loved him. Bob understood me, and loved me unconditionally. THAT was his legacy. I am going to do everything in my power to carry that legacy forward and instill it in our children and grandchildren.

Have your thoughts about religion, death in general, or life in general, changed since your loss? 

My Faith remains the same – Bob was a Christian too: death never scared us. My thoughts on life is that it goes on, and so do we. Our life is what we make of it – we can sit in misery … or we can get up and get moving. Movement is healing. Healing is life-inspiring. Living is how we honor our spouses that have gone on Home ahead of us. Honoring our spouse is loving ourselves as our spouse would if they were still her with us in the flesh. I choose life. I choose Bob’s love all around me. Bob is still my husband; I will honor him.

 Now that you are living it, what comes to mind for you when you think about the word WIDOW/WIDOWER/WIDOWED?

The word that comes to mind when I think on the word ‘Widow’ is RESILIENT. I was always a strong, tough, and adaptable woman; but since becoming a widow, I have learned to bend in new ways I never thought possible to overcome the most difficult circumstance and situations of my entire life. And I have learned that vulnerability can be a strong and sturdy as steel.




Sunday, October 27, 2019

GRAY HAIR DAYS


1 Year Ago, TODAY: {{But before I left, I leaned over to kiss Bob’s hand that was holding mine and he said, “I’m seeing more and more gray in your hair Luv.” And I quickly said, “For sure. And you are the one putting it there, Babe. It’s been a rough 9 weeks.” We laughed.}}

Bob had had gray hair for decades ... started graying after his 2nd death in 1981 ... and he was waiting for the day my hair would gray. He would be tickled pink to see how much it has grayed up now! :-D

  
Got my hair shagged, and slipped into one of Bob’s old tees. Bob liked my hair long & shagged … and I like wearing Bob’s tees and polo's ;-) The upper layers of my hair is a silvery gray – the bottom end of my hair is still that dull battleship gray. I like the silvery gray.

On second thought - HE CAN SEE how gray my hair has become now. But, I wish ((((I)))) could see his face while he is looking at it. There is still some – very little – of my natural hair color, but it has significantly grayed over these past 10 months/13 days/23 hrs. & 56 mins.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

**********

Last year, on this day, this is what we had been dealing with at the local hospital; and what I had posted to FB:

We have been at the hospital since Thursday afternoon (I leave around 8 p.m. only to get home and crash until morning visiting hours). Today was pretty much the same as yesterday with many conflicting diagnoses with the “need to see a specialist”, and a serious indication again today – about 3 hours ago – of being sent to OHSU or Vancouver for surgery; this time on his pancreas because CT imaging showed pseudo-cysts. That was upsetting to both of us: the looming {immediate} need for surgery as well as the daunting ordeal of me dealing with city driving.
SO, WE PRAYED ABOUT IT! Openly, and confidently – not showy, but determined to get this settled once and for all.
We (and the kids) waited on tender-hooks for a decision to be made. As of 3 hours ago it appears the {immediacy} of the impending surgery has been put on the back burner and the medical staff here is brainstorming for alternatives to stave off surgery knowing that is not a preference for us if an alternative can be worked out. The kids went off to their various jobs, Bob settled in for some overdue sleep after being allowed to drink some broth and agreed to overnight monitoring and a meeting with a personalized dietitian tomorrow (hopefully he will know by release time what foods he is allowed to eat so he CAN eat safely and I can confidently prepare meals that won’t cause a flare up) … and I came home to get some much needed rest. Emotional strain will drain you quicker than a physical tiredness!
But before I left, I leaned over to kiss Bob’s hand that was holding mine and he said, “I’m seeing more and more gray in your hair Luv.” And I quickly said, “For sure. And you are the one putting it there, Babe. It’s been a rough 9 weeks.” We laughed. And I do believe that before this ordeal is over, my hair will resemble the white streaked hair of Frankenstein’s Bride. LOL!
On a brighter note … concerns for the gall bladder have been permanently shelved: that was a misdiagnosis and every surgeon who consulted with us said they did not understand why that was even a concern as the gall bladder looks fine to them – it is the pancreas that is causing all the trouble. And that looks like it will be a life-long issue (unless Elohim steps in with merciful favor and heals it as we know He can) BUT it can be controlled with diet, stress relief measures, and a serious change of lifestyle. So we will be working on all those things to get this thing under control as soon as Bob realizes that he needs to get serious about life changes (aka diet changes, how he deals with stressors, and the ‘want to’ to DO what needs to be done to alleviate the excruciating flare-ups) … THAT will be the major issue in all this upset: the changes are severe and so far Bob has not been keen with them. According to this internet search, the pancreatic pseudo-cysts can go away on their own with the measures mentioned above; that is what I, personally, am praying towards.
Yesterday after all the various tests and scans to try to pinpoint what was causing the pain, the overwhelming consensus is that Bob’s gall bladder, kidneys, and heart ALL look as good as they can at 69 yo, and there is no real concern about them at this point even though surgery was strongly pushed to remove the gall bladder even last week; and docs are still concerned about the arrhythmia – but meds have been ditched because of the recent seizure-like/black-out fall-downs (they even unhooked the IV bag last night because there was indication THAT was making his heart race … they are finally wising up to the reality that the IV ‘water’ is not good for Bob); and everyone had us believing he was a candidate for kidney dialysis in the near future! But our God is greater!!! And HE did what HE does best – supernaturally went to work to heal what the doctors could not: ((((THANK YOU YESHUA!)))) for taking care of those issues; now we just need the pancreas to start behaving ;-)

**********

There were SO many misdiagnoses. Bob’s pancreatitis was not the normal pancreatitis upset – it didn’t fit “the pattern”: Bob’s flareup was strictly due to stress: which is a rare cause for this disease. Apparently that is hereditary. And those saline IV Bags exasperated the situation; they should not have been used with Bob’s medical condition - the nurses hooked them back up after that 1 short reprieve: the saline IV drips added to the edema situation that literally crushed Bob’s internal organs and eventually killed him. Bob was dying – but, he should have been able to die at home – like he wanted to do – with a heart attack that would have taken him sooner with less traumatic instances. I STILL get angry when I think about HOW his body died. It was all so unnecessary. And too prolonged. He should not have had to suffer the way he did towards the end.

Bob’s spirit eventually left this Earth over the river at OHSU. Even knowing he was dying, Bob was upbeat, positive, encouraging to the medical staff & teams there, and concerned for and sorry to be leaving me behind. Bob, never once, got angry over his situation; he DID briefly get angry with his mother & sisters when they tried to override his DNR order & my upholding of his decision, but he forgave them too in short order. Bob didn’t waste time and energy on anger. Bob was love personified: some real love left this world with Bob last December.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

MOVING INTO THE FUTURE …


… can be tricky.

And just plain scary.

New beginnings are hard for people, and moving forward is hard for all people. But, MPO, is that moving into the future is especially difficult for widows.

And bittersweet; because always a step forward involves a step back into the time we shared our lives together. That past is what catapults me forward.

Into a future without my husband – my life partner. My soulmate. My true love. My Forever Man.

My future is still connected to my past.

I do not live in my past … but my past still lives in me. And though I am not desperate (as in hysterical crying jags) to return to the life I used to live with Bob, there are times – like when I am packing things up to move into my future, and I come across tangible things that bring Bob’s presence in my life immediately and poignantly into my present that I do have a cryfest. 2 days ago, it was coming across the wooden ball & chains he carved while he waited for the punk whistles that would tell him there were logs hooked and waiting to be hauled out of the gullies onto the landings. I cried when I held them, and my mind’s eye clearly saw him. I wanted to reach out to him: but Bob was not really present. I cried harder. Then I packed them. Those pieces of my past will be going with me into my new solo future. Today, while packing up my knitting pattern books, one of them fell open and there were the hand trace forms I had made several years ago to assure I would knit a pair of hand gloves that would accurately fit his hands once they were completed: Bob worked the night shift trucking schedule, and I knitted in the evening hours; Bob was not around for me to “size” his hands for a perfect fit. Those sturdy hand forms had me crying like a baby this afternoon. I miss Bob – I miss Bob’s hands. His hands were gentle, and knowing in whatever he used them for. I miss him using his gentle and knowing hands on me. I will never knit hand gloves for my husband again. Those pieces of my past will not be going with me into my new future.

I have noticed all this week while packing up the house, that while I am constantly sorting through the life we built – examining, sorting, wisely discerning what goes, what stays to be sold, and what will be given away or hauled away – the life Bob & I shared together is still part of my life: and always will be part of my life. No matter where I live.

The past does not need me to stay here and be its permanent caretaker; I do not have to constantly tend to it in order for it to survive Bob’s absence. Our past isn’t going anywhere. Our past will always remain untouched and unaltered – it can withstand the ravages of time. Our past is always present … always “in the moment” whenever I need its soothing effects, regardless of the tears that will inevitably flow when I tap the past memories. I never want to forget Bob’s essence – those things that made Bob the man I loved. I never want to forget how he walked or talked.

THANK YOU YESHUA, for the camera, video and recording technologies too! Through these things I can STILL SEE my husband’s handsome face, his beautiful physique, and HEAR his precious voice. Whenever I NEED Bob, all I have to do is pull up a picture or a vocal video, or slip in a disc with silent film footage of his child/teen/young adulthood years … and SUDDENLY THERE HE IS RIGHT BEFORE MY STARVING EYES. Yes, I cry. But they are tears of happiness and joy because at one time this wonderful, kind, gentle, handsome, loving & pampering man was mine to love on, hold, cuddle, snuggle, and enjoy to the max. Those past pictures, voice videos, and silent film footage discs will be going with me into my new future.

The life we shared together is automatically suspended in time; untouched & unchanged. Our lives together ended last December, yet our past together still lives and fuels me. What we were to one another, we STILL ARE. Time and space … even physical death … will never change our past together. The love we shared didn’t disappear just because I can no longer see or feel my husband: his love still surrounds me because his spirit still surrounds me.

But, I am wise enough to understand that I cannot live in the past. I cannot heal and rebuild my new life there. That life is over. It will never come around again: I have accepted that fact.

And I have come to accept the fact that I am no longer alpha in our family pack. I no longer have a mate; and as with all hierarchy mating’s, I have now – since widowhood – been demoted. A new order has been established in our familial pack. I am not used to needing help; I was part of an established alpha couple for 45 years: WE were the ‘helpers’ … those everyone else in our familial pack looked to for guidance, help in whatever was needed that we had it within our power to give aide, support in times of life’s storms; the recent turn of events that took place last Winter has changed the order our pack operates in today. The kids are reaching out and want to help. I realize that, but the fact of the matter is that Bob is gone – he won’t be coming back: no one can “fix” that. While I am still fairly independent, I do recognize that I am seriously handicapped without my husband in my life. I am the one who is on the receiving end now. It can be scary. Trust is a major issue with me. I must trust people to be trustworthy now; and be careful in my reliance on them. I appreciate the familial help, but I do not want my life to be taken over. I am grieving … I am not yet ready to be tethered and picketed.

I will be moving in with the kids for a few months until I find a new home; this makes sense because I don’t want to make a hasty decision and have buyer’s remorse: the money gained from the sale of this house has GOT to COUNT. I can’t afford mistakes. Sacrifices will have to be made; secessions given. I am not used to that: it’s an adjustment. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I want to have an equal say in any decision making for my life, while abdicating the alpha role and trusting the kids to pick up the slack in the new familial role. I always knew this day was coming; it came sooner than anticipated. I am not truly ready. I am walking a thin line.

I am in a new place in my new life as I move forward into my new future.

It can be liberating.

It is always scary.

I want Bob – I WANT my husband; with Bob by my side I knew there was nothing I could not accomplish. Bob always had confidence in me. Man! I need Bob now! I want Bob to reach for my hand and give it a squeeze as I step out of this house and into a new one. I want that quick, quiet affirmation that I am doing the right thing. But I am astute enough to know that Bob & his assurances can only be found in my memories now. So, I draw on those memories to give me the boldness and confidence I need to move forward into the future of my new life.

Sometimes moving into my new life feels like I should have a passport and interpreter because 98% of the time I feel like I have embarked on a journey in a foreign country where the language is not clearly understood.

Widowhood.

It’s a trip.

10 months, 12 days & 12 hours later, I have found my sea legs and I don’t feel like I am drowning anymore. The thought of being a widow doesn’t nauseate me anymore. I am still getting used to it, but having weathered the worst of the journey, I feel more like a seasoned traveler than a bewildered grief grad. When I was first thrust into the journey, I packed a lot of baggage with me: it was heavy, it was bulky, it dragged me down wherever I went …




As the months passed and I learned, through rough experiences, how to carry my grief more effectively and gracefully, I pack lighter grief and it’s barely noticeable wherever I go. People who do not know me personally may not even see it at all; but I know that it’s there. It will always be there – it is a part of me now.

Bob completed me. His absence handicaps me in ways I still struggle to put into words. I know what I want to say … but the words seem inadequate. All I know, is that I have been left to create a purposeful life with what is left of our life.

My life now.

A solo life.

So, with baggage in hand, I stumble down an unrecognizable road. There is no reliable map for this journey.

This time, last year, Bob had gone back into the local hospital and would not be coming back home. Ever again. I had no sense of direction other than being with Bob – our life together was being disassembled, and my life had been put on hold. There were LOTS of misdiagnosis’ and frustrations. I cried where Bob could not see me. I needed to be strong for him.

After 8:05 a.m., December 14th, 2018, I spend countless hours re-assembling my life in my head. For months I was stopped in my tracks as far as physical activity went – outside of necessary and demanded trips to the Social Security Office downtown. Bob, before he left, told me to live. I didn’t know HOW to live without him! I could barely think straight. It drained my energy reserves to sit and pay attention to the talking heads in the Social Security Office. SO MUCH change was happening at turbo speed, and my brain activity was sluggish. Everything was overwhelming. I felt stupid because even the most simple and basic decisions were suddenly monumental. Changes were taking place without my actual involvement.

I look back on some of the pictures taken during those months and I look haunted – I am looking at the camera and making a small smile … but my eyes were so sad they looked empty. I was frozen in time, on a journey I was not familiar with, trying to survive the changes coming at me with turbo speed. I did weather the storm with Elohim’s favor, Yeshua’s grace, and the memories of Bob’s love.

This year, I am sitting amidst boxes in every room of this house as I pack it up, trying to rise about the overwhelming emotions new changes are requiring of me. My eyes don’t look haunted anymore; they look apprehensive. My life is about to change again with this move. I am going into unfamiliar territory on every level in my life. I am in a new place in my new life as I move forward into my new future.

It can be liberating.

It is always scary.

Widowhood.

It’s a trip.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

COURAGE



I may have to get a small loan to get this thing pushed through on schedule – Oregon does not allow for monies from a house sale to go directly towards buying a house in Oregon: it isn’t immediately transferable. WTF? Here, in Washington, I can take the money I get from the sale of this house and put it immediately towards the purchase of another home – which we have done 3 times in the past 20 years with no hassle.

There has GOT TO BE A WAY to get around that nonsense … and I am going to find it. Shay will be coming over tomorrow – I’ll ask her to explain it clearly. I don’t mind getting a small loan if the payoff stays within my monthly budget plan – it builds my credit status. But I do not understand WHY the money I gain from the sale of my house here cannot be transferred to the purchase of a house there – that is ridiculous!

I want to own rather than rent: for several reasons. But the biggest reason is that Bob worked hard for the monies we sunk into all our homes; this is the only home where we ever lost $$$$$$ on – but we knew that going in. We bought it outright and had enough to remodel it to fit our needs … and we knew that because this is a mobile home instead of a “stick-built home”, we would never recoup the monies or the upscaled value we put into it. We were okay with that: we weren’t planning on moving again.

We just never figured on Bob dying only months after moving in here. I, honest-to-God expected to go Home before Bob. Even when the ER doctors (first admittance to ER in August 2018) were telling us he was dying, I remember saying, “How? WHY? I am the one with serious health issues (heart arrythmia, angina, and asthma: deadly physical faults) How can Bob be dying when he’s healthier than I am?But we didn’t know that his body had been dealing with a serious and deadly issue – Bob never felt the pain associated with the medical issue that Ron Cook & Candy Scott’s insanity stresses provoked into a raging firestorm that could not/would not be controlled – Bob had an exceptionally high tolerance for pain, and he truly did not feel the pain he should have been feeling when his body passed that gall stone that ended up infecting his body, and was eventually catapulted out of control by the stressors of the 2 evil twins here at Heron Pointe.

Add to those stresses, the judgmental stresses added by my sister, Ramona & her husband, David who last September & October refused to LISTEN AND HEAR US. They were focused on taking us to task over medical help … even though Bob even made it very clear that things had gone past that; seriously past that: Bob WAS getting medical help, but he needed a miracle: he needed the support of Christians and the peace their prayers give in troublesome times; Bob was at peace concerning his physical death if that was Elohim’s decision during that entire ordeal. Death seriously scares Ramona, and she has placed medical doctors above God; that is why she was so snarky with us. They claim to be Christians – David even claims he is a pastor: yet, they refused to HEAR what was being said, and instead got very judgmental and at one point, Ramona even accused me of wanting to kill my husband by standing BY HIS DECISIONS and trusting IN ELOHIM … and she went behind my back to ask him, “is this your decision, or Val’s?”. That angered Bob, and he set her straight pronto; just like he did his mother and sisters. And that anger further aggravated the situation. In which case, it is safe to state that the bullshit Ramona pulled, helped kill my husband by the stress it induced: which kinda puts her in the same ball park as Ron & Candy. MPO. And yu’all KNOW how I feel about Ron and Candy. If Ramona & David were truly Christians, they would have stood with us instead of undermining us at every turn. Plus, they both flat-out-bold-faced-lied to us last October before Bob went into the hospital never to come out alive again (don’t ask – I won’t tell. Elohim heard, and HE WILL SETTLE the account. It was serious, very serious) and tried to backtrack their words when they got caught; I finally just sent them packing and told them never to come back. I have, over the years, put up with a lot from Ramona because she is my sister … but she topped herself in October of last year (and that’s saying a LOT); I am d.o.n.e. Their actions and attitude was anything BUT Christian in nature and follow-through. It was, however, typical of them.

Anyway.

Back to the present …

Bob worked hard all his life, for the monies we sunk into our homes – this one being the last we purchased together; and the only one I am selling solo. I want to buy another home rather than rent: I want that money from the sale of this house to go towards being Bob’s legacy and passed, eventually, to his grandchildren: owning property is a great value, provided it is maintained properly. I can do that. As long as the loan payments stay relatively close (maybe a small jump up) to what I am paying in rent here now, I can swing it. And, if I join Bob beyond the clouds before it is fully paid off, the kids will be able to sell my new home and carry forward with their lives, breathing a little easier. That will be Bob’s legacy to them – help from beyond ;-) Renting would just throw his monies away, enriching strangers instead of propelling his immediate family forward with ease. I want to use Bob’s monies effectively and wisely.

The kids there are scouting out places they know will fit my living circumstances and personality. And Shay is doing all she can from up here, to make this transition as easy as possible for me with as little snafus as realistically possible. And, of course, Elohim, Yeshua, and Bob are doing their part too :-D With such great teams on my side, who KNOW me and understand what works for me, how can I lose? I trust Elohim’s direction: He has never failed me. Ever.

MBI Kerry came by earlier this afternoon and helped me sort through Bob’s man stuff in the shed – I told him to help himself to whatever was in there he could use (or wanted for sentimental reasons); I was thankful he left with a full load. I am positive Bob was smiling and approving – Bob and Kerry were very close despite the 11-year age difference. And his dog, Bobby! Everytime I see him I laugh because he fits in with the Hargand’s – he, like them, is a BIG BOY ;-)

I kept the toolbox and will move that with me to give to Alyna & Liam: they can use it in their new life.
Kerry & Bobby. Bob's namesake is 10 months old and will get bigger!
The remnants of our life driving away with Kerry. I felt a bittersweet thankfulness. I can’t take it with me … and Kerry can use all of it.

The shed is cleared except for the stuff I will be taking with me. I still have to get the toolbox under control so I can close the top of it. And I need to organize/box the shelf things. But on the whole, that shouldn’t take much time at all. Kerry really cleared it out.

In-house-packing today is moving slowly because I had loads of paperwork to sort through – some will be left here for the new owners, some will go with me, and a lot got shredded because it was for old stuff and irrelevant – we don’t even have the items anymore that the paperwork was for.

When all the paperwork was sorted and taken care of, I started packing:

Yesterday, I did the bathrooms. This is the Master bathroom stuff.
Both bathrooms boxed up … and stashed in the Master bathroom.
Bath stuff, and miscellaneous things boxed, bagged, and stacked for pickup.
Today, I packed the spare bedroom up. There wasn’t much.
I also got busy boxing up our bedroom ... this was very hard. Memories kept flooding my brain and heart. It was, at times, overwhelming.
The more I grabbed to sort through, the more there was. HOW DO I STILL HAVE SO MUCH SHIT to sort through? We seriously downsized 2 years ago before we moved here. WTH

While going through Bob’s closet organizer, I came across these implements of torture, stained and marked by the passage of time – Bob’s back brace & his knee brace. Apparently, Bob was a hoarder too, like me. LOL! When I was dating Bob; and even for a while after we married, he was using the back brace: he was born with spina bifida and was told in his 20’s that he’d be in a wheel chair by his 30’s. I married Bob KNOWING that there was a possibility he’d be wheel-chair bound. I didn’t care. I loved Bob. And I said to him that we’d cross that bridge together if & when it happened … that never happened, thank You, Yeshua: but he did die twice, and Elohim returned him to me twice before finally taking him Home last Winter. Bob always suffered painful back issues, but it never stopped him from enjoying life to the fullest. The knee brace was because he had a weak right knee: he had torn the ligaments in high school, and though it healed, it was always weak; every once in awhile it would slip out of place …

IMPLEMENTS OF TORTURE. Bob's back brace. And knee brace. Into the garbage they went ... Bob is no longer here.

Seeing these things made me cry, so I stopped working in our bedroom and started tearing down what used to be the TV room before I changed that situation this February.

I haven’t cleared the Secretary yet because I am not sure yet if it is going or staying; I will know what to do with it when I find my new home and see what the square footage is:

Boxes of yarn. Half of the moving truck’s box will be filled with my yarn stash ...
Don't know what to do with this yet ...

That room boxed up, I ambled back into our bedroom after Supper and finished up in there with what can be packed up right now; I still have to do my clothing and bedding, but I am using those things at the moment …

Feeling accomplished …

All in all, it was a very busy and eventful day that went rather smoothly. Things are getting done and there really isn’t that much to pack up, even though I was shocked at HOW MUCH crap I has squirreled away in our bedroom ;-)

The livingroom and kitchen still have to be tore down and packed up. The livingroom will be pretty easy … the kitchen, on the other hand, will take the longest.

Tomorrow.

There is always tomorrow.

A Period of Adjustment


It is going to be a looooong day.

It is 4:33 a.m., and I have been up since 1:30 a.m.

Thinking.

Missing Bob.



Talking with other widows & widowers on FB.



I packed & sorted our house stuff yesterday until the garbage can was filled. I’ll get back at it today. Everything in the house that is going with me needs to be packed up and tagged for the movers. Tagging is going to be tricky because I won’t really KNOW what I can take with me until I get down south, scope the new digs out, and assess square footage: THAT will be the deciding factor. Some things, like the bed, a few recliners, ect. CAN be tagged now though. I will be downsizing to a 1-bedroom home, so I won’t be taking much. And truthfully, there isn’t much here: we seriously downsized our belongings 28 months ago when we bought this place; and didn’t have time to add more before the morons here at Heron Pointe killed my husband with their craziness. The only thing that will be difficult and will take the most time, is the shed filled with Bob’s man stuff. My BIL Kerry, is coming by later today to help me sort through that, and thankfully will be hauling away what he wants and can use. It will be a big help to me, and we will both be comforted in knowing that what was important to Bob will go to someone who understands what is in all those crates, boxes, and coffee cans. I have no freaking idea – and even if I do, none of it will be relevant in where my new life is headed.

I hope I can stay awake to accomplish everything that needs accomplished today …

One person on FB said they worry about liking new places. They are anxious about moving on.

I can identify.

BUT

I refuse to let those concerns hamstring me.

Bob is no longer here.

Bob would not want me to shroud myself in the past and wither away pining for a life that is no more.

Bob wants me to live. Fully. In the moment.

I worry about liking new places too. But, moving involves a new location & new places – so, I adjust.



I am a country girl: I could spend all my time in the mountains, and never get itchy to get back into town. Bob … not so much. Though Bob was born & raised in the country until he was a teen, & he worked as a logger and truck driver all his adult life, he preferred bright lights and big city. We compromised – we settled in Longview. Bob was a good husband to me: he knew I couldn’t stand being cooped up behind 4 walls: I needed wide open spaces; the wilder and more primitive they were, the better I liked it. Bob gave me county fixes A LOT during our 44 year marriage. We were on the go at least once a month. More so when he retired.

We spent most of our time hiking the trails of Mount Rainier. We have been to all the mountains of WA, Mt. Hood & Saddleback Mountain of OR, over the Rockies to Vermont and back (Bob got to see the country I was born & raised in as we passed through Minnesota, Illinois where I was born at the Naval Hospital in 1956, and Pennsylvania). Vermont was a treat – I like the scents and color of Fall, and Vermont has plenty of that; we drove through the desert of Nevada on our roadtrip to Vegas when our grandson was born 5 years ago, and came home over the Sierras. And in between these lengthy roadtrips, we covered all the countryside backroads of our corner of the PNW. Bob gave me a good life. He loved me. He wanted always to please me. And I adored Bob – just because he was.

But, Bob is no longer here.

It is an adjustment.

Our grandkids live in Oregon. Oregon is their chosen State. Oregon is about to become my new home too – the grandkids have been trying to get me to move there ever since Bob’s spirit left. Bob wanted me to keep our house: I tried. Financially, I can afford to stay here. But mentally & spiritually, I have got to go. I am not happy here without Bob; Bob liked Longview. Bob like Heron Pointe. I tried - mightily, for Bob's sake. The kids recently moved to a rural area of Oregon with farm country all around and have been pestering me to sell and move south where they can more easily & readily check up on me, and we can enjoy closer/deeper family time.

It is time.

There is nothing to keep me here anymore. I do have friends – good friends; but friends are not family. And I can drive back up this way for periodic get togethers.

There is nothing to keep me in Longview; nothing. Bob was it: he liked it here, and I love Bob. But Bob is not here anymore. It is an adjustment.


I want to see my grandkids. I want to watch them grow, thrive, “become”. When great-grands start arriving, I want to be able to enjoy them in the moment.

I got a good estimation for what I can reasonably expect selling the house we bought here 28 months ago, so I “went for it”. Doing this alone is an adjustment. Bob always had faith in me and knew I could so what needed to be done: I rely a LOT on remembering Bob’s love & encouragement – his love and encouragement, coupled with Elohim’s love and faithfulness, is what gets me through each day so I can face tomorrow.

I will learn to be content in another State, in another locale. Solo. It will be an adjustment. My life – as I knew it, with my husband, the only man I ever said, “I love you” to, is over. I will never again have what we had together. It’s finished.

That is an adjustment.

BUT … I CAN take Bob’s love with me. I CAN always be encouraged and strengthened by his love. I CAN rise to the occasions and get through difficult times because Bob’s love supports my broken wing while Elohim’s love is the wind beneath my wings, gently carrying me out of my comfort zone and into a new reality. It is an adjustment.

I am currently experiencing A Period of Adjustment. And no matter where I live, or what new places I have to get used to … I KNOW Bob will be there with me. Because his spirit lives on, and I am taking his love with me.


I will never be alone.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

YOU FIND OUT WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE


I didn’t know I had so many friends until I started on my solo lobo journey.

It is good to KNOW WHO IS IN this journey with you … and who is working with you & FOR you while holding down a full-time job too ;-)

((((Thank YOU, Yeshua)))) for bringing it all together.

And I am doing my part too.

I have been awake since 3 a.m.; gave up the struggle by 4 ... made a sandwich, a cup of tea: and will start packing this house up as soon as the tea is finished.

This is happening.

It's scary and liberating - at the same time.

I know Bob is okay with this.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

And I am taking your love with me - you are my Forever Man.

OX