Saturday, July 31, 2010

HE STILL LOVES ME

Expenses, expenses, expenses.

I am not a rich widow... But, I am a blessed widow. Thankfully, my Father in Heaven has been very mindful of my needs.

Around Christmas time I felt that one expense after another was hitting me.. money was going out very quickly, but not coming in any faster than normal. I analysed my expenses... considered what was coming... considered that I'd like to do at least a small Christmas for the kids... and calculated my negative. It didn't look good. I have avoided debt throughout widowhood to the best of my ability... but it was not looking good. I could not avoid any of the expenses, except gifts for my kids.

I tried to be as frugal as I could for a few weeks as I continued to write checks larger than what was coming in. My savings was draining quickly. I just took it in stride... not even knowing what to pray for... because I didn't see a solution. I figured my tax return would have to dig me out of the hole in a few months.

As I was at work one day, my boss asked me to type a letter for him. As I listened to the dictated letter... I became very curious. The letter was indicating that the associates had earned a bonus (which had never been paid since I worked there, nor in the many years prior), and that the bonus would be paid early... as in... before Christmas. I was hesitant to get my hopes up... but did calculate in my head what my maximum bonus would be. It would help. It would not be enough to cover everything... but it would help.

As the week unfolded I heard more commentary on the pending bonuses. My boss looked at me and smiled a little one day and told me I would be very happy with my bonus. I hoped that meant I was getting the max. It would help.

A week or so later... the checks were cut. I opened my check... It was not my 'maximum' it was MORE.... How do you get MORE than your maximum? I drove home over my lunch hour that day, overwhelmed with gratitude. The amount I got, was the amount I needed. It covered everything. I would be able to meet all my bills, almost to the penny. I can not express the overwhelming gratitude I felt for a watchful Heavenly Father... who still... five years later loves and watches over me.

I will also mention... that I also have a strong testimony of paying tithing.... blessings come. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pay my tithing and reap the blessing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

MY YOUNGEST'S OPINION

I asked my kids what I should write about... Do they remember something I should capture?

My youngest said, how about you write about the time you yelled at us for no reason? Or the time you freaked out over nothing.

It is good to know they will come out of this experience with fond memories. It is just my little piece of ensuring the future of America's Psychologists.

Will the kids ever be aware enough to look back and realize... that HE crawled under his desk and cried when he couldn't take it any more... and I... I yelled at the kids for no reason and freaked out on them over nothing.

I wish I could say I only did it once. But it was more often than I care to remember... in fact, it sadly still happens sometimes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE WIDOW?

**Caution**Whining Widow**

My shower had needed to be re-caulked for three years. I just look at it every time I take a shower and it adds a bit of stress to my life. Could I have fixed it? Sure. I am certain I could have read some instructions and figured it out somehow.... but I didn't. I hate that kind of thing. I really do. I don't even WANT to learn how to do it. Could I hire someone to do it? Probably. But, it seems the handy-men in this area have more work to do than they need. Most often people don't want to be bothered with piddly little projects like I have.

For instance... come here and I will ask you to fix the knob on my daughter's shower, three closet doors that are broken, the caulk in the shower, and the front screen door... and that is just for starters. Just lots of little broken things around here.

The other problem with hiring someone to help... is that in the past when I have, they don't do a very good job, sometimes don't finish it, and I don't have the energy in life to spend fighting with them to get the job done right. I have too many other places to spend my energy.

Let me give you an example. A year and a half ago I got a new screen door. Hired help installed it. It is great! I love it. Except that a few months after it was installed, it started to fall off the hinges. No one bothers to come back and fix it. They seem to fall off the face of the earth. I just kept re-screwing the screws in every other day (literally). I had a friend's husbands try to fix it... no luck. I had another friend add some washers to it and that seemed to help.... for a few months at least. Then it started again. Every time I would walk in the door, I would feel this weight of exhaustion... because what am I supposed to do with it? I don't know how to fix it.

I got tired of it all last week. The caulk. The doors. A friend's husband offered to send a guy over to do my caulk. $50. Fine. He came over, needed money for supplies. I gave him $20. He went to Home Depot, I was in and out while he was here working. I had written him a check for $50. I came home after one of my runs out and he was gone. Caulk was done. $50 check was gone. No change left from the $20, despite the reality that the caulk costs probably less than $5. Fine.... $70, as long as the caulk is fixed. About 30 hours later my son hopped in my shower. It had not been used yet, and I would prefer not to disclose my reaction when I heard him in my shower... as I had not checked the caulk... but it HAD been 30 hours... it should have been plenty of time. Nope. Caulk everywhere. The guy has YET to return to fix it. Now I have a bigger mess.

All is not lost, I may have found the man of my dreams. Referred by a friend I called this man for help. He walked around... made a list of my many ailments... and decided to fix two on the spot. The door... the new screen door that has been giving me an ulcer for a year and a half... appears it was on upside down and backwards. Yup. But, it is fixed now... as well as one of my closet doors.

Oh, and I took my car to get it fixed. It is an hour drive to where I have to go to get it fixed... They called and told me the parts were in. I had a road trip planned so I took their first appointment. It was anything but convenient, but I made it happen. They asked if I wanted an alignment, I assured them I did, as it was recommended after the type of service they were doing. I returned to pick up my vehicle... They didn't have all the parts they needed. They did half the job, I will have to return for the other half, BUT they did the alignment, which I didn't need since they didn't finish the job. $70 wasted... and I have to find time to go BACK!

Seriously... I just don't have the energy to fight. I have too much else to do. Sometimes I have even found myself willing to write them a check to get them to leave!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

I met with the guidance counselor at the high school today. I gave him a quick snapshot of my oldest. I explained his father died when he was in 4th grade and he emotionally declined (resulting in declining performance) every year thereafter until 8th grade when he went to go live with his uncle.

I am now looking to enroll him as a Sophomore in High School… back in our home town.

Five years ago, the guidance counselor in the Elementary School admittedly knew little about grief, the process, and how to deal with it. In the United States, approximately 1 in 20 children experience the loss of a parent before they reach the age of 18 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990). Although most bereaved children do not show serious emotional or behavioral disturbances, children who lose a loved one are at a greater risk for symptoms of depression, withdrawal, anxiety, conduct problems and lower self-esteem.

With stats like that can someone tell me WHY it is not mandatory that those wishing to enter the profession of a guidance counselor be educated concerning these things?

I have hope for the new guy… the guy I met with today. He told me the timing sounded accurate and normal for my oldest to have reached his low in 8th grade. Is he right? Do I just find it comforting to know the path we were on was normal? But, if he is right… will someone PLEASE tell me why no one comforted me with that then? Is this guy just trying to make me feel better, and more confident about putting my child back in this school? Did he make that ‘stat’ up on the fly today? When he made the comment (without suggestion from me) that my son is probably not the same person he was in 8th grade... is he messing with my emotions, or truly understanding of the child?

I don’t know… but look at me now... oh how cynical I have become.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

INTERESTING

Let me clarify “interesting”. I received a comment in response to this post… by someone who chose to e-mail me instead of comment on the blog. The e-mail stated “You are so funny- and most definitely one of the most interesting people I know> especially with your personality ever changing as the wind to all the different yous there are :) Hmmmm. What makes you think you aren’t interesting?”

When I said I wasn’t interesting, I didn’t mean I wasn’t circus or fair class interesting. You know… the kind of interesting that people would pay money to see. I think in terms of interesting I may fall closest to that category. Unfortunately, even within that category I am not interesting enough to draw crowds, and therefore income. Which is too bad, I will have to continue my life as an assistant… even though I would much prefer people to just pay to look in at my crazy life… and eliminate this needless 8-5 stuff they call a job.

It may very well be interesting to some of you to come here daily and get a glimpse of Who I Am today (i.e. which of my ‘ever changing as the wind personality’ is present)… but I am not interesting, in the… ‘let’s sit down and have a conversation’ kind of way. I really don’t have much to say. Did you hear there was an earthquake? I didn’t. Did you hear about the latest government scandal? I didn’t. What do you think of reformed healthcare. Don’t know.. haven’t thought about it. What kind of movies do you like? Ones that play, I usually sleep through them. What kind of music do you like? Anything that isn’t too loud so I can block it out, I guess. What kind of books do you like? I don’t get a chance to read. Do you like Stephanie Meyer? Who is that?

Interesting. Able to have thoughts, feelings, opinions that others care to hear. Or at least able to have an inteligent adult conversation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

WILL LIFE EVER BE CALM?

There is supposed to be a calm before the storm. These days I feel more like I have had storm, clean up, storm, clean up, storm, etc. I am looking for the calm. I am looking for the time in my life that I can sit and read and study and think about what I want to. I don't know what that is... because I don't have time to think about what I would think about if I had time to think.

I do have a list of a few things I should think about if given the opportunity... but I haven't gotten to them yet. I am afraid that by the time I do I will have forgotten what I was going to think about.

We talked about the Widow of Zarephath in Sunday School today. The 'take away' I left with was the thought to just 'go and do'.

I may feel as though I am not very interesting any more... but I suppose there are things of larger concern right now. So, I will just go and do. And I know my life will continue to be blessed.

The Widow of Zarephath was promised that her curse of oil would not fail.... if she just followed the prophet. I suppose I hope to bind the Lord in a similar manner. And if He is not concerned that I am not so interesting... why should I?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT IN THIS WORLD

The most trying part of being a widow has been to be a widow while being a mother of young children. To somehow find the strength every day to press forward with steadfastness in Christ. Knowing that this is His work I am doing as a mother to these little children. And especially in those first few years, while I was crashing inside... He did and will continue sustain me and give me what I need to provide emotionally, spiritually and physically for these precious children. In faith, things will be made right. There will not be negative eternal consequences as a result of doing this alone, as I am not alone. I just need put my trust in God and allow him to lead me on the path.

Motherhood is difficult under any circumstances. May we each remember that as mothers we are engaged in an eternal partnership with God.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS NOT NORMAL

I am better. I am stronger. I am not who I used to be.

Most of that is a good thing. I have been stretched.

There is much more I desire to be. I don't know when I will find the time to be the person I want to be. But, in the meantime... somedays I see who I am / how I am... and I just hope this is not normal. That there is still healing to do, that once done I will not be like this anymore.

Please tell me I didn't get suck in a rutt of bad behavior on my path that has become my normal.

I don't like it.... But, I am also not sure where I will find the energy to change it. Patience and prayer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ALL THE PIECES TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

17 years later...

The first two years that I was a widow, I felt there was too much change. It was constant. I was moving, my job was changing, the kid's needs were changing, and as you have read, my boyfriends were changing. I felt I couldn't get a handle on anything... as soon as I thought I was starting to get things figured out - it was fruit basket upset.

Three years ago when I moved into the home I am now in, I prayed and prayed that this would be the end for awhile. That things would calm down and there would be some continuity. Bit by bit that seemed to come. I started to be able to see and think clearly.

I suppose the thing with the lack of change is, you start to become so complacent, you can lose out on opportunities to learn and grow. So, sometimes, the Lord gives a little push to your house of cards... and things get all turned upside down.

I feel like that is my life right now... one by one every aspect of my life is experiencing change. When it started.. I didn't think anything of it... then the second element of my life.. then the third, and on.

Change is happening... All the pieces of my carefully put together puzzle have been thrown in the air and turned upside down. And yet, I have full confidence that when the pieces all settle back down, the picture of my life will be better than what I have now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

This is the part in the story, that if it was a fairy tale, I would say that we lived happily ever after.

Happily ever after will come... but that is what the next life is for. This life is for testing. For learning. For growing.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, when speaking about stories that end with 'happily ever after', "In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their 'happily ever after."

That is where most of us are in our story. We are somewhere in the middle. There is joy to be found in the journey - but 'happily ever after' when there will be no more sadness is a blessing to be reaped later.

For here and for now...

"Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your 'once upon a time' is now."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THE WEDDING


Seven weeks passed quickly with many things to accomplish in a short time frame. Our wedding was intentionally small. Forty guests. I didn't have any pre-wedding gitters. I was just excited, and happy.

The day went off without a hitch. No drama or craziness. Funny to think of that now. Drama and craziness have become so common place, it is funny to think it was so simple. So perfect.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SETTING A DATE

We discussed a date for our wedding the next day. We tossed around a few ideas... but the more our dates started to get pushed out, the more we realized there was no point in waiting. We set our wedding date for seven weeks away.

I was hopelessly in love. I was in awe of how I had been blessed with everything I wanted in a husband. He made me a better person, made me feel better about who I was. The phrase "I love you" did not feel to convey my true feelings for him. I felt it was more. It was deeper and more passionate than just, I love you. I would say "I love you" and ache to be able to say more. But those were the only words I knew.

As much as I was in love, I was also aware of what very different people he and I were. I knew we would have to work to make it work. But, I felt that our marriage would be something to cherish and something that was worth working for.

Monday, July 19, 2010

THE PROPOSAL

Chris invited me to go to Niagara Falls with him on Saturday. I could tell something was up... perhaps just a gut feeling... but I was guessing Chris was going to propose. Now, this is one subject Chris and I did talk about later.. and I guess that even though I was sure this was the day.. In reality, Chris was not sure. He was going to play it by ear and see if the opportunity presented itself.

We spent the day enjoying the falls, walking around, riding the Maid of the Mist and by dinner time were feeling pretty tired. We walked back to where the car was parked, and I knew it was coming. I suppose I knew before Chris knew he was going to do it! We grabbed a picnic lunch Chris had packed as well as a blanket and spread out on the lawn to enjoy the beautiful day. We enjoyed our picnic and continued resting on the blanket enjoying each other and the sun.

Chris then asked me if I had gotten sick of him yet. I assured him I had not, nor would I ever. Then reciprocated his question by asking if he was getting sick of me. He replied by telling me he was getting sick of some things... such as the long drive home late at night after he comes to see me. He asked what I thought we should do about this. To which I turned the question back to him. And he simply replied, "I think you should just marry me." Just as simply I said Okay.

There I sat, grinning from ear to ear... I couldn't help it. Chris looked at me after a little bit and let me know he was serious. He was not kidding. I told him I knew. There we sat in silence for a bit until Chris jumped up, looked at me and said, "So, will ya? Will ya marry me?" and I replied with a "yes, yes, yes". He then handed me a ring in a brown velvet box. At this point I felt we needed a little bit of the classic, expected behavior. He needed to open the box and put it on my finger. I was not about to do that myself. So, I just sat there holding the box. And we began to talk of other things. He then took the box from me, set it down and again, we continued to talk. Finally, he took the ring from the box and put it on my finger.

I felt it was perfect. The perfect proposal for us... for how and who we were.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

THREE MORE DAYS LATER

I am engaged. But, I am also exhausted - so details will come later.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FOUR DAYS LATER

I have a feeling Chris is going to ask me to marry him this weekend. I may be totally off.. but something is up.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

COMING HOME

I came home from vacation... it had been too long since I had seen Chris, which put me on edge. Emotionally really needing a lot of love and attention - but the reality of life also facing me. Work, etc.

I saw him the night I got home - but our families were together and so one-on-one attention was not there. I had been sick, and that on top of feeling a little emotionally drained put me in a quiet mood. I didn't talk to him too much that evening. Just watched the evening unfold. Enjoyed his presence, but needed more.

A couple days passed... he didn't call. Why? (Thinking back, I wish he was available to ask that question to). I finally called him. He was not in a good mood when I called. He was frustrated with some of the happenings from our last encounter. Little things that seemed meaningless to me, but were serious to him. I didn't want this type of phone call. I needed to feel better about us, not worse. I got off the phone feeling depressed and upset. I just needed to be able to sit and talk to him. We had been talking just on the phone for too long. I was frustrated. I cried. He was upsetting me. I was upsetting him. He was confusing me. I was confusing him.

And in that moment, I just craved to know how he felt about me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A BREAK

A few weeks later I was leaving for a family vacation. I was hesitant to go, as I dreaded not seeing Chris for 11 days.

Once gone, I felt it was one of the best things for our relationship - to just get out of my environment. I was living with daily support from everyone that knew Chris and I. They were all 'pro' the relationship... you could almost see how it would be easy to get pushed into it. It was good to change environments and visit my sisters who must have thought I was crazy and were striving to set me up with different people.

It put it all in perspective for me. I really had no desire for them to set me up. I just wanted Chris. It felt good to know I felt that not only in an environment where that feeling was encouraged, but also when it was discouraged.

I loved him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

HERE I AM.... WHERE IS HE?

Once I let go, it was all very clear. I was madly in love with this guy and wanted nothing else than to be with him always. I loved to spend time with him, to watch him to look at him and I loved to talk to him.


I knew I was young to be considering marriage, but I knew Chris was everything I would ever want and had ever dreamed of in a husband. Why would I wait, just because I was young? I knew there would be many that would not approve, but that did not concern me. I knew, for me, this was it.

Every time I saw him I seemed to fall more in love with him.

I was ready.... and waiting... and waiting...

Then it occurred to me that although we talked about marriage, it was usually because I brought it up. Was it possible that he did not see us on that path?

Monday, July 12, 2010

CAN I TELL HIM?

I struggled for another couple weeks, falling more in love - but finding myself unable and too afraid to open my mouth and tell him how I felt. I finally decided I had to let him know, even if I couldn't tell him face-to-face. I wrote him a letter. I felt a bit like a chicken, but was really just glad he knew. That I had finally communicated to him how I was feeling. I told him I was scared, I told him there was a part of me that was very hesitant to be here, I told him that bit by bit these fears had left and that my fear of the future had disappeared. I told him how happy I was and how much I enjoy spending time with him and I told him I loved him.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

PROGRESS

The 10th
Chris is wonderful, I've never been treated so well and been so happy.


The 19th
Out of nowhere, I have a desire to go to school far away and date a bunch of different people... and have fun. But, Chris is the best! I've never had such a wonderful friend.

The 23rd
I'm really starting to fall for him. In a way it kinda scares me, but in another way it's wonderful.

The 1st
He said he liked who he was with, he liked what he was doing, and he said he thinks he's falling in love. Then he kissed me and said, "no, make that past-tense". I couldn't say it back because I just didn't know.

The 4th
I miss Chris. I wonder if I have crossed his mind since he left (he was at his brother's wedding).

The 13th
I was looking at pictures from his brother's wedding and as I looked at them I couldn't help but hope that would be Chris and I. I really think I am in love with him, but sometimes it is so hard to tell because I have always had a love for him. Discerning between the two is difficult. I love seeing him, I love being with him, I love his touch - his kiss and I always dread saying goodbye. I have not let him know how much I care and how I feel. I wish I was better about letting him know how I feel.

The 20th
I'm kinda scared. I've totally fallen in love with Chris and I'm so afraid something is going to go wrong. That somehow I'm going to screw things up. He is so wonderful, but I have never told him how I feel... he doesn't know I love him. I wish I would tell him. I think about it, but never say it. I don't ever want to lose him.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

WHAT IF

I had never been so unsure of how I felt about someone. I would be lying to say I didn't enjoy the Saturday we had spent... and how it had ended. Void, of course, from all the craziness in my head.

The days following were busy, and when night came I found sleep did not come easily. Just a few hours a night, if I was lucky. Chris had called the day after and left a message, but I had not had the opportunity to return his call. I finally couldn't take any more sleepless nights, so I called him late one evening. He was just walking in the door and asked if he could call me back in a few minutes. I agreed. And he did. We talked for about half an hour and arranged that he would pick me up from work on Saturday. I was excited to see him. I was starting to feel that maybe a relationship like "this" with Chris would be good.

The next day a card came in the mail from Chris. It simply said "Next to me, there will always be a place for you." He wrote a thank you for our time on Saturday and put the ball in my court regarding what was next.

I spent a lot of time thinking about that. There was, surprisingly, this part of me that wanted to pursue it... but that part of me was also sitting in fear knowing that Chris was at a stage in his life where marriage was what he was looking for. I knew I loved this guy and that he was my best friend, and that we could have a lot of fun together... but marriage. I was young. I was not looking to get married. Not that dating him meant I had to marry him... but when you know him as well as I do, what could we 'break-up' over? And if we don't 'break-up' and if Chris is at the stage in life to get married, and if my only reason for not getting married is because I am young... what will happen?

I felt like making the decision to pursue this was like making the decision that I would marry him. I rolled this over again and again in my mind... trying to come to terms with the thought of me getting married in the next year or so. Could I do that? Chris was my best friend. I had good girlfriends, but there was no one that I could be so relaxed and comfortable with and just be me. What if dating him messed that up? I cherished our friendship and didn't want to risk losing that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

THE WEDDING - I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK

No, I didn't skip ahead in the story... It just so happens that it all started to change at a wedding.

I wrote in my diary the day after "Yesterday (Saturday) was one of the most confusing days of my life... Let me explain: Chris picked me up around 11:30 - things were normal. The wedding was at 2:00 - things were different. I didn't know what or how, I could just tell they were different."

The wedding was my first Catholic experience. Up, down, up, down. When I was down, in my youthful ways, I was playing with the little clip that holds something on the back of the pew. Do you know what I am talking about? Well, I was messing with it until I accidentally let it slip and the church was very quiet until that snap echoed throughout. I, of course, nonchalantly looked around the room wondering who was so rude to be making noise like that during the ceremony. Up, down, up, down. When I was up, Chris would put his hand on my waist. What was that? odd. But, I liked it. It felt good. I squeezed his hand with my elbow. Who would have known that a little squeeze like that was all Chris needed?

When the wedding was over we started to walk out of the church and he took my hand. OK, I am young and often in youth you can over-react to any physical touch. This can be totally justified. He is just trying to lead me around and not lose me in a crowd of people, right? Just to be safe, I sat on my hands when we got in the car.

Aladdin at the movie theatre was next on our list. OK. Now there is no justifying physical touch in the movie theater. I am sitting next to him. Unless he just wanted to reach over and make sure I was still there. But, then you just have to reach out and poke... not keep touching. What was he doing? Diary entry: "I finally had to admit something??? was going on. I was scared to death???? I don't know why, but it just kept going through my mind how scared I was."

The remainder of the day, I tried to keep my physical distance. I couldn't take this. My mind was spinning. Luckily, I had to be home by midnight - so we eventually headed that direction. "All the way home I kept thinking about all of it - but I didn't know what to think. I had never thought about this happening - so I didn't know WHAT I thought of it all. When we got closer to my home he said, 'What do you think of this?' I, of course, had NO idea. We talked for a short while about it, then the subject changed. We drove around for a little. We got to my house around 11:45. I came inside about 12:45. We sat outside in his car just talking about all of this. We didn't really decide on anything 'cause I didn't know what to think - but he kissed me a few times, so I really don't know what to think."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

MY FRIEND

Through the next nine months, I had multiple opportunities to see Chris and talk with him. He became my best friend. I found that I could be relaxed and honest and real with him, like no one else. I looked forward to the opportunities to just sit and talk with him for hours.

One day he had come to our house and we were talking. Somehow the subject came up of what kind of guy I wanted. I told him that I wanted someone that from the moment I met them I was swept away. That it was love at first sight. I specifically told him I had no interest in some guy that I knew... that I was friends with... and some relationship developing from that.

No. I wanted passion. I wanted to feel it from the moment I met the person. I wanted to see them for who they were and be instantly drawn to them. Emotionally, spiritually, physically... just lured.

I thought it sounded dreamy. And I figured some day it would happen.

Chris listened. Then asked me if I wanted to accompany him to a wedding. More than asked, he begged (OK there is the advantage to getting only one side of the story.. he is not here to disagree with me saying he begged). He had to go to the wedding, but was looking for someone to endure the experience with him. I gave him a look of "you have got to be kidding me, that is the last way I want to spend a Saturday"... then promised that if I had absolutely nothing to do, and he promised we would do something fun after the wedding, I would go. I told him to call me the week prior.. to see if I had found SOMETHING to put on my social calendar that would interfere with the wedding plan.

In my life of nothing social, I had failed to come up with an activity. So, I agreed to accompany him to the wedding.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

THE FIX-UP


After knowing Chris for about a year, I loved him. Don't read that wrong. I was not IN love. But, I did love him. He was someone I wanted to have in my life always. Perhaps I could envision just being good friends with he and his wife someday.

Of course, for that to happen, I would need to make sure he married someone I liked. In fact, if I could pick her out for him it would be even better. The summer of '92 it occurred to me that a perfect person to 'fix him up' with would be my sister. She was away at college but would be home for a couple weeks and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Arrangements were made for the two to venture out on a blind date.

I anxiously awaited the results of the evening and was thrilled to discover it had gone very well. So well in fact, that their next encounter had been arranged. My sister was only going to be home for two weeks, so they did not waste time. I think they saw each other every day that she was home.

The time quickly came though, for her to return to her job in her college town. When she returned, he was quick to send roses with an invitation for her to return home soon so he could see her.

She accepted that invitation, coming home about a month later for another two weeks. Again, every day was spent together and I was even fortunate enough to get a closer view of how this relationship was panning out when I was invited to join them on a date along with Chris' brother. We went putt-putt golfing. The two seemed to get along very well. I was hopeful.

Again, the time quickly passed and my sister was headed back to her college town. Chris' brother lived in the same town and he sent him some money with a request to send my sister some flowers again. Unfortunately, his brother was a bit busy and accidentally looked over that request. I am not certain if flowers would have made all the difference or not... but the romance faded. It was just too difficult to keep up the long distance thing.

I was disappointed, as was my mother. She too admired Chris and would have liked to have seen her daughter end up with him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GETTING TO KNOW HIM

Our church would have regular youth activities for our region, and every time we did Chris was there, as his mother was in charge of them and he would come to help her with whatever she needed.

Many of the girls were taken with him. He was cute and charming. I thought it was a little weird. Honestly. There was never one thought in my mind in the direction of having any sort of crush on him.

I remember one activity we were all seated for a nice dinner. Everyone was dressed up in their semi-formal wear as a dance was to follow dinner. I don't remember for sure what was for dinner, but I think it was lasagna. Chris was going around filling every one's water cup. I was watching this one particular table that was not hiding the fact that they were enjoying his presence as they would quickly drink all their water, then call out, "Water Boy" in order to lure him back over. I found it quite comical.

For over a year, this was the typical circumstances under which I saw and got to know Chris. He was kind, and likable and always seemed to give attention to the one who needed it. He became my friend. I would put on my three-inch heals.. and tower over him and make short jokes. He was funny and charismatic.

Monday, July 5, 2010

FIRST ENCOUNTER

Perhaps I should have mentioned that I knew Chris' parents before I knew him. I suppose that would have helped a little. His parents lived about an hour from me. Our mothers served together in an organization through church.

When I was gone that summer, Chris had come home for a bit. My older sister, who was at home that summer, met him. She told me he was a cutie. I think I looked at her like she was crazy - because he was a little old to be 'checking out'.

In October, he had traveled with his mother to church at our congregation. His mother had an early meeting before church, as did mine. I was sitting in the foyer. My sister had anticipated that Chris would be there -but we did not see him when we arrived. After my sister had long since fallen asleep in the chair in the foyer area with mouth wide open, I was lazily laying back also trying to catch some rest that I had been deprived due to this early morning meeting. As I was laying there, I saw someone walk in to the restroom. It was a guy, probably in his twenties. I realized that was probably Chris. Given that I knew my sister thought he was cute, giggling internally, I jumped and woke my sister up in a frenzy, telling her that he was here! I startled her awake, she ran to the bathroom to check her hair, and I settled back in laughing to myself.

As I was sitting there enjoying my little prank of sorts, Chris walked out. I wish I could remember our exchange in that moment, but I don't. Probably because for me that was not a significant moment. He was a guy. Cute, yes. But, short. I'm tall. And he was old. Certainly not someone I would even be looking at in such a way.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

SHE SAID

There are two sides to every story. One of the disadvantages (and sometimes advantages) to being widowed is that you only get one side. Sure, I can blame many things on him, as he is not here to defend himself... but in moments like these when I am preparing to tell a story... I wish I had his side as well.

It was 1991. I think. If I am wrong... will my mother-in-law please tell me? That is the year that Chris' father passed away from injuries sustained in an industrial accident at work. Chris was living about 20 hours away at the time, but was essentially unattached in life. He wasn't involved in any relationship or job that tied him to where he was, and I believe due to concern over his mother, he decided to move back to his hometown.

I was not home the summer that Chris' father passed. I had decided to spend that summer living with my sister. Three of my sisters actually were living in that area and although I was technically staying with one, I spent quite a bit of time with all of them.

My oldest sister was pregnant that summer... with what would be my first nephew. I remember getting the news about my mother-in-law-to-be's husband. After I received the news I was walking around my sister's neighborhood and my mind was spinning. I kept thinking how strange it was that he was gone. Just like that. So quickly. Never could I have imagined that THAT event would begin the ball rolling to set the stage for my life.

Chris' father passed in June. By October he had moved back home.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

ALL BECAUSE TWO PEOPLE FELL IN LOVE

The decision of who you marry affects who you become and the life you lead as well as impacts generations after you.

Had I married someone else, I may never have been widowed.

So, how did this all really begin? Perhaps it is time I tell that story....

Friday, July 2, 2010

GOOD THINGS TO COME



As I look back over the past five years, I can echo Jeffrey R. Hollands words. Blessings will come. It will be alright in the end. Trust in God and believe in good things to come.

There were many days I was comforted in knowing that the sun would go down, and then would rise again. I knew that in that passage of time answers to prayers could come, I could be blessed with patience. And if it didn't happen that day... tomorrow would come with an opportunity for those blessings to come.

They always came. At least those things I needed most. Good things always came

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WEED WACKING

July 5, 2008

I bought a weed-wacker today. First time a lawn has been weed-wacked since Chris died.

Lesson Learned: Don't weed wack in flip flops or shorts or in the dark...