Saturday, March 22, 2003

Visiting Bear and Kelly

Bear and Kelly's little piece of country paradise!

We took a trip down south and spent the day at Bear and Kelly's new house. What a neat place, about 5 miles outside of town, quiet, with a few acres around it. Shelby and John Henry unanimously agreed "That was the greatest meal we have had in a long time!"

Monday, March 17, 2003

Springtime Reflections

Daffodils make me cry.

They were the last flower Andy ever saw. The day before he died, we helped him to sit outside in his wheelchair. It was February, and in the part of Oklahoma that we live I have never seen them bloom that early before.

The weather was in the 70's that day, and he died early the next morning. The temp plunged into the teens a few hours after he died, and literally froze all the blooming daffodils.

I felt it was fitting, because that was how I felt inside. Frozen.

I don't think I can ever look at another daffodil again in my life and not think of Andy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Premonition of now

Is it possible that deep inside we already know our futures? I have been thinking back the past few days... and remembered the time when we were preparing to go to Michigan for my 20 year class reunion.

Andy and I went to buy a new suit for him. It was a beautifully tailored western cut grey tweed suit, and it looked great on him. I need to mention that my cowboy NEVER dressed up. He loved his jeans and western shirts.

He modeled the new suit for me at home. Suddenly, I pictured him in that suit in a coffin. I began to cry. He took my hand and said gently, "Honey, it isn't going to happen for a long time." It was really weird how he read my thoughts. It was as though we BOTH saw the future. It was SO eerie.

Well, when he died, the nicest clothing he owned, treasured by him, was still that suit. I had an impulse to NOT have him wear it, because of that vision we shared 9 years ago. But, ultimately that is what he was buried in.

So strange.

Sunday, March 2, 2003

My personal season of Lent

There is a time that, for lack of better words, I considered this year to be "my personal season of lent."

It began on November 26, and ended on February 25: the anniversary of Andy's death.

I relive each moment... the trip to the ER, the days in ICU, the painful treatments, his improving, then crashing over and over, the emergency surgery that he wasn't expected to live through (but he did)...

I remember the day that I ignored the rules and put him in his wheelchair and took him outside, oxygen and all...just because he wanted to go. Later that same day we had our last conversation where I was wailing "Why does God let things like this happen??? He told me: "I'm not gonna question 'The Man Upstairs' because He knows what He's doing." So incredible, so wonderful that Andy still trusted the Lord, even after all the pain and indignity he suffered. Comforting in the fact that I know that he is now in Paradise.

I remember bringing him home, holding his hand... his last words to me about 18 hours before he died, "I'm gonna miss you" whispering in his ear over and over as he was breathing his last breaths: "I will love you forever. Take that with you!" and then he died in my arms.

It has been so painful to relive it, and for the two weeks before the anniversary, I felt like I was right back to square one. But, for me, that intense period of renewed grief actually has brought me closer to healing. When the anniversary came, I felt like I had been cleansed of alot of confusing, gut-wrenching emotional baggage. I was able to let go of the bad in many ways, and hang on to the good. I hadn't realized how many of the GOOD things I had forgotten! Things like his strenghth, his faith, and his intense love for me and our kids.

The anniversary, or the "sadiversary" if you will, has come and gone...

The kids and I flew the flag from the dawn of the 25th to the dusk of the 28th (the day of his funeral.) I took him a yellow rose. I told him I love him and I miss him.

He is still my hero.

Saturday, March 1, 2003

Thanks to my family

Thanks everybody, for all the wonderful love and support the last few days. It really doesn't seem like a year. I don't think it will ever seem like it...

The kids and I remembered him with some flowers for his headstone. I also sprinkled some of his favorite pipe tobacco, and sang "You are my Sunshine" for good measure!
My Mom took us out to El Chico in honor of our guy, too. (You all know how he loved Mexican food!)

I flew the flag on the house from the 25th to the 28th. These small tokens of remembering helped us feel a bit better.
We love you all....!