Thursday, July 24, 2003

Encore Twirlers

The Encore Twirlers of Oklahoma City are leaving July 25th for Detroit to compete in the Jr. Olympics. We are very excited! Even if the team doesn't place, it is exciting that they made it in!

Competing: Angela, Beverly, Kendy, and Shelby.


Sunday, July 20, 2003

True Friends

I have found that there are some people who really mean it when they say: "Let us know if you need anything."

Bruce and Patty, our neighbors across the street, are that way. They have done everything for me from babysitting, to yard work, to home repairs. They bring over food. He has done woodworking for years, and has helped my son build birdhouses and etc. No charge, of course.

The amazing thing is, these people are in their 70's, and both have had health problems. I try to not ask them for things all the time, because I don't want to take advantage of their kindness.

Many of my friends have managed to include me in activities in such a way that I don't feel out of place, or like a 3rd wheel. Somehow, our friendships remain without any change other than we all miss Andy. There is no awkwardness when we get together.

It is good to know that so many people are kind.

Friday, July 18, 2003

I now feel peace at the cemetery

It really is a beautiful place, and it makes me feel close to nature.

I don't usually cry when I am there, I just reflect about the meaning of life and death.

I know that Andy's spirit is not there in the grave, I still feel him all around me wherever I go. Although I can't see him, I feel that our love continues just as bright.

It makes me feel good to keep his grave tidy, and the headstone polished. I feel good each time I bring him a single rose from our garden, or place a flag on his grave. I guess it is a way for me to continue to show honor to him, by keeping up the place where his earthly remains rest.

Even if he isn't really there.

John Henry's Latest Drawing

He was very proud of this. I think a psychologist would love to try to interpret the meaning. Notice Mommy is the sun, and Daddy is the tree. (OK, we need to work a bit on spelling!)

The drawing made me feel good, because it looks bright and hopeful.

What a strange thing to say!

Just when I think I have heard it all, somebody says something unbelievable!

I was talking the other day about how I always thought Andy was totally handsome with his dark hair and eyes, and how I would have to catch my breath whenever I looked at him. Here is the rest of the conversation:
"I sure wish you could have met him. He was totally gorgeous!"

"Well, remember, I WAS at the funeral!"


"Yes, I got to see him at the funeral."

"You mean in the casket???"

"Well, sure!"

I was shocked! How can anybody think that Andy could have looked anything like himself after months of illness, and then death? I guess he looked ok, as far as the deceased can look, but come on now!!!!

Well......on second thought, I guess he REALLY was gorgeous, if somebody thought he looked good after death.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Leaving for Detroit. Happy or not?

Ambivalant feelings...

My upcoming trip to Detroit is going to be difficult. I grew up there, and used to go back about 2 times a year to visit. Andy always drove. He always insisted on doing all of the driving on vacations. Although we were generally equal partners in everything, I let him have his way in that area... somehow I enjoyed the feeling of being protected and safe on those road trips.

This is going to be my first trip there since he got sick. I am not at all worried about doing the driving, I always knew that I could do it, no prob. However, I am dreading the "he should be with us" feelings with each landmark we pass.

We made it to New Mexico, Amarillo and Austin last year. Shelby and I made it to St. Louis in April. The hardest, most emotional trip we made so far was the relatively short 3 hours to Altus in March. I just about lost it when we drove into sight of the places that used to make me break into joking songs: "The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma," and "Deyo." I still remember how Andy would playfully roll his eyes and say "Honeyyyy... MUST you do that?"

I guess if I made it through that, I can make it through this.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Another Message!

My latest feeling of contact was just the other day.

I was cleaning out the pantry, and I came across a bottle of wine that had been given to us for our wedding. I read the label, and noticed it was from "The Vineyards of Sonoma County." I was not really torn up, just mildly sad and reflecting. I held the cool bottle to my face and thought to myself "I wonder if Andy even thinks of little trivial things like this wine now?"

I put the bottle back, and went into the living room and turned on the radio. Just then the song "You're still Here" came on. That song always makes me cry. But the strangest thing was right after the song the DJ came on and said, and I quote:
"...and that was Faith Hill. Now for the latest sports news... There is probably plenty of Sonoma Whining going on today, get it?? SONOMA WINE? Ha ha!..." (end quote.)

Those were her exact words. She was talking about some sporting event in Sonoma, but I knew the true message!

Friday, July 4, 2003

Reflections on the afterlife. (Deep thoughts.)

Andy's death and my experiences since have profoundly affected the way I feel about eternity.

I think he fought to live so hard not because he was afraid to die, but he knew he was leaving us behind. He loved us so much. I clung to him because I didn't want us to be separated, even if where he was going WAS better. Once it became clear that he was not going to recover, I let him go. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I loved him too much to watch him suffer any more.

I was raised with, and always believed the Christian message. I still believe it, but I now feel that life beyond is too much for us to comprehend. That is why the Bible and other holy texts were given to us... to give us mortals a tiny bit of the understanding of what is beyond, and how to live now.

I will continue to practice my religion, and have faith that there is everlasting life. However, now I accept that I can't possibly understand God, the meaning of life, or the universe. And, that's OK.

I plan on enjoying the ride, and I will find out the rest when it is my time to join Andy.

I have this image in my mind that brings me peace. I am very old, drawing my last breaths. I look up to see Andy by my bedside, grinning that grin of his. Such joy! He reaches his hand out to me and I take it. I feel warm, safe as he leads me toward the light...

Thursday, July 3, 2003

Looking back on last summer.

I was at 5 months this time last summer, and the kids and I had not had a single home cooked meal by then. We either ate with friends or relatives, or went out to eat.

It wasn't the cooking part that had me freaked out, it was the sitting at the table with an empty place. I just couldn't face it at that time.

It wasn't until school started back up last year that we went back to eating at home. It forced us back into a daily pattern, and I was actually ready for that next step by then.

I prepared in advance by buying a new tablecloth and placemats, and shopped for a week of easy meals. After the first couple of meals it was OK.

But his place still seems so empty, even now...