Vacation is over . . . that is sad! We all went to bed tonight in agreement that we had a very good Christmas break! Chicago seems AGES ago, rather than just 2 weeks!
Everyone is already in bed (9:11 p.m.) as morning will come EARLY! Tessa has Parli-Pro at 6:45 and I'm getting up early enough to keep my exercise resolution and walk on the treadmill BEFORE getting ready for work! Tomorrow night, we will be heading to Iron Mountain for a basketball game, so we will be jumping back in full force!
I'm going to try to be short tonight so I can get to sleep as well, but after sleeping until 9:30 (!) this morning, that may be easier said than done!
This morning started with my devo reading "Relax in My Healing Presence"! That was a good start to the day! HIS healing presence, that IS something to relax in, and it is true, day by day He brings a little more healing!
Each day continues to have its share of happy and sad moments. Today, the sad was in getting ready to run to town with the girls. As I got dressed, I grabbed my red turtleneck sweater. The red turtleneck sweater that I was wearing on November 5. The red turtleneck sweater that I haven't worn SINCE November 5. The red turtleneck sweater that was Rick's favorite color. When I put it on that Saturday, I smiled, knowing Rick would like it . . . but, he never to to know I was wearing that sweater that day :( It was hard to put it on today, but, I did, and I survived - yet another first - a little one, but still a first. Another "sadness" is when we are shopping and I see "couples" shopping. Doing those normal, mundane tasks, deciding what cereal to buy, or a T.V. stand. Just "being together", enjoying (or sometimes not so much enjoying on "his" part - it's shopping after all) "life" . . . It's the "little" things that sometimes seem to hurt the most!
Last night, I was able to have a good "chat" via Facebook with a dear friend. As we chatted, I was relating things that drive me crazy in this process, and things that I appreciate. They said, "keep going - I'm learning"! I said that we are all learning. This is not a process that any of us are equipped to do on a normal basis. It is not often that any of us faces the loss of someone too young, too soon. I know that it happens all over the world, every day, but, in my small community, my limited exposure to the "world", it doesn't/hasn't happened very often. So, we all muddle through, all learn together. As I walk this new road, here are some "pointers" I gave last night (please remember these are from my perspective ONLY - they may not be right for someone else who is grieving!) Anyway, here goes:
- PLEASE don't ignore me, even if you haven't seen us since before the accident, or since the funeral. I might not show it, but I notice you avoiding me.
- PLEASE don't look at me with "pity" in your eyes - I know you grieve for and with us, but grieving, caring is different than pity. Though we don't like this current situation any more than you do, or than you can imagine we do, pity doesn't help - it actually makes me MAD!
- PLEASE approach me as you normally would.
- PLEASE don't feel like you have to say the "right" thing, there is NO right thing to say!
- PLEASE give hugs - they are welcome and appreciated!
- PLEASE share your memories of Rick! (As Blair said to me last week, he might be gone, but he will NEVER be forgotten.)
- Don't feel like you need to baby-sit, but, by the same token, please don't "forget". I think as time goes on, and we appear to be doing "so well", everyone moves on, forgetting somewhat that the grief is still new and still raw to us - each day that we live between now and November 5, 2012 will be a "first" for us. Be it a "special" day, a holiday or just a normal day.
- Do send that text, Facebook message or e-mail.
- Do make that phone call - even if it's just to leave a quick message. (Those calls & messages mean more than you know! There are a couple of people who have made it a habit to "check-in" on a regular basis and they have been my life-line! They are the ones who I call or text or Facebook message when I need to say PRAY FOR ME - NOW, and I know they are there, and already praying!)
- Don't ask about our finances and other personal information like that- I have people who are assisting me in these areas - I trust them COMPLETELY - you should too!
- PLEASE remember that I am a "girl" (duh)! BUT, I can do lots of things for myself! :) I have put up curtain rods, I can mow the lawn, I know how to do most of the "pool guy" stuff. So, it's a fine line for those who want to help! In those areas, please TRUST that when I feel ill-equipped to complete a task, I WILL call any one of the wonderful people who have offered their assistance!
- Remember that the girls have lives to live - there will be times when they all have plans, but that might leave me alone. Sometimes, alone time is good (when they went to camp and I had mentally prepared for it - it was GREAT, actually!). Sometimes, alone time is bad (New Year's Eve).
- Don't be offended if you "offer" something and we say no (be it bringing a meal, having us over, or whatever), it's not that we don't appreciate it, or wouldn't love for you to ask again, there are just many reasons that we may want/need to say no at that particular moment!
- Do know that our strength comes ONLY from the Lord. Without Him, we would be NOTHING and we would not be able face each day as it comes.
- If you wonder HOW we have this peace, and HOW we know with such certainty where Rick is today, please talk to me (or e-mail or send me a message on FB). I would love to share my peace with you!
O.k., there you have it . . . well, not "it", this is not an exclusive list - I'm sure as soon as I hit "publish" I'll think of something else that I should have included! It's just a few pointers. As I said in my Facebook chat last night, I'm not good at asking for help. I am quite proficient at looking capable (and though I usually am, sometimes I "need" but don't want to put anyone else out). I don't wan't PITY - love is great, hugs are great, but, pity, no, please keep it to yourself! Let's walk this road TOGETHER, learning from our mistakes, and hopefully, we won't have to use the knowledge that we have gained any time soon! I am thankful for everyone who reads here, it's become an outlet for me and a habit (don't they say it takes 21 days to form one?!). I really "need" to put my thoughts down before sleep each night. It is therapeutic and healing.
Luke 18:27 is a good verse to describe HOW we can go on day to day, exhibiting peace! It states "What is impossible with men is possible with God." I know that I'm taking it a bit out of the context it was written in, but it is true. To man (the human eye or view) just "living" is impossible after the loss of Rick. Having peace in the midst this tragedy seems impossible. But, what is impossible with (to) man is possible with God. So, "living" is possible! Peace in the midst of the storm is possible! We are living proof of that - and it's only by the GRACE OF GOD! With Him ALL things are possible!
Rick & I always signed cards and notes with "Always & Forever, Bud". The girls have a song they love, it's sad, but it reminds me of the love that Rick and I shared (a love that many people don't ever get to experience!♥) You can listen to it on YouTube, it's called "Forever & Always". Though it's sad, I love the "Forever Love" that it talked about ...
Always & Forever, Bud.
I will see you again & will ALWAYS LOVE YOU! ♥