I thought life would slow down at least a little bit with the kids back in school, but not so.
We are definitely back in the routine of school -- uniforms, lunches, homework, etc. I thought I'd have a bit more 'free time' when the kids went back to school, but my days are typically filled. I'm doing projects around the house and working on keeping things 'on track'. After the kids are in bed, my mind is too tired to focus much on writing.
I've referenced before that I have to take things at a different pace than I used to -- I have to be careful to not use all my energy while the kids are at school, because there has to be enough of me left to finish out the day with them. Sometimes, that frustrates me -- I want to accomplish more at each setting, but I have to accept that this is my life circumstance, and I need to make the best of it.
Since my last post, my youngest turned 8 (and his arm has healed nicely). Last year, his birthday was surrounded by all of our transfer-to-hospice events; and those were the things he thought about when he thought about his birthday. I wanted to change that. It wasn't anything major, but I did do a little more than I normally do -- we needed to create new birthday memories. At the end of the day, he said to me, "This was the most special birthday - ever!" I am thankful for new memories.
The kids and I were also able to take a two-day trip to Duluth. None of us had ever been there, and the weather was perfect for our excursion. We were able to visit Spyglass Point, Palisade Head, and Gooseberry Falls. The second day, we were able to see the lift bridge, train museum, and visit some unique shops. It was a good trip.
I know I haven't written much specifically about grieving. Maybe I need to say something about that. I am not denying my grief, nor am I trying to come across as being unaffected by it - as 'having it all together'. The 'experts' will often say, grief is a very personal experience -- no two people experience it quite the same. I would add that each experience for the same person differs from another. Though losing my husband and being thrust into the category of single-parenthood are certainly 'firsts' for me, this is not my first experience with grief. I have lost others who were very dear to me, and I have grieved deeply. Through those other experiences, I learned lessons. Those realities affect how I am grieving this loss. I do grieve. I may just do it a little (or a lot) differently than the next person.
I mentioned previously (Marking Days) that I don't like remembering dates associated with difficult events, but it is a reality - and very much so lately. One year ago, we were experiencing difficult days. We were already under hospice care. Trent had worked his final days at his job. I knew when people called and asked to come visit that they were aware it may be the last time they would see him here on Earth. We were in our final days at home. Some days, I had to remind myself to breathe.
It's hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since the day that I was told we might have only hours left together. . . .
While I cannot prevent those memories from coming to mind, I have a choice regarding what I do with those memories. I could allow my mind to 'park' there; however, I don't believe that would be a beneficial choice. When those memories come, I accept that reality as part of my life story, and I direct my mind to focus on how we got through those days -- through acknowledging God's control over all those circumstances we couldn't control, and thanking Him for who He is and the fact that He never changes. He loves us, cares for us, and will never leave us -- and He has a plan for our lives. That discipline has been key to this journey. The tears come, but they don't stay. Psalm 30:5 -- ". . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
I know of several people now facing difficult days -- some of them, it seems likely may end up losing their spouse. It is hard to see that. It's one thing for me to go through that -- it is another thing all together to watch someone else go through it. Just as for myself, sometimes I can't find words to put to my prayers for them. I am thankful our God knows our hearts, and He doesn't need our words in order to hear our prayers. I know this -- the same God who has walked with me in this journey will walk with them, too. The same peace and comfort and grace and presence that He has given me is available to them, as well. He is ". . . the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us . . ., that we may be able to comfort them . . . by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted. . . ." (II Corinthians 1:3 - 4) God is faithful, and that will never change.
I am thankful God IS who He IS!