• 31May
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 3

    5-31-09

    Tonight I received the news that a friend of mine from high school committed suicide last night.  His eleven year old son found him.  I have often comforted myself with the thought that Dan dying in the hospital the way he did was better than dying of a heart attack somewhere totally unexpected and one of the kids tormenting themselves for years to come with guilt over not being able to help.

    I caught myself wondering with grief, “O friend, how could you?”  But the memories stir and I am reminded of my ‘taste’ of depression after Payden (1) was born and I know how it is possible.  But for the grace of God, there go I.   Please pray for his family.

  • 24May

    I guess I’m a lot closer to town than I thought.  Some new neighbors moved in, in my back yard.  They are even faster on the construction end of things than we are.  I think they had a crew of about 4 and they errected this whole town in about half a day!  Incredible.

     

    New Town

    New Town

  • 24May

    There is still some debate as to a move-in date, but we have gained permission to start moving in some furniture.  The kid’s bedrooms are all done so I thought I would start in there.  Almost everything needs to be wiped down before we move it into the rooms since it has been in storage for several months.  We need a bit more trim work done in the master bedroom and then we can move in there. 

    Hopefully by the middle of next week most of the plumbing stuff will be done and then we can commence cleaning construction mess out of the bathrooms, too.  Flooring for the kitchen and dining room is supposed to arrive this week.  They started work on the sand mound.  My kitchen cabinets are in and looking good.  All the major painting is done.  A few touch up spots here and there plus whatever I mess up moving furniture from room to room.  =)  All the carpet is in.  Windows need cleaned. 

    A bookshelf needs built for the library.  I never feel like I’ve settled into a house until all my books are unpacked.  I really want to get at that library.  I would also like to get started planning some stuff for school this coming fall sometime soon which means the school room needs set up.  I just need to be patient.  It will all come together here in God’s own time.  I just want to dive right in and get it all done NOW!  Guess I need to sleep sometime.

    Thanks again to everyone who is helping to make this possible.  God is good and quite generous.  Just a little bit longer . . . .

  • 24May

    While making the cake on Tuesday for Josiah’s birthday on Wednesday I decided that a good way to distract the kids (and keep their fingers out of the icing) was to have them make some invitations for Josiah’s party.  That, of course, required that we have a party.  So, the kids made some invitations, I made the cake, Uncle Andrew (13) helped decorate with balloons, and we pulled out hamburgers and hotdogs and grilled them on the campfire.  I think we had 8 people show up besides us and Nana and Grandpa (and Uncle Andrew, of course).  I think it went well despite the impromptu planning.

    We also spent some time at a local park in the morning where we ate lunch.  A full day . . . I thought it would bother me more that Dan wasn’t there, but I was o.k. 

    And so begins the birthday season of the Ewing household.  The Birthday Season fits in there between Spring and Summer.  I hate trying to figure out ages during this time frame.  Usually I just count backwards.  6-5-4-3-2-1-and baby.  Now I have to stop and think 6-6-. . . hmmm . . next one is 4-3-2-1 . .  Another three weeks and I’ll have a 7-6-. . .4-3- . . .  And then July really messes me up with 7-6-5-4 . . 2-1-baby, and things just don’t come right again until Payden (1) has his birthday.  It’s just difficult to figure out which number to skip.

    And since I’m sure someone will ask . . . let’s see if I can remember all of their birthdates for you.

    Benjamin – June 10

    Josiah – May 20

    Abigail – July 02

    Hadassah – July 01

    Maranatha – October 18

    Payden – December 10

    Caleb Daniel – December 25

    I’m still thinking we will celebrate Caleb’s Birthday on Dan’s Birthday (Jan 6) so that he doesn’t get lost in all the Christmas festivities.  Poor child.

     

  • 19May

    Tomorrow is Josiah’s (5) Birthday so today I took him out for “Mommy time” and he got to spend some of his birthday money.  That meant I ended up with a killer whale in my van and a cool dude (cameo sunglasses) trekking through Lowes’ with me.  He was cute. 

    We came home and made a birthday cake and true to form I had finger prints in the icing before I managed to get a picture.  It was Maranatha (2) this year.  Dassy (3) told her that she could put her fingers in the can, but once it was on the cake she wasn’t allowed to touch.  Cute, since I seem to recall yelling at her for the same thing last year.  Two more (Payden and Caleb) to initiate I guess.  Smile  Nice to know that the older ones can help me train the younger ones, though.

    Tomorrow we have some big plans, but we will probably wear mom out trying to accomplish them.  We’ll see what happens. 

    And so begins another first without Dan.  Josiah is the first of 4 birthdays in a less than two month span.  Dan and I would get sick of cake this time of year.  We would eat it for breakfast, snack, lunch, dessert, . . .   Of course the kids are getting bigger and wanting to eat more . . and there are more of them, too.

    The kids are feeling their loss here lately.  Please pray for them as they struggle with the emptiness.  Pray that they will turn to the only person who can completely fill that hole, Jesus.

  • 15May

    We got the siding on today!!  Now it really looks like a house.  We had a crew of about 20 guys come in about 7:30 this morning and by 3:30 they were all done.  That was fast work.  Tomorrow (or today since I see it’s after midnight) we have plans to paint the downstairs.  I still need to pick out flooring for the kitchen/dining room area, but the carpets and such for the rest of the house are all picked out, some are laid, some come on Monday.  I think the telephone guys are coming on Monday.  My kitchen cabinets should be here Monday. I think the sewer/well guy is coming this coming week.  It’s so exciting to see everything coming together.  I am quite tired trying to keep up with it all, though.  I will be glad to be moved in and sleeping in my own bed (if I have one =), and getting something of a routine started so that we can settle down.

    Pictures later.  I’m already going to regret this late hour.

  • 15May
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 4

    My walk on my first anniversary without Dan.  I grieved, but it was a good day.  The Lord was with me.

    The path before me is smooth and grassy, the air is cool and fragrant, and my mind and heart is a million miles away.  The stream is gurgling past me and the birds are singing but I can’t see the beauty and am barely aware of the sounds.  I stumble along moving into the woods as the thoughts starting rolling through my mind.  I come upon a fork in the path before I’ve barely had a chance to get started.  I take the right hand turn but after only a few steps I feel a strange sense of foreboding and I pause.  What is ahead of me on this path? I wonder.  I am alone.  What if something happens?  Who will help me?  I’ve felt this kind of prompting before . . . back when the Lord told me who I was going to marry . . . back when I walked into the hospital and thought this could change my life . . . am I going to ignore this?  So I turn around and take the left fork.  This path leads to a small open meadow and back to my starting point and I’m not yet ready to return so I look for another path. 

    That looks like a path.  I head in that direction, but am disappointed.  I try another direction, but am disappointed once again.  I find I am wandering somewhat aimlessly looking for a direction, a goal.  Finally I decide to go back, be brave and take the right fork.  The foreboding is still there, but it eases as I continue down the path.

    This path leads away from the water which is not what I thought I wanted, but it has it’s own peacefulness.  God often leads away from the things we thought we wanted and eventually we find that God has something better in mind for us. 

    The trees get sparse and I feel the desolation within me.  I see buds on the shrubbery around me and tiny flowers on the huckleberry bushes and I hope that those who will be coming along behind me can perhaps find beauty and fruit where I can not. For right now I only feel the emptiness.

    The starkness of the trail continues and I am finally overcome and I sink down and cry.  When I can pull myself together I notice that my tears have watered a lone violet bravely sticking it’s head out and shining brightly in the spot where he was placed.  If my grief can water but one and help them to grow . . .

    I move on, stumbling over rocks, wondering why I chose this route.  Why don’t I go back?  What is in store for me?  Where does this path lead?  I look up and see a trail marker encouraging me, telling me I am on the right path and I feel hope. 

    The rocks get worse and I reach for the helping hand of my Father.  Then the rocks are gone and I begin a steep ascent.  At least I didn’t have both “trials” at the same time.  God knows how much I can handle.  Still in that mind-numbing state of contemplation I stop to watch a bird dig around in the leaves.  And I am reminded that life still goes on. 

    I round a bend in the path and see a strange sight – a mailbox, out in the middle of the woods!  There is no house, not even any kind of road.  The side of the mailbox says register here.  So I stop and check it out.  Inside I find a tablet with notes from various hikers who have gone before me.  I leave my note This is my first anniversary without my husband.  It has been a trail of tears for me, but God continues to show His faithfulness.  I forge on, but the interruption is enough to pull me back to reality and I start to wonder just how long this trail is.  I call information and find out that the trail I am on actually crosses the entire state of Pennsylvania.  I very quickly decide I don’t have time for all of that today and get directions back to where I left my car.  I am reminded again of the importance of a regular interaction with my road map to heaven (the Bible).

    That brush with reality reminds me of my children and I feel a need to get home to them as soon as possible.  That need pushes me up the hill in front of me only to find when I reach the top that the descent could be just as difficult.

    At the bottom I find a bridge and amongst the list of names of volunteers who helped to build the bridge I find the name of one of my high school classmates.  Another reminder of the many people who have gone on before me and paved my way, cleared the path, marked or plotted the course.  I am not alone in my pain.

    I hear the sound of traffic again, the end is in sight.  The bathroom is just ahead.  =)  My life maybe a series of rocks, bare patches, and desolate feelings right now, but there is an end.  And it WILL be worth it all.

     

  • 12May
    Here are the results of our family photo shoot.  My kids are adorable.  =)
    And they behaved so well for this, I was afraid . . .
    L-R: Josiah (5), Benjamin (6), Payden (1), Caleb (3 mo)

    L-R: Josiah (5), Benjamin (6), Payden (1), Caleb (3 mo)

    Abigail (4), Dassy(3), and Maranatha(2)

    Abigail (4), Dassy(3), and Maranatha(2)

    Left Behind

    Left Behind

    That is Dan’s coat and hat next to Caleb
    Caleb 3 months

    Caleb 3 months

    Family Photo Minus One

    Family Photo Minus One

  • 10May

    I buttoned Benjamin’s (6) shirt today and totally phased out. I liked to play with Dan’s buttons. I can remember running my hands over his chest, heading for those buttons while he held me in his arms. Sometimes when we were cuddling on the couch or even surrounded by kids while we watched a movie from our bed, my hands would find those buttons. Dan would just smile and hug me a little tighter.  I miss those “Danny warmed buttons”.

  • 10May
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 3

    Who would have thought that Mother’s Day would have hit me so hard.  Maybe because Dan is the reason I am a mother?  For the most part I have been able to stay upbeat and positive (like normal), but ever since the stuff from West Virginia arrived it feels like the emotions have been building until I feel like something has to let loose before I burst.

    Someone asked me today how long Dan and I were married.  The answer sounded so . . . unsatisfactory.  I wanted to say 30, 50, 120 years.  Anything! Rather than voice the reality of how little time I had with my Danny. 

    It will be 8 years this Tuesday.  For some of you I would imagine you are saying, “oh pfffff! She barely even knew him.  She’s so young, she will recover quickly.”  And my rational mind (the tiny part that’s not clouded with pain) says you are probably right, but that brings a new pain in and of itself.

    I watch couples who have been married for years and I find myself struggling with the tenth commandment and wondering if there is a make-up out there that will cover up the green that I am sure I must be displaying (green with envy).  This summer my sister-in-laws will have been married longer than I have (we all got married the same summer), and next year my Youngest! sister will pass me.  How do I attain the status of “mature married woman” this way?

    We heard a statistic shortly before we were married . . . something about most marriages (at that time) lasted an average of seven years.  We laughed, so sure we were going to be different, and said that when we hit seven years we would have to re-evaluate.  I wanted to be different!  I wanted to show the world it could be done and that we could be happy together forever.  Now I’m just another nameless, faceless, part of that statistic.