When I Don’t Know for Sure!

So how long can one keep up the charade of having it all together? How long can one pretend to know things for sure? Because tonight—-I don’t know much. I have little together and life seem to be in several stages of disarray. I am pulled in more directions than Gumby. Overwhelmed would be a gross understatement of how I feel as I sit here at my computer. It is in these times when I cry out—where I am the most vulnerable. 

Sometimes I cry out and all I hear—is silence. Sometimes I cry out and I have unbelievable support—that I am unable to acknowledge and sometimes I cry out and find the hand of the Father where it has been all along – steadying my walk caressing my face and calming my spirit. 

That “hand” can come in many forms. It can be a song, a poem, a phone call even a thought. It can be a friend stopping by on her way for a walk or an earthy father calling simply to say that he loves you. In order to experience the “hand of the Father” you must reach for it and embrace it. Action is required on your part.

I don’t know who Willerd A. Petterson is. I have actually never heard of him, but a fellow widower posted this beautiful poem on a website tonight and it became the “hand of the Father” in my life.

Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down, Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision
of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
and muscles with the soothing;
music of the singing streams
that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical,
restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking
minute vacations—
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend,
to pat a dog,
to read a few lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord,
and inspire me to send my roots deep
into the soil of life’s enduring values
that I may grow toward the stars
of my greater destiny.

At a moment in time when there is little I know for sure, the one thing I DO know is that the hand of the Father waits to be clasped within mine.

This I know for sure….

Dateline—-MY LIFE!!

I just watched Dateline and the special “Football Wives” (see: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032600/ ) Now, I am not usually condescending or even sarcastic (ok, I am sarcastic but…), PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK. As I watched these women with their husbands, I found myself yelling at the television and thinking “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM???” I know I come at this topic from a totally different viewpoint, but let me put things into perspective for you. LADIES, IS YOUR HUSBAND BREATHING IN AND OUT—IS HE LIEING IN BED WITH YOU IN THE EVENING???? THEN PLEASE STOP YOUR SNIVILING ABOUT A STINKING BALLGAME AND GROW UP!!!!

Now granted, I never had a husband who was so into sports that he had a room dedicated to the Fighting Illini—HOWEVER, I did have a husband, who like many in this report, worked hard during the week and was a fabulous father and husband, but when the Illini came on, he was lost in the moment. OK—for 2 to 3 hours a week he was unavailable to me—SO WHAT???? 

I found these women to be—well—whimpy. I would venture to guess, if the truth were told; these men, for the most part, take care of the kids while the wife ventures to the latest Talbot’s sale or Ann Taylor Loft promotion. These wives should be thanking their lucky stars that they #1 have husbands at all and #2 have husbands who OBVIOUSLY love and adore them. Have these ungrateful women give me a call. I am sure that within a few minutes I can put things into perspective for them. Do I sound a bit bitter—well of course I do, I would give my right arm to have my husband sitting in my living room—cheering on his sports team and paying little attention to me—knowing that within a few hours he would be sharing life with me again.

I guess my point is that LIFE IS SHORT. Make sure what you think is important—really is….

This I know for sure….

Flowers on His Grave….and Healing

Wednesday of this week was incredibly busy for me. It is on these days I tend to add tasks to my “to do list” because I just work better under pressure. I know it sounds crazy, but I become more focused and I seem to accomplish more. So, after school, along with the five other errands I needed to complete, I went to the cemetery to replace the flowers on Don’s grave. I drove up to his stone, got out of the car, glanced at my father-in-law’s monument (who died less than a year after Don), I said a prayer then grabbed the flower containers from both stones to take to the florist to be refilled. When I arrived at the florist, I told the designer what I wanted in each container. It was as if I were picking out a new centerpiece for my dining room table. I was very “matter of fact” – devoid of much emotion; yet, I seemed compelled to complete the task perfectly.

When I got back in my car, I realized that I had just accomplished an undertaking that a few months ago was so emotionally ridden that I was unable to drive out of the parking lot for 20 minutes until I finished weeping. It was in that moment I realized I was experiencing healing. I actually smiled on the inside on my way home, knowing that Don would be very proud of the progress I have made. He would love the fact that I have been able to move to a new home, keep my church commitments, be a mother to the boys, maintain a semblance of dignity and begin to live again. He would be proud that the boys are excelling in their pursuits and that they are content and even happy.

Next week, I will go pick up the finished arrangements and take them back to adorn the monument marking the life of a great man. The actual physical stone deserves to be maintained in his honor, but the stone in the cemetery is not my husband’s legacy. The heritage of love and integrity he left for his family is a more appropriate monument to Don’s life.