Chapter 18–Gradually Healing

IMG_7807In scanning my journal notes for March and April I found that they were sketchy.  You can draw your own conclusion as to what that means.

Ecclesiastes 4:10.  Woe to him who has no one to help him.

All in all, March was a good month.  Fewer tears, fewer down times, fewer empty thoughts.

I was reminded this month about good friends.  I had received a huge order by UPS, and Gary and Carol were there to help me unpack the items and get the stuff to the basement.  I barely mentioned it to them, but they pursued helping me.  That’s what good friends do.

I was able to visit Scott’s new home, experience Grandparents Day at school, watch Upwards Basketball, and I even sang and played at church.  That was good.  It was good for me to be with people.  I could see myself living there for part of the year.

Some circumstances still jarred me.

I was in the store and heard the song “Unchained Melody.”  It made me pause.  That was the song that Roger would tenderly sing to me during tender times.  He loved it, and it fit our relationship perfectly.  I was ok in the store, but on the way home I cried and cried.  I said out loud many of the things I continued to struggle with.

  • I miss you, Roger.
  • What is it really like?
  • Where are you?
  • What was it like to die?
  • Who did you first see?
  • I know you can’t tell me, and that is where faith comes in.

Sometimes I just didn’t have strong faith.  I wanted to know.  But I had to trust.

Helping others is always the right thing to do.

I made some freezer meals for friend Kari who was going to go through some knee surgery.  That was fulfilling.

I wished I could have helped my daughter.  Lisa was going through some stressful times, and she shared some of her heart as we talked one Saturday. It always pains a parent when she can’t fix her kid’s problems.

I wasn’t a novice.  Careers in education bring their own kind of stress, especially in the spring.  So I knew that things would eventually even out.  But in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Maybe it’s time for her to move back home.”  I wasn’t surprised though, when she said that she didn’t want to run away from her problems.  She knew it was a combination of things.  She said she would be ok.

Death on Resurrection Sunday

March ended with me thinking of the resurrection.  Easter Sunday started with the news of the tragic death of the son of my good friend Tina.  It was a house fire–sudden, unforeseen, and surrounded with much sadness and guilt and regret.

The death in our family was not like this.  Parents were supposed to die before their children.  We knew Roger was terminally ill.  Tina and her family had no clue that this would happen.

But death was death.  No matter who, what, when, or when.  It was still death.

So that was my focus on Resurrection Sunday. Death.

And then I read a meditation by Max Lucado about what happens when you die.

The Christian hope depends entirely upon the assumption that Jesus Christ died a physical death, vacated an actual grave and ascended into heaven where He, at this moment, reigns as head of the church. 

His resurrection is the proof and promise of ours.  What God did for Him, He will do with us.

Here is the full version

Time for More Trips


In April Lisa and I took the train to Chicago with Grace and Ava, two granddaughters who are look as much alike as night and day, but share a cousin love as though they were twins.

It was a perfect day trip.  The pictures tell it all.


And then there was another trip to Florida with Chad.  I was beginning to think that this could be a yearly adventure.  This one was more low-keyed.  Relax by the pool, Epcot, relax by the pool, eat, meet best friend from college, Diane, and relax.  All of these memories were sprinkled with laughter and baked with love.

The Emergency Room

Then there was another trip.  A trip to the ER.

I had been having a little discomfort, but one Friday evening on our way to rehearsal I laid down in the back of Carol and Gary’s car and didn’t talk.  I hurt.  I felt nauseated.  I hurt.  I felt nauseated.  But the time we arrived at Sullivan, the pain was excruciating, such that I couldn’t talk through it.  I described it as a constant childbirth contraction that lasted for an hour without any relief in between.

Mike and Della decided that we all should go back to Decatur to the ER.  So, you guessed it.  My friends transported and cared for me as I was diagnosed with a kidney stone.

There were more doctor’s appointments, and more acute kidney stone attacks.  Miraculously, I passed the stone while Lance and I were in Green Bay visiting Lisa.  But that’s a story for the next chapter.

OBSERVATION:  When a widow has no one near, she depends on her friends.  And sometimes those friends have to take charge.

OBSERVATION:  There are many other people hurting besides you.

HELPFUL HINT:  When your body says go to the ER, go.

HELPFUL HINT:  If you have always been wanting to do something, and if you can swing it, do it.  You probably won’t have any regrets.  Unless it is illegal.