One Step at a Time

>> Saturday, August 29, 2015

As I reached for the t-shirt I planned to wear, memories washed over me. John stood beside me when I purchased this shirt. We were standing in front of the booth…sunny skies…gentle breeze…music seeping into the air from all around us. We deliberated over our choices and decided to not get the same one. That way we could advertise our adventure in two different ways.

I hold the shirt in my hand and think, “How am I supposed to do this…keep going on without him?”

It seems I am slowly erasing him.

His iPad and iPhone lay on the kitchen counter for weeks. On a regular basis I would charge them. Why? And then a friend offered to help me transfer all of his memories from those two devices to his computer.

See?  It’s still his computer.

The building that housed our business is now for sale. I remember how we stretched our faith to buy that land and build on it. We did it together. It’s just one more thing for me to get rid of.

Each day I’m given a choice. Do I wallow in grief and pity? Or do I bravely face the future…without him? As I sit here typing these words, I look to the left where I have a plaque hanging on the wall…one he gave me before he died. Good words. 

I am taking this one step at a time. And when I falter, I have my relationship with Jesus to turn to…and many friends to help hold me up. 

“Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
 Jesus wept.
 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:34-36 (NIV) – at the death of Lazarus


Focus Point

>> Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dick Button had a birthday a few days ago. His name brought to mind the many times I watched ice-skating with him as the announcer. I’ve actually seen some wonderful skaters perform such as Scotty Hamilton and Underhill and Martini. Their motions are so fluid and graceful as they glide across the ice.

But sometimes they spin like a top while staying in exactly the same spot. 

I researched how they could spin like that and then skate off in a straight line. It seems they choose a focus point and keep looking at it each time they come around. And the more centered they are the less likely they are to feel dizzy. A good spin also requires the skater to have a strong core.

Right now my life is in a spin, with me wobbling and moving from my starting spot.

Paperwork, decisions, new pattern to my day, empty bed at night, sorting through my husband’s clothes and property…all lead to me spinning. But just as the skater improves with practice, so do I. The first few days it was hard to focus and my starting spot kept moving.

My focus point is Jesus.

So even though I’m still spinning, my focus is certain and my core is strong. Each morning I turn to Him as my starting spot. I’m not exactly skating off in a straight line, but I experience fewer wobbles.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (MSG)


Death Certificate

>> Thursday, June 18, 2015

There it was…in black and white…my husband’s name, birthdate and many details about his death.  It seemed surreal. But the raised seal representing the state of Washington and a “CERTIFIED” stamp completed the form at the bottom. It was his death certificate.

In my naivety, I had not realized how many businesses would need to see that piece of paper.

I started with phone calls. A few companies took my word for it; removed his name and entered me as the account holder. But at the end of that first day of calling…from 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, I had a list of places I needed to go to show them the death certificate.

Then there were the ones who said, “We will send you a form. Just have the current account holder fill out the top portion of the page and enter the new account holder at the bottom.” What part of dead did they not understand?

It was unbelievably draining to repeat the words regarding my husband’s death.

Yesterday I headed out…death certificate on the car seat beside me…to convince certain businesses that his name no longer belonged as the account holder. The average length of time at each company was one hour. The initial person I spoke with did not have the authority to do anything, so I was passed up the line.

In my robot-like state, I did it without tears.

The last place was a credit union. After explaining the situation repeatedly, I was taken into a separate room to meet with an officer of the establishment. He made several phone calls. The death certificate lay on the desk in front of him. The final word was that since we had a loan through them, even though my name was also on the loan, his name could not be removed from the account until the loan was paid.

“I’m the one responsible for making the payments. What is the rationale for leaving it in his name?” I received no satisfactory answer.

Tears filled my eyes. Profuse apologies were extended. I climbed in my car and proceeded to suffer a meltdown. It was several hours before I climbed out of that pit and could focus on the promise below.

Praise songs are filling the air as I type these words.

“You did it: You changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song….” Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)


He Has No Need for Them

>> Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My husband, John’s, wallet and money from his pants pocket now lay on the kitchen counter where he placed them several weeks ago. His special sunglasses that made him feel so cool as he drove his red Cadillac are close by.

He has no need for them.

Our garage was designed to hold two motorcycles, his car and mine. The motorcycles are no more and the car now sits on a car lot…for sale. Even the handicap placard that allowed him to park closer to buildings has joined the unused symbols of a busy life. 

He has no need for them.

The double towel holder that was installed when we built this house now holds a lonely towel. I will never need two. And he is far too weak to take a shower, so his towel has been washed, dried and folded.

He has no need for it.

His clothes and shoes are just as he left them the last time he wore clothes.

He has no need for them.

John is going on a journey without me. Sometimes his eyes see right through me. Occasionally his comments are not directed to me. Yesterday I heard him talking and hurried to the bedroom.

“What did you say?”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

Should I have asked with whom he was conversing? An angel perhaps.

Even though I can’t go on this journey with him, we both know Someone who can. We’ve placed our trust in Him.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;….” Psalm 23:4 (NASB)


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