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Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for visiting. If you care to follow my story from the beginning, I encourage you to click on the oldest post first and make your way to newer entries. In so doing, hopefully, you will see the hand of God in my healing journey that started in April, 2009.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Memories And New Challenges

Posted May 28, 2009 ~ (Five weeks into widowhood)
I have been searching for all of our photos with no success. Having moved into our new home just three months before Buck’s heart attack, our pictures are still among our many unpacked boxes in the basement or elsewhere. While looking around in his closet, I found a Valentine’s Day gift that I put together for Buck in 1999. It was a photos frame with 14 various openings of different shapes and sizes. It held a collection of pictures we took during our daylong hiking adventure, climbing and descending Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

I had not seen these pictures for nearly a year and a half, as they had been packed away while we built our new home. I forgot that I put the frame in Buck’s closet. Finding the pictures returned me to the same intensity of sorrow and weeping that I confronted when I first returned to my “Home Without My Bofren” reality a few weeks ago. Some of my favorite outdoor pictures of us together are included in that frame. The tears come again now as I think about those significant hiking days. Buck had carried his camera tripod, so he could take pictures of us together to remember some of our challenging hiking adventures. The frame holds many memories that we captured during several days of that summer vacation. One of the oval shaped openings holds a small calligraphy message I made for him that reads: Loving You is a Mountaintop Experience! August 1998.

We went to New England on our honeymoon in October 1997, visiting Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. We drove to the summit of Mount Washington on that trip and also rode the Cog Railway to the top, where we encountered horizontal snow as we made a run for the observatory building. Mount Washington has an elevation of 6288 ft. and is known for its reputation of being “Home of the world’s worst weather”! We fell in love with the Northern states and returned to New Hampshire during our first summer as newlyweds to experience Mount Washington on foot. The trip up was wonderful as I was able to keep up with Buck pretty well and the views and Wows were amazing! However, the trip back was agonizing as the very first step heading back down the mountain, produced pain in my knee that made for a lengthy, slow, miserable return journey that got us to our destination just before nightfall. In spite of the painful part, it is a favorite memory and I’m so glad I have the pictures to take me back. I know someday I’ll be able to look at them and not break down. Sarah will be using some of those pictures in the slideshow she is putting together for Buck’s Memorial on June 27th.

The pictures were not the only trigger that brought me to that meltdown condition on Saturday afternoon. After I semi-recovered from finding Buck’s Valentine, I also found a bag from the Lifeway Christian Book Store. Buck had shopped there before Christmas to buy a gift bible for Jessi’s boyfriend, Justin.

Buck and I made a decision early in our marriage not to buy gifts for each other, but it was our tradition to get ornaments for each other, every year. My Sweetheart was known for waiting till last minute to shop for me: Christmas Eve type last minute; it happened all the time. I fell to pieces when I opened the Lifeway bag to find a ceramic ornament with Jesus inscribed on it, that Buck had obviously chosen and tucked away to give to me this Christmas!

My heart breaks anew in each remembrance of the beautiful life my Bofren provided for me. He always made sure that we took time to have fun together. I miss him so much; sometimes I think I can’t bare this! Gradually the weeping subsides, but leaves me in a physically weakened condition, that usually takes half a day to recover from. It’s difficult to be productive on those days. By God’s grace, I am enjoying more good days than emotional ones. I feel strong some days and do what seems to be the most needful or the next logical step. I enjoy the mindless jobs, like doing the dishes. I dislike the days that require making phone calls to get information about subjects I don’t understand, as I will need to do today. Often, it is hard to decide what the priority should be on that given day. Fatigue and forgetfulness have been my constant companions the past week, making it difficult to think clearly or hold on to thoughts.

Life has been somewhat overwhelming as I face a different financial future than I expected and I have to confront some important decisions. I know the Lord will provide the guidance and direction that I need. For a couple days, I lost sight of the fact that the Lord hadn’t gone anywhere. I needed to be reminded that He had a plan; I just didn’t know what it was yet. Thank you for the reminder Sarah (my precious daughter)! The Lord has already restored peace to my heart, as He always does when I look to Him. What a gift! Thank You Lord, for the peace only You can provide! I would like to request prayer support as I wade through this new unfamiliar territory.

Thank you for continuing to care about me, for checking up on me, praying for me, encouraging and supporting me and holding my hand as we journey on together. All of you are precious gifts from God, and reminders of HIS LOVE! God bless all of you. Enjoy your day and don’t forget each one is a gift, as are those that surround you.

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