Welcome to Christian Widow's Walk

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, April 26, 2012

Remembering Buck In A Tangible Way

Posted Nov 2, 2009 ~ (Six months into widowhood)

October 21st marked the six-month point, since my Sweetheart was called home and I wanted to do something creative to remember him. Buck was a man’s man, but he loved flowers as much as I do. We both had strong opinions about varieties, garden arrangements and color combinations. Buck had very strong feelings about the fragrances of certain flowers: lilacs, for example. He had no tolerance for them and they were never to be considered as an option in our landscaping plans. I did not fuss with him about it, as he almost always let me have my way about … well, about almost everything pertaining to our home and yard. My Bofren was very laid back and easy going. I’m not so sure he would be able to say the same about me, but he loved me anyway. A few years ago, I asked Buck if he thought I was bossy. His answer was honest but precious. He said, “Yes, but you’re nice about it". I guess he perceived me as a little bossy at times, but with respect.

When Buck was moved back to York Hospital, after his five-week stay at UMMC in Baltimore, spring had sprung and flowers were plentiful. Easter was upon us, so I brought a beautiful purple hyacinth to Room 2310 for him to enjoy. He loved the strong, sweet fragrance of his favorite flower, and motioned for me to bring it closer, so he could enjoy it close up. It was a sweet surprise and it made him smile. So it seemed fitting to plant some purple hyacinths in front of the new home that he built for me. I also planted a crop of narcissi that day, which will create a colorful yellow background for the purple hyacinths. Perhaps they may bloom around the one-year anniversary of his departure from this life and his joyous entrance into his new life in heaven. I think my Bofren would like the idea of a little commemorative garden planted in his honor!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, For They Will Be Comforted

Posted Oct 28, 2009 ~ (6 Months into widowhood)

Mid October brought its’ fair share of stress and new issues to confront. In my last post, I shared that I was dealing with two significant days on my calendar: what would have been our twelfth wedding anniversary and October 21st marked six months since Buck’s home going. Just prior to these important days was a deadline to get my income taxes prepared, as I had been given a six-month extension. Thanks to my dear friend Wendy, I did not have the stress of finding my way in unfamiliar territory, and having to parallel park on a busy York main street. I haven’t parallel parked in over 15 years! Getting everything together for the CPA was not new to me, as I was the record keeper in our family. The challenge was putting my hands on the necessary documentation, as things are not exactly organized around here, having just moved into our new home just three months before Buck’s heart attack on New Year’s Eve. I was thankful to have that responsibility behind me.

Our wedding anniversary was a “pajama day”. October 18th was a Sunday, but I decided not to go to church. I spent the weekend with my daughter, Sarah, and her family. Being with them on days that I anticipate might be extra hard emotionally is always helpful to me. They provide love, comfort, support and distraction, which get me through the difficult days. Early in my day, I watched the video of Buck’s memorial, which Dave W. so kindly put together for my family. It is a gift we will always treasure! It was the first time I had seen it and it was wonderful to hear the glowing words from family, friends and caretakers testifying to what Buck meant to them and how he impacted each of their lives. Each speaker gave our family a very precious gift!

In the evening, Sarah and I watched our wedding video, which I had not seen for nearly twelve years. Watching the memories unfold had an emotional impact of course, but I got through it a lot better than I thought I would. Reliving the most joyful day of our lives was difficult to watch and even more painful was hearing my precious husband’s voice. Tears rinse my face again as Buck’s voice echoes in my heart!

Sarah and I wrapped up our day with watching the slideshow that she and her husband Bob had created for Papa Bear’s memorial. It is getting easier to view it without falling apart. One evening about a month ago, I was home alone and decided I would be brave and watch it again, after not seeing it since the memorial in the end of June. I was totally unprepared for my reaction as I watched the representation of Buck’s life, backed up with the powerful music Sarah and I had chosen. I experienced weeping like never before; at least twice as intense as the worst of my “ugly cries”. I had never had a weeping session of that duration. It opened a floodgate that consumed me for 45 minutes. I found myself in a fetal position on my bed, as the power of the pictures and the music overwhelmed me with a depth of emotion I didn’t know was within me. All of it felt unfamiliar and the volume of my cries surprised me. The intensity of emotional pain doubled me over and brought me to my knees. At one point, I was kneeling by my bed and was too weak to stand and crawl into bed. My breathing was rapid and my body automatically went into the same breathing techniques I learned in my natural childbirth classes before Sarah was born. I guess I was na├»ve to think that I had gotten through the worst of this journey. I suppose that was wishful thinking.

When my emotional experience was behind me, I was left feeling weak and exhausted. It was well past the dinner hour and I was hungry, but too tired to do anything about it. When my normal breathing returned and I was able to climb into my bed, I made myself feel better by beginning to read “Heaven Better By Far”, by J. Oswald Sanders. It comforted me to learn about and anticipate the reality that Buck is enjoying. It is also reassuring to me to realize that everything I am experiencing is normal, necessary and important in my journey of grieving.

So the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs continues. The mourning comes in unpredictable waves. It’s all a natural part of the grieving process, and an indication of the deep love I had for my Bofren. The intense feelings are temporary and they pass. I survive and take another step closer in the healing of my broken heart. There is no heart so broken, that the Lord cannot mend it and make it stronger, as we trust Him with each new day. My faith and my personal relationship with Jesus, and my family and friends continue to sustain and support me as I move forward, finding joy in the precious gifts from God, that all of them are to me. Thank you for caring about me and continuing to check in on me by following my journal. I count you among my many blessings!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Healing Music and Looking Up

Posted Oct 5, 2009~ (Five months into widowhood)

Given my present circumstances, I am blessed to be able to be alone and not feel lonely. Of course, I am very aware that none of us are ever alone. I feel the Lord’s presence with me so often, especially if I am seeking Him.

When the sky is that clear, crisp, amazing shade of blue, on a gorgeous day like the perfect days we were blessed with this past weekend, I am in awe! Especially the precious sun filled days with the billowy, brighter than white clouds shouting of God’s royalty and majesty! Sometimes, when I study the skies, I wonder how I can so often be totally oblivious to God’s glory all around me, because I am preoccupied by the details of life. We miss so much when we carry our heavy burden backpacks. What a relief when I remember what the Lord commands us to do and leave my concerns with Him. Old habits hang on and die hard! The good news is, as our pastor reminded us a few weeks ago: “We can change because of God’s power within us when we are trusting in Him!”

What is interesting to me is the fact that I sense the Lord most powerfully when I am in my car. I have been listening almost exclusively to several Christian radio stations that play the contemporary music that I love. I enjoy turning the volume up, and didn’t realize just how loud it sounded. One night, I drove down Sarah’s driveway and my 13 year old grandson, Justin, was standing outside by their garage. When I got out of my car, Justin greeted me with:” Wow Nana, you were really rocking out!”

The music ministers to my heart and soul, sometimes flooding me with sorrow because it reminds me so much of my Sweetheart, as he was a true worshiper! And other times I feel only joy as the music fills my being and heals my brokenness. The songs about heaven deliver pain and joy simultaneously as I miss my Bofren so much, but rejoice in the confidence of knowing where he resides: absent from his body and present with his Lord! What Peace and Comfort I enjoy, as I believe God with all my heart and take Him at His Word!

I am thankful for each day I am given, for each one is a gift, but I look forward to sharing the same eternity that Buck is enjoying now! I don’t see this as being morbid in any way, but rather excited expectation to experience what God has planned for those of us, who make a decision to have a personal relationship with Him. I am certain it will be so much more than we can ever imagine or fathom!!!