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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Detour

My first homemade wreath

Posted Dec 16, 2009 ~ ( 9 months into widowhood)

We never know what a new day might bring. It’s called ‘Life’ and so often we find ourselves in places that certainly weren’t on our agenda for that particular day. On Friday, my friend Pat invited me to her house to make a Christmas wreath. Frankly, I didn’t feel like making the effort, as I have been feeling very fatigued and unmotivated lately. But I decided to go anyway, knowing spending time with my sweet friend would probably lift my spirits. I’ve never made a live wreath before, but Pat was well equipped with a variety of different types of greens and interesting natural materials to embellish my wreath. She even had a really cool tool mounted on a stand, that closed the clamps on the metal frame foundation of the wreaths. This would have had to been done with a hammer otherwise. This nifty tool saved lots of time, energy and thumbs! Pat was very patient with her coaching and I came away with a beautiful live wreath and lifted spirits, having spent the afternoon with my friend!

As I was getting ready to head home, all of a sudden, I had a strange visual disturbance. I could see just fine, but my central vision had an oval in it with a fringelike edge. I could see through the oval, but the fringe on the oval had motion all around the edge. This weird symptom lasted for about a half an hour, very slowly moving from central to my peripheral vision, then disappeared. I called my ophthalmologist and she told me to come in right away, although their office was already closed. She gave me a very thorough examination and couldn’t find anything ocular that would produce such symptoms. She recommended that I go to the Emergency Room, because of my medical history, so off to Harford Memorial Hospital I went, as it was only a few miles from her office.

I was very fortunate not to have to wait, and was called into triage as soon as I finished my brief paperwork, then, right into an examination cubicle. This is where the waiting process began, and the sounds of the monitors were disturbing to me at first, bringing back memories from Buck’s hospital days. The Lord helped me to pull myself together and separate myself from the painful memories and then I was okay. After telling my story to many different staff members, blood work was started and an IV placed in my arm for future use if necessary. A CAT scan of my head followed. All tolled my ER visit lasted about four hours, which gave me lots of opportunities to think about the fact that I still haven’t written my will or made any advanced directive decisions yet. Other than that, I had Peace throughout the whole experience and was able to remain calm. My only discomfort was a headache and hunger pangs. Around midnight, I was told that the blood work results and CAT scan didn’t show what might have caused the strange symptoms, and they would like to admit me for further tests.
My tests included an MRI, MRA, Echocardiogram (which brought back the painful memories again), and a Carotid arteries study in addition to extensive blood work. I learned that I have a healthy brain and heart, and beautiful carotid arteries, according to the ultrasound tech and all blood tests except one came back within normal range. I was discharged Sunday night with a flu shot and a more elaborate, mysterious, medical history and a new story to share.

I also think I made a new friend. One of the staff members shared that she asked God for some encouragement as she prayed on her way to work on Saturday. She blessed me so much by telling me that I lifted her spirit and made her feel comforted. What a blessing to get a glimpse of God’s network. That is the kind of God we serve. He knows what we need, and hears our prayers. My encounters with this precious young woman made my two-day detour feel worthwhile! Thank you Lord, for letting me see You at work!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thanksgiving Solitude

Posted Thanksgiving Day, Nov 27, 2009 ~ (Seven months into widowhood)

Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate with family and friends, and a day to remember all we have to be thankful about. I didn’t anticipate that Thanksgiving Day would be difficult for me, since most of our married life, Buck would travel to W.V. for three weeks each November to go deer and wild turkey hunting and to spend time with his Mom and siblings. Once again, I was wrong, I didn’t see it coming.

A few weeks ago, my sister, Colleen, invited me to join her and my brother-in-law at their home for Thanksgiving dinner. My Mom and Dad would also be there if they felt up to it. I accepted their invitation and said I would bake a pumpkin pie to add to the feast I knew they would prepare.

Last weekend, I decided it would be nice to go to York Hospital to visit whoever was working in the Open Heart ICU on Thanksgiving Day. I just wanted to say hello and to thank them once again for all they did for us, and for all they do for their patients in general. But by Tuesday, I had changed my mind and decided that wasn’t in their best interest or mine, as I've had a cold for two weeks and I was feeling very vulnerable emotionally as Thanksgiving approached. On Tuesday, I decided that what I really wanted and needed was to be home, to enjoy the comfort and solitude that only my home could provide.

So my Thanksgiving Day was a pajama day and I slept till 10 AM. Once awake, I read my Bible, my devotionals and spent the one on one time I needed with the Lord. Nothing else provides the restoration that I require to keep me moving forward, however slowly that might be. First gear is always preferable to standing still. I also wrote in my daily journal. That helps me remember what I’ve been doing with my life, otherwise I would have no recollection. Sad but true… my short-term memory is pretty much non-existent. If I don’t write it down, it’s gone forever!

Hunger pangs finally motivated me to get out of bed at 3 PM. I could count on two hands, the few times I have prepared a complete meal for myself this year. But today would be one of those days. I knew my Mom would ask me what was I going to eat, when she found out I wouldn’t be joining my family for Thanksgiving dinner (once a mother, always a mother). I had my menu ready when the question cam. I was even able to say that I had a small pan of cornbread baking in the oven in Buck’s honor, as it was one of his very favorite foods. I think it helped my Mom to know that her “baby girl” would at least be eating well, although she really didn’t like the thought that I would be eating alone. Thankfully, everyone understood, no feelings were hurt, and I got what I really needed…Solitude!

About a month ago, I had an idea: a visual reminder that I am never alone and that the Lord is always here with me. I set out a place setting of my pretty heirloom china at the head of my dining room table. Tonight, the Lord and I had a candlelight dinner to commemorate my first Thanksgiving without my sweetheart. Buck would tolerate candlelight dinners on occasion, just to make me happy, or if he had prepared a romantic dinner for me as he did on several wedding anniversaries. But for the most part, he preferred to see what he was eating! I asked my Guest to bless the meal I had prepared and I reminded Him of all the many blessings I am thankful for. I told Him I still don’t understand, but I trust Him with my future and I know it will be good. I cried. I ate my pork chop, acorn squash, fresh steamed broccoli and my chocolate pudding and felt satisfied that I had prepared a healthy, though not traditional holiday meal for myself.

After dinner, I called York Hospital’s OHICU to see who was working tonight and was surprised to find that only two nurses were on duty, as there were only two patients in the unit to care for. I got to speak to Theresa and Renee. It was so wonderful to reconnect with them both.

As this Thanksgiving Day comes to a close, I feel rested, peaceful and thankful! Thankful that another “first” is behind me and my heart is full of thanksgiving for the innumerable blessings that I enjoy each day. I count all of you among those wonderful gifts given to me this year. Thank you for caring and for your continued love and support. I hope your Thanksgiving Day was happy and memorable.