A Year Ago…

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since my cousin passed away and almost a year since my husband died.  To think of the year 2019 without either of them is heartbreaking, but sadly is our reality.  So today, I want to celebrate and remember both Marit and Kirk.

One thing I may have to do after the year anniversary is to change the subtitle of my blog from wife to widow.  We were happily married for 20 years and I am so very thankful.  But, a widow is who I am now and is still something I am trying to come to terms with.

I have such fond memories growing up with my cousin.  On my mom’s side of the family, including me and my siblings, there were 12 first cousins as well as second cousins.  Marit was one my first cousins.  Although we didn’t live in the same towns, we all had fun growing up and spending time together primarily in the summers.  We’d laugh, talk, enjoy the beach, play games, and sing together.

Marit had a lovely singing voice and was so talented.  She recorded a CD of her own music that I still enjoy listening to.  Of course now, it is with tears in my eyes.  She was also so very cool and beautiful — both inside and out.  I admired her over the years and remember that she dealt with a lot of stuff.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with her family, friends, and all who loved her.  She is missed and touched us all.  I am so very thankful for all of those years we had and wish there had been more.

As far as Kirk, it is hard to believe that it has been almost 12 months ago.  For much of that time, I was in a fog and not able to come to terms with it.  It was such a shock and so unexpected that I sometimes still forget he is gone.  I didn’t know it was his time back then.

He traveled quite a bit in the family business, so we were used to times that he wasn’t with us. Sometimes my mind plays tricks that he is just on a trip. But over the past few months, that has been replaced with coming to terms with the fact that he won’t be coming back.  And that really hurts.

I was talking with a family member this week who loved him as I did.  We both still miss his laugh, his smile, his voice, and how he lit up a room.  He loved to joke and help  everyone to have a good time.  We both cried as we thought about him and wanted one more chance to be with him.

There is a big hole in our life and we are trying to work around that.  Some days it is easy to do; other days it feels impossible.  Some days it hurts so much that I scream and other days I smile about a memory or a joke he told.  Most days, however, I am both happy and sad. Our son and I regularly talk about Kirk and laugh at some of the things that he did.  And we look at our numerous pictures.

I think I have been handling all of this well and then I think of all of the things I am failing at and haven’t gotten take care of yet.  My priority has been Ian, his well-being, school work, and time for fun, as well as myself and my sanity.  So, that leaves some things that I still need to catch up on.  And, I am working on it.

I try not to be too hard on myself but it isn’t easy.  Kirk was the glue for us, helped so much around the house, was always cleaning up, and took care of many things that I now have to. I guess I took him for granted and I feel bad for that.  I do realize how blessed I was for everything he was and everything he did.  I just wish those little things hadn’t bothered me when he was alive. They just weren’t important.

I have learned quite a bit this year as well.  That is the importance of plans, having finances in order and knowing how to access the information, spending time with loved ones, appreciating each other, expressing love to each other, and realizing that tomorrow is not promised.

On November 3, we celebrated All Saints’ Day at my church.  It was a really hard service but it was lovely.  And we sang “For All The Saints” — a song that I cried through. A friend of mine put her hand on my shoulder during that song and it helped a lot. It has been three years since her husband passed away.

There have been other losses in our family and also for my friends in recent years.  My thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with their grief.  It is a long process and I hope they have a faith and loved ones to help them as Ian and I have.

Blessings to you and yours. May you cherish your loved ones and let them know.  And, may we remember and be thankful for our loved ones who have gone before us. I am very thankful for Kirk, Marit, and many other loved ones who have passed away in recent years.

Here are lyrics of For All The Saints. Tears come to my eyes as I sing it. I am comforted by these words and music. Hope it is a blessing to you as well:

“For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who Thee by faith before the world confessed;
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“But when there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!”

(images are from Power Point clip art.)

Happy November 1st

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  Can you believe it’s the 1st day of November?  I sure can’t.  This year has flown by.

Today’s photo challenge is Fruit, which I just can’t get into today.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit and eat it most mornings.  I especially like oatmeal with blueberries.

I had that this morning with some almond slivers on top.  But, I forgot to take a picture. So, what to write about?

And, Five Minute Friday is on Grace.  This is a great word and gift and was the name of our church for a while, until we returned to where we’d met.  I have also liked this as a girl’s name.

I could write much longer on this subject and may tomorrow.  But instead today I want to write about our Halloween.

Ian stayed home from school yesterday since we have been battling sinus infections.  Needless to say, we didn’t feel good but thankfully aren’t contagious.  Because of that, we didn’t go out trick-or-treating.

Instead Ian helped me hand out candy.  He had a great time giving out candy to other kids.  We had 135 small boxes of candy that we gave out — 1 to each person. Quite a turnout!

We gave out candy for about two hours before running out.  We then watched a video and hung out.  It was a fun evening that Ian really enjoyed. He told me, “There weren’t that many scary costumes.”  Of that he was very glad and so was I.

He definitely doesn’t like scary things.  I have explained to him that lots of people like to be scared and scare others on Halloween.  But that we don’t.  “Me neither Mommy,” he told me.

Prior to choosing this veterinarian costume, he tried on three others — an Indian, a knight, and a bandit.  He had a hard time deciding what he wanted to be.   Then he settled on being Dr. Ian.

“Mommy, I want to be a doctor, an animal doctor,” he said.  “Great Ian.  You can even be more than one if you want,” I told him.  “No, this one,’ he informed me.

Despite our Halloween not being exactly what I’d planned on, it was still a great evening that we truly enjoyed.  Hope yours was great as well.

On the church calendar, today, November 1st,  is All Saint’s Day to honor saints.  I like to think about and remember those in my life who have passed away.  I also like to pause and be thankful for all that I learned from them and realize how blessed I am to have those who are still in my life.

May we have a great weekend and truly appreciate and enjoy those we are with.