This necklace was a surprise gift from 2 of my grandchildren. :)
Joshua and Dessie decided about 2 months ago to homeschool their kids - and they asked me if I was willing to work with them on it. I said, "Of course".
So, that is what we have been doing. They have helped me to create a new website just for the homeschool ... Miss Crazy's Life School. Yes. LOL ...
When they gave me the necklace last night it was with "You might be Miss Crazy - but you are the BESTEST teacher ever!" LOL
It is a challenge - keeping their interests strong ... they are 12 and 10. I think one of the greatest challenges has been (and continues to be) getting the public school mentality out.
I have the utmost respect and honor for our teachers and educators - mostly. There are a few I would like to "Jethro-slap" ... sigh. But I also realize that the ones who make the decisions are not the ones in the classrooms.
We are painfully aware of all the arguments for and against home school.
But it is a decision that was made after much prayer and thought, after many discussions and even arguments ... and a decision that is based on what is best for the kids.
We only ask for your prayers.
Yes, this is my Bible. And yes, I have drawn these pictures and colored them.
For me, it is a way to really focus on what I have just read - and a way that I love on my Lord. I used to draw Rick pictures, just little love notes. To me - this is a small way that I can leave my Lord little love notes. If it is wrong - I don't want to be right. It works for me.
I am not a good drawer ... never have been. A flower ... a vine ... a sunshine ... a cloud or two ... my skills as an artist is extremely limited ... but I am trying - using what I can do, even trying to learn more.
God knows my heart, tho. And He loves me - just as I am.
I am also making quilts. Using Rick's shirts, and some of my momma's quilt pieces. My hands won't let me do the small stitches any more - so I am using the "tie" way of making quilts.
The first one I made was for me - from the pictures of his T-shirts. I sleep with it every night. In fact, it is draped around my shoulders now as I type. There is something so comforting about it - I feel held.
I am making one now for my sister. Rick loved her so much. I hope that she feels loved when she snuggles under it. :)
There are many who have told me to "smile" ... to "move on with my life" ... to "get a grip" ... to "not cry so much" ... to "not talk about Rick as much" ... that I am "posting too much about grief and loss on here and on Facebook" ... just simply that "life goes on". I am told to "be thankful" for the time we had together. To "rejoice" that Rick no longer hurts or suffers.
I try to smile - but you try to know that my reason for smiling is no longer here. There are tears in the smiles, and smiles in the tears.
I try to move on with my life - but you try to realize that I am lost. My life was being Rick's wife for 35 years. It has now been 206 days without him. Give me time to figure out who I am now, without him. Oh, and I will NEVER move on without him! He goes with me, in my heart, in my memories, no matter where I go!
I try to get a grip on my emotions. But under the advice of my doctor, and counselor - I must allow the emotions to be expressed.. I'm sorry if you cannot handle the tears, or the hurt. God can ... and does.
I cry. I don't even try not to. Deep love = deep grief. Deep grief is manifested in me thru tears. I cry. I will cry. If you don't want to wipe away a tear - don't.
I will talk about Rick as much as I want to and need to!!! He deserves to be remembered. His legacy lives on in me, in our children, and in our grandchildren. I do not want him to be forgotten. I want him to be loved and to be cherished.
If you think I am posting too much about grief and loss - here or on Facebook - don't read what I write. Grief and loss is my LIFE right now. Deal with it - or move on past me.
Yes, life goes on ... how well I know that. If I could have a choice - the world would stop because of my broken heart. But I don't get that choice. Life goes on. Good, bad, indifferent. Life goes on.
I am extremely thankful for the time that Rick and I had together. I have regrets and wishes. But it does no good to dwell on those. So I focus on our times together - good, bad, and indifferent. We lived. We were not perfect. But we were perfect for one another. I know that we had a Love that many have never known, many will never know. I do not take that lightly, nor for granted. I am so thankful that Rick loved me ... and that I was allowed to love him.
I try to rejoice that Rick no longer hurts and suffers. He went thru so much - especially the last 5 years or so. I believe he is at peace and his soul is at rest. But I have yet to find that "joy" that he is not here. There is a peace that passes all understanding that has been on me since the moment he died ... and there is an abiding "joy" deep within. But the "joy" of this life? Not yet. Not sure if ever. I miss him so much.
We did everything together. I guess the only thing we never did together was when I went to pee. We were each other's onlies ... he was my best friend, I was his. I miss him so much.
Rick - I love you.
The standard answer from some - Peace on earth, good will to all. Yes, that would be good ... but obviously not going to happen. Sadly.
My honest answer to what I want for Thanksgiving & Christmas?
After much thought and many tears - (tears as I write, too) -
*For my daughter to have a blessed birthday on November 28. She was born on her daddy's birthday - in his words, his BESTEST birthday present ever. This will be her first birthday alone - without her daddy. My heart breaks for her - I wish I could just fix this! But I cannot. So I pray that God Himself will be her Father - and that He will lavish her with love and with blessings on that day. And I pray that everyone else will give her the respect of the grieving and just let it be - for this one year.
*For me to be able to smile and to breathe thru this first birthday of Rick's without him here. If you want to help honor him - eat a piece of chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ... it was his favorite. How am I supposed to tell the love of my heart Happy Birthday? I miss him so much.
*That my mind and my spirit will focus on the blessings that God has given and done for us thru all the years, but in this year especially. As hard as this year has been - God has been God, and He has been good.
-- Rick went thru a lot of pain this year before he died, but honestly, for all that he endured - his pain was so little. God gave him that.
-- And God gave him the honor of being at home, in his own bed, laying on his pillow, with his wife at his side - when he died. That was what he wanted. It was the way he wanted to go. No pain. No drama or trauma. Just one breath.
-- God has seen us thru these 200+ days without him. I don't know how. I wonder if I will even remember all these days, weeks, and months without him. I have been told by others who have walked this way that the first year is nothing more than a blur. I just want to write it down today that God has seen us thru. And He will continue to.
*That I will be able to smile when other say "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Merry Christmas" -- because I don't feel very "Happy" or "Merry". But then, this holiday season is for recognizing and acknowledging the blessings of God, as well as the birth of our Savior and Lord. This holiday season is not about "me". Again I say - I am not the only one grieving for Rick. And I am not the only widow/widower having their "first" holiday. From what I have been told - it doesn't really get any easier after the "first", either.
*To see and to hear the laughter of the children ... the songs that are sung and played ... the lights that are displayed ... for in some ways I feel like I must do this for me, and for Rick.
*To be allowed to cry the tears, and smile ...
To speak his name ...
To tell his stories, and mine ... to tell OUR stories.
*If I had the money -- I would take my children and my grandchildren out to eat one day this holiday season. And we would laugh and talk - and we would celebrate my husband, their daddy, their p-paw. He LOVED to go out to eat - especially when he could take our kids and grandkids. We would go out to eat at a Mexican food place - his favorite.
*If I had the money -- I would "do" OUR holiday. New Year's Eve with our kids and grandkids ... when the kids grew up and had families of their own, New Year's Eve became OUR holiday. Finger foods, games, laughter, up till the wee hours of the morning - oh my!!!
-- there was a year that we lived in Hico TX, and all our kids and grandkids came to the house. It was a small house - but we all fit! We laughed, we ate, we played games. And as little as the house was - Joshua and Mandy still found a way to chase each other around over a package of Oreo's!!! LOL
Rick told that story so many times! He laughed ... He loved it.
*If I could have it - I would have his arms around me - his kisses on my forehead. His hands into everything I was cooking. Him fussing at me that the decorations were too much. All of his grumbling hum-bug words. And the nights that he would take me out to see the Christmas lights. The nights that we stayed at home watching the Christmas movies. (how do I watch "It's a Wonderful Life" this year???)
But I cannot have him. So, I will try to have Thanksgiving ... and Christmas ... and New Year's Eve. I will try.
Rick -- I miss you so much.
I'm trying. I truly am. To be thankful. God has blessed me - I am a blessed woman. God is good - all the time. And all the time - God is good. Even if the healing doesn't come ... Even when life falls apart and dreams go undone ... God is God. And He is good and faithful. So - yes, I am thankful.
I am also thankful that Rick was not a big holiday person. That just was not his personality. He was of the opinion that holidays were way too worldly, way too much commercialized. We always celebrated the holidays - but we did it different than most that we knew. We worked to take the holidays back to a more basic LIFE living than just one day a year. And when the "one day" would come around, yes - we celebrated. But even then, he insisted (and I agreed) to do it more basic, with as little of the commercialization as possible.
Were we right or wrong? I don't know. We were just US.
I do know this - I am thankful for all those years together that he was the way he was. He taught us more how to LIVE this life than what I think he ever knew.
*To take each day as a new beginning - New Year's Day
*to love one another, show that love, tell that love - every day, all the time - Valentine's Day
*to rejoice in the Risen Savior always - Easter
*to remember our military and their families - all gave some, some gave all - Memorial Day and Veteran's Day
*to celebrate our freedoms in America - even when it seems that we have less and less. He was a Patriot - he bled red, white and blue! - 4th of July
*to appreciate the labors of the America workers - and to always be kind to those who served us, to be sure and express our appreciation - Labor Day.
*Halloween? We never did celebrate that. Well, we did - but it was only because it was Granny McCoy's birthday!
*I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ... "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - Thanksgiving
*and to always and forever remember that Jesus is the Reason not only for the "season" - but the Reason for our life, our very breath.
So, see why our LIFE is hard without him? why the grief is so intense? not just the holiday season. It will be the first "holiday season" without my husband, without daddy, and without p-paw. Because it is our first LIFE without him.
I love you Sweetheart. Thank you.
I thought about posting this on Facebook - but besides it being too long, there are many who will feel it necessary to read it, then take it out of context. So I thought (maybe?) if I write it here - it takes a little more effort to come here and read it, and if anyone doesn't like what it says - there is an "x" at the top right hand corner of the page - CLICK ON IT.
And with that being said ...
I thought about not writing this at all. It has been on my heart and in my thoughts for the last 2-3 days. I tried to put it away, to forget it. But it seemed that every time I read anything - something written was reminding me of it. So ... with many tears, and a bucket load of prayers ...
I am a widow who is 6 months and 4 days old. Give me a break!!! I do NOT have all this together. I do NOT understand everything. I have many questions, but few answers.
I have not been angry with God, nor with Rick. And I am not angry with either of them yet. I don't think I will be, either. So, for those who are telling me that it is "ok" to be angry with God and/or Rick - I get that. It is ok. But I am NOT. I also am NOT in denial about being angry!
I am getting angry - or is angry the right emotion? perhaps it is frustrated? irritated? weary and tired? - with the words of others ... and I really pray, really struggle, really try to understand the words of others. I want to believe that they mean well with their words. I want to understand that if they have never been a widow they do not know the depth of the pain that is there from losing my heart and my life as Rick's wife, nor the depth of pain and struggle that their "kind" and "encouraging" words can cause.
--that this is "God's will". I don't believe that. Judge me if you will. But Rick and I had this conversation many times in our years together. And we agreed - God's will is for LIFE. The Bible teaches this. However, we live in a fallen world. Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble. Part of that life trouble is death. Jesus also said that HE had overcome the world. I believe that!
--that Rick is "in a better place". I know he is free of the pain and suffering, the struggle of this life. So, I guess he is "in a better place". But honestly? When my heart and soul feel like they have been ripped out and I am empty inside - it is NOT that much of a comfort to think that. I'm sorry. This is my one selfish thought - Yes, I want him free of pain and suffering - but at the same time, I want him to miss me as much as I miss me. Sue me.
--that God needed Rick more than I needed him. I'm sorry - but as it is said on the movie, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" ... BULLSHIT!!! Read the writings of David in the Psalms. He said that no one praises God in death, or in the grave. God is God. He allowed me to love Rick, and He had Rick love me. Together Rick and I made the commitment that we needed God more than we needed one another ... but I do not believe that God needed Rick more than I needed him.
--that I need to get over the grief and go on with my life. YOU didn't lose your Sweetheart, your Soul-mate, the love of your life, the reason you smile and laugh, the one who loved you with a passion ... I DID. I am just sick and tired of defending my grief, and the time I am taking to grieve. I will ALWAYS grieve for my Rick. ALWAYS & FOREVER!!!!! Deal with it, or don't. I don't care. This is my heart, my life - I grieve. Deep grief = a deep love.
I am going on with my life. I have moments that I cry--sometimes softly, a memory escapes and rolls down my cheek --- and sometimes it is a raging tsunami that takes me under for a while. I will arise ..... God is holding me - even in the storms, under the waters, thru the fire - God is holding me. And besides - I am a strong Texas woman (Rick's words more than once).
All of this caught me off guard. I don't care how "prepared" you are for death to happen -- know this one thing ... you are NOT prepared! Sigh.
One of the many things that still causes me to pause and to wonder - how alone I am now. Alone of family ... alone of friends. Is it because they blame me for Rick's death? I don't know. Perhaps, at least some of them. Is it because they don't know what to say to my words of grief? Perhaps - but I think how much it would help me to go thru the grief just to hear their stories, their memories, to hear Rick's name on their words. Is it because they blame me for "taking him away" thru the years? Most likely. At least for some. But if they knew Rick at all - they would know that he had a mind and a will of his own, and those years that we lived "away"? Well, that was RICK. I agreed to live away because I loved him and his happiness was my greatest joy. Is it because they don't know how to respond to me when the tears come? Perhaps. But all I can wish is for someone who loved Rick to take me in their arms and if they don't cry with me, at least give me a safe place to cry some memories out.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here