Archive for March, 2010

Friday July 25, 2003

// March 4th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Lori and her friend Jamie came over today to help us clean up around the house and get ready for the memorial tomorrow. I know we could find a church or someplace more traditional to have the service but I just want to send him off the way he lived. Nothing artificial. Steve was about family, friends, laughter, and food! One of the hardest things for him after his kidneys failed, even harder than the dialysis, was the restrictive diet he had to follow. He wasn’t allowed to have the friuts, vegetables, cheeses, and chocolate he loved. Once he was put on Hospice all dietary restrictions were lifted, but by then he had lost his appetite for any food. He could barely finish a small smoothie.

As much as Steve wanted to stay I know he wouldn’t want us to have a mopey funeral. I think a pot luck lunch and a short memory time is the best way to honor him. Oh, how my boy loved pot lucks! Also, we’re asking everyone to wear shorts and tank tops or T-shirts. Nothing fancy. That’s Steve. Some have balked at the idea of such a casual “funeral”. They’re lucky we haven’t asked them to wear a t-shirt that has had the collar and sleeves cut away. Very 80’s. Steve’s favorite summer shirts, usually accompanied by a pair of boxer briefs and sometimes a pair of shorts! Often worn with a pair of steel-toed boots…go figure.

As I busied myself with the cleaning today, I almost forgot the reason. We had a happy, energetic mix of music playing loudly and we were singing along. I was even dancing to the B-52’s Love Shack as I moved furniture and vacuumed the floor. It’s almost embarrassing. My son’s body is cold, in a box somewhere in Vista, waiting to be cremated and there I was dancing in my living room having a good ol’ time.

That was hours ago. Looking back, I’m grateful for the short respite from the gravity of my present.

I’m grateful, too, to Lori and Jamie for coming to help me and my girls today. We could not have gotten as much done without them. Jamie, bless her heart, cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom. And Annette has been surreptitiously cleaning since she got here. I must admit that I have let things go around the Haasienda these last eight months or so. All of my focus has been on Steve and his many doctor appointments, or homeschooling and chauffeuring Jae and Rob…not much on house work.

I just want to get through tomorrow. I feel this need pressing physically on me from all sides. In my head someone is urgently whispering, “Don’t delay! Get it done! Get it done!”

One foot in front of the other.

God please carry me through.

July 24, 2003 11:15 PM

// March 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

As bad as I feel, Thursday night is always shopping night. Dave insisted that this Thursday is no exception. I suppose it could have been put off if it weren’t for the memorial service we’re having here in two days.

Dave had to practically drag me out of the house, though. I think he’s afraid I’ll grow roots to my bed and never move again if he doesn’t push me. Maybe I would. Walking through Costco I felt like I was slogging through molasses. “One foot in front of the other” I kept telling myself. But God can use the most unlikely of circumstances for His good will.

This week Costco is hosting a special booth in the main aisle displaying and selling candles. Standing at the display was a very tall man ready and waiting with a smile to package up your order. As much as I like them it’s hard for me to find candles that are free of the fragrances that give me migraines, so I stopped to ask the salesman if the candles contained any artificial ingredients. He told me no and as I perused the display we chatted for several minutes about the various natural ingredients the company uses to create their product. Then for some reason this man I’d never met before asked me, “Are you alright? You seem really down about something.”
I looked up into his eyes and said, “My son died yesterday.”
His entire face changed, but it wasn’t a look of pity that overcame him. More a look of realization. “If you don’t mind my asking, how old was your son?”
“He was thirty-one. He died of complications of diabetes” I added before he could ask.
“I have a thirty-two year old son that I haven’t talked to in more than three years. He’s called me three times in the last year and each time I refuse to talk to him. We had a big blow-up about something bad that he did and I just don’t want to have anything to do with him.”
I chose two candles to purchase, and as he handed me the bag he said, “Next time he calls, I’m going to talk to him.”
I hope so. Seems such a sorrow to lose a son that’s still alive.

I managed to finish the shopping but every time I saw a flat of canned goods, a comfy looking sofa, or a pallet of paper I had to fight the urge to sit on it to rest my weary soul.

Tonight I feel so numb. My head seems to be buzzing with the numbness.

Current~ March 2, 2010

// March 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Tonight my daughter-in-law, Marisa, asked me what scriptures I found most comforting as I was muddling throught the early days after Steve died. Now, I learn more by my gut than by my brain, so I tend to FEEL what I learn more than remember.(That’s why I can never try out for Jeopardy!) I could only tell her that there were two promises that got me through~God will never give me more than I can bear (1 Cor 10:13 ~No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it) and He will turn my sorrow into joy (among others~ Jer 31:13 I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow) (OK~ I cheated. My granddaughter, Kyle, gave me the Jerimiah and I Googled the other scripture!)

In my situation, the “temptation” that could have seized me might have been losing faith (God couldn’t heal my son) or being angry with God (why didn’t God heal my son?).
On a map of life these are endless traffic circles that get more and more congested as time goes by. Eventually you run out of gas and have gotten nowhere. Sometimes faith is hard but in the big picture, it’s so much easier than any other option. Which leads me to the other other pin that held me together…

The other thing that helped me more than anything was knowing that I did not have to be strong. In my weakness Christ would be my strength. He is the only strength I needed then or will ever need. God’s promises are sure. I still miss my son, but I have newfound joy in the knowlege that I will see him again in a bright, healthy (spirit) body!

Back to the tough stuff tomorrow…but it gets better. I promise!