Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jen Provides Adult Supervision

Dear John,
Thanks for listening to me last night. It was a strange night in a lot of ways. I got back to sleep around 3:30, but the dog woke me up at 4:00 to go out again. I finally got to sleep again around 5:00. When the alarm went off at 7, I turned it off and went back to sleep. The next thing I knew it was 11 in the morning. Usually I can't sleep after dawn, but I had no such problem this morning. And I left the texts alone today. I finished the second sock of a pair and watched television. I'm really hoping to sleep like a normal person tonight.
I want you to know that Jen is looking after me in your absence. The temperature is going down to 40 tonight. You know what that means to me - nothing at all! But Jen closed all the windows for the night, like you used to. Left to my own devices, I'd probably leave them all open a crack all year round. I do need adult supervision.
So I'm off to bed. Jethro got so disgusted with me at 4:15 this morning that he got up, with great complaining noises, and went to sleep the rest of the night on the living room couch. I must have been keeping him awake. He came back when the alarm went off, and slept the rest of the morning with me. Very much with me. Paws in my face and rear in my chest. Which may be one reason I don't close the windows to sleep!
I love you so much. Pray for me, and sleep well!

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

Dear John,
It's 2 AM, and I'm awake, and it's the dog's fault. We got to bed at 11:00. Then he woke me up at 12:30 to go out., and I couldn't get back to sleep. I was having akathesia - you know, that nasty restless-leg-all-over-your-body feeling that we fibromites are prone to in the wee hours of the morning. So I took Benadryl, got a piece of raisin bread, and decided I might as well sit up until it got better, since lying down was just making it worse. So I was sitting here playing solitaire on the Kindle, with the dog asleep beside me, upside down with his legs all up in the air. Then I heard a bird singing outside.
 I don't know what kind of bird it was, but it was singing a beautiful, clear, high-pitched song at 2 in the morning. Listening to that bird was wonderful. I have no idea why, but listening to it made me glad to be alive for the first time in many months. Maybe it reminds me of something; there seems to be something back there in my memory, just out of conscious reach. Gulls in the hour before sunrise at Mackinac? Birds when I was a child? I don't know, but there is joy and an irrepressible optimism in that bird's song. It has an exuberance to it - the kind you feel when you're young and your whole life is ahead of you, and you are certain that the future holds wonderful things.
The bird made me feel, just for a little while, that my future held good things. It had a bubbly joy that was contagious. I feel lighter than I have in a long time, and hopeful. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel - and maybe it isn't an oncoming train. You know how sorry I've been to be alive. It's not ingratitude; I'm grateful for so much: the beauty of sunrise, the leaves turning, the birds at the feeders, the people who love me, that turquoise is finally back in fashion. The only thing I haven't been grateful for is life. But while I listened to the bird, I felt a joy in living that I haven't felt in a long time.
That's all. I just had to tell you that. The Benadryl is helping the akathesia, and I will try to go back to sleep now. And I may go to sleep with a smile on my face.
Love you so much,
PS - My mind just turned up Blackbird: Blackbird singing in the dead of night / take your broken wings and learn to fly. / All you life you were only waiting for this moment to arise. (I don't care what Manson tried to do with it; there's some wonderful stuff on the White Album.) Good night, John. Sleep well.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This is Why God Made Texting

Dear John,
Jethro and I had a good, quiet day, doing laundry and some light housework. The pork tasted great - I put it in with a little water, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
The big task of the day has left me a bit raw emotionally. I worked almost all day on transcribing our texting off my phone - today I did last December, January, and February. They are good to read, but very emotional, and they get harder and harder to read as I get closer to the end. I've been working on it for months, but after a bit I have to put it down for a while. That's why it's taken me so long, and I'm still not done. As I type them, I re-live those days. And they are getting harder and harder to re-live. But I'm so afraid something will happen to the phone and I'll lose them, so I'm pushing myself to get finished. I'd so hate to lose your last words to me. I kept the last pages of paper you used to write notes in the hospital, too. It's hard for me to read them, and to see your writing and thought processes change. I can't look at them often, but I wouldn't be without them.
So tonight I thank you for texting me, and for putting so much love and tenderness into what you said. The way we feel about each other shows. And I'm sorry for the times I got irritable and crabby. I know I was so tired, and under a lot of stress. But I shouldn't have been crabby with you. Thank you for understanding and forgiving me. The wonderful thing is that we've always been crazy about each other; each of us knew how much the other loved us.
Loved, and still love. I'll go to sleep tonight with your words in my ears, and my heart feeling like somebody took sandpaper to it. But that's okay - anything it takes to save our words to each other! Thank you for all your sweet, wonderful words!
Love you so very much,

Friday, September 28, 2012

God Bless Crock Pots

Dear John,
I'm feeling much better tonight. I don't know why, but neither do I know why I felt bad yesterday. I just take the days as they come.
I went by Panera on the way to work this morning, and finally gave Matt's wedding present to him. He and Candace are expecting again. He's happy to be back in Goshen, and Goshen is happy to have him back. He still misses you. Since he was in Mishawaka until recently, he had to get used to the Goshen Panera without you. And I'm still getting used to that, too. I'm glad he's back.
The girls are gone for the weekend, so Jethro and I are on our own. He will probably sleep through most of it. Last night I had one of those nights that I wake up every hour, so the poor dog didn't get much sleep either. I hope I let both of us sleep tonight. Tomorrow I want to tackle the rest of the bedroom wallpaper border, and Sunday after church I'm going over to Tammy's house for some girl time. Somewhere in there I hope to mow the back yard. And I have some boneless pork ribs that were on sale, and will go in the crock pot tomorrow.
That crock pot has been one of the best wedding gifts we got, hasn't it? It's wonderful. We used it when we were having people over for Sunday lunch: how to feed people well and not miss church doing it. And it was good to come home from work and have dinner ready. I started out with recipes, but now I put whatever I have in it, season it with whatever smells good today, and it always comes out tasting wonderful. I love the thing.
And I love you - have I told you that within the last few minutes? You may have suspected something of the sort. Love you, adore you, worship the ground you walk on!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Janis Said . . .

Dear John,
I'm feeling down and sad today. I'm not sure why. I had to go to Meijer, so I had lunch at Panera - that may be it, but going there usually makes me feel better. Maybe it's because Kirby has chemotherapy tomorrow, and I always get all wistful and sentimental about spending the day in the Infusion Room. Maybe it was the love songs playing overhead in Meijer. Who knows? I just know I have a Kleenex ready by the bed tonight.
I was washing my face a few minutes ago, with Janis running through my head. I stopped dead at the line, "I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday." I would, you know. But I don't have to trade them. When I finally have no more tomorrows, I'll have all of eternity with no more separation. (and no more housework!) I remember Ian McKellan on Acting Shakespeare, and can see him saying, "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow."
I could look happily at all those tomorrows and say, "No, thanks" to them all. But I'm not given that choice. And it's okay - most days I'm okay with that. I've just been down and sad today. Which is where I started. So I'll stop now, and say good-night. I do love you so much more than life, you know. I'll gladly donate those tomorrows to somebody that wants them.
Hope to see you soon,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reunion - With No Housework

Dear John,
I had a busy day at work, and a long one. So the errands I was going to run after work will get done tomorrow or Friday. Oh, wait - you could do them all on your way home from work tonight! What do you think?
We had a good system worked out that saved us a lot of money on gas. With Panera where it is - and 40 minutes away from here - it worked so well for you to pick up groceries on your way home from work. Since Meijer and Walmart are open 24 hours, it was easy. Besides saving on gas money, you always said that it gave you some time to wind down after work. The big grocery trips we made together on a day off. But the little things you would get on your way home from Panera. It was the most normal thing in the world to you - I remember you saying it was the only logical way to do it. But I still think very few men would do that after a long day on their feet at work. And I so appreciate it.
You've always been so kind and thoughtful! I realize I owe a lot to your father for punishing you that day when you were small and he told you to take out the trash. You told him that was women's work - I can't in my wildest dreams imagine you ever saying that - and evidently, by the time he was finished with you, you couldn't imagine it, either. He brought you up to respect and be kind to everybody, and that's one of the things I've always loved about you.
Remember those two pre-marital counseling sessions we had? They seemed to be a colossal wate of time except for one question he asked us: Who will be responsible for doing what? I was brought up in the Deep South in the 1950s, so of course I refused to consider letting you do anything at all around the house. We were both going to work full-time, and when we got home you'd relax in front of the television while I did all the work. You were brought up by your father, so of course you said we'd split the housework in half. I think Roger expected us to argue about it, but taking the oppsite positions. So we sat in his office and hashed it out, and I had to agree to let you help me with the housework.
It was our first, but by no means last, backwards argument. It seems like that's what we always did. We'd go shopping for something for me, and we'd argue in the stores - you saying I needed it, and me saying I didn't and it cost too much. It reminds me of the O'Henry story, "The Gift of the Magi."  We each wanted to make the other one happy.
So, if you wanted to make me happy, why didn't you take me with you when you left? Huh? I guess the answer to that question goes back to the same pre-marital counseling session, when Roger asked us what we expected of each other. You said the only thing you expected of me was to be obedient to God, and I said the same. I think you're right - he thought we were being flippant. But we were both dead serious. And you said one of the most wonderful things I've ever heard: You told him that I belonged to God, not to you.
So that must be the reason you didn't take me with you. I can't imagine why He wants me to be alive, but evidence indicates that He does. So here I am, waiting to find out which train I have a ticket for. And you just had to take an early train, didn't you? But this time apart will be very short in the span of eternity, and the separation is more a matter of appearance than reality. We remain married and in love with each other - temporary separation doesn't change that. And just think - when we're together again, there will be no housework!
Waiting for the reunion,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ducky Didn't Die

Dear John,
I'm baaack! You thought you were going to get by without an evening letter, didn't you? I can't go to sleep without talking to you first. That's why, when you were out of town or in the hospital, we always talked at bedtime. So here I am!
The new NCIS season started tonight - Ducky didn't die, which is a great relief to all of us out here. Nobody died except the bad guy. Even Bert came through alright. The episode left all kinds of bread crumbs to be picked up later, so it should be a good year. Now the only thing to wait for is the return of Burn Notice in November. I can't imagine how they're all going to get back from Panama.
The other thing of note is that another cath lab job was posted this afternoon. So I'll find out if I need to re-submit my application, or if I'm in the pot already.
I finally got through to Verizon today - their phones have been overwhelmed since the new I-phone came out. I'd gotten a bill dated in August for your phone; I had the phone turned off, the account closed, and a new account opened in my name on April 27th, the day I got the death certificates. Those minutes from August were taken off, leaving me with a $5-something bill for text minutes on my phone in March, that hadn't been billed for some unknown reason. So calling saved me $15. This is the second bill we've gotten on your phone after it was turned off - I hope it's the end of that.
Of course, I still have some medical bills pending settlement. Most are delayed because of the date-of-death issue, one because RiverCrest still hasn't turned in the paperwork to show that you needed the ventilator when you had your leg veins looked at. I really do expect the medical bills to take over a year to get straightened out. And that's fine. There are so many billing entities involved that I'm surprised it's going as well as it is.
We just can't do things the easy way, can we? I mean, we never did, so why start now? Our medical adventures always led to financial ones. We just missed the law that would have closed the loophole, or just missed qualifying for something that would have helped - we have to be complicated. And we've always lived outside the box, sometimes not even in the same area code as the box. I enjoyed being with you, no matter where the box was!
Love you so very much,

I Love the Smell of Rawhide in the Morning

Dear John,
I know - it's morning. I'm not supposed to be here. But I have a couple of things to tell you.
First, get this: The dog was playing with his chew chip - the last bit of the last knot remaining from a rawhide bone - throwing it up in the air and then chasing it. Well, he threw it and it landed on my desk. Poor thing, he was prancing and whimpering for me to come and get it down for him. I wish you could have seen it. He's a little leery now about throwing it, so he's lying on the rug devouring the thing. Entertaining creature!
Second, I just got a call from the law firm in Indy that Allstate has hired to represent me in the lawsuit about last year's car accident. (diagram that sentence!) The other folks know that I have no memory of the accident, but they want to take a deposition anyway. My attorney will be there, probably in Goshen, probably in October or November. (The Law doesn't move quickly.)
This should be interesting. The only reason for taking a deposition, when they know I don't remember the accident, is an attempt to trap me into saying something that can later be used against me. But like Lord Peter Wimsey, I am well-practiced at talking and am generally very careful what I say even when it looks like I'm rambling. And there isn't much to say, anyway. I remember driving through downtown Topeka, then I remember Audora coming into the hospital room. That's it. And, important as those two things are, neither of them will be of much interest from a legal perspective. During the phone call, I did get the chance to fill them in on the history of that intersection, which is an important part of all this.
So, yes, this should be interesting. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, please keep praying for me! Life is a little more interesting than I'd like for it to be, but that isn't unusual for us, either, is it?
Have a wonderful day! Love you so much,
PS - Hug the Fathers for me. (Fr. Anthony, Fr. George, and Fr. Peter)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Dinner Date

Dear John,
I enjoyed our dinner date tonight! Since The Chief is closed for the season, I went to Wendy's - off the dollar menu, I got a junior cheeseburger and a frosty for $2.12. What made the meal was the ambience of the cemetery; probably not something I should tell the Wendy's manager! It was a much nicer day to stay for a while - 63 with clear skies. I had a hard time getting my brain to be quiet when I first got there. And there were near-constant trains passing all the time I was there, which didn't help. When I can be still and quiet there, I feel love and comfort. It is a good place to be. And I kept my promise to Jen - I didn't dig at all.
I had a busy and somewhat odd day at work. Among other things, I defrosted the freezer downstairs near my office. I brought a turkey pie to eat for lunch - one of the 58-cent Banquet ones - and couldn't get the freezer door open for all the ice. So I got pans and towels, defrosted it, and cleaned the fridge. It's been years since I've done that. It seems llike we've always had no-frost freezers. But I remember well helping Mama do it when I was a child. It's one of those handy skills to have.
That's all the news here. I'm feeling good after resting up over the weekend. I hope to get some work done around the house this week. I still have that list we were going to work on last summer, then life got in the way. These last two years have not gone as planned. It was right about two years ago that I got mono, then everything went off the rails. None of that was unusual for us, though, was it? And if I had to be off the rails, I'm glad it was with you. That's why we didn't mind the curves that life threw us - what mattered was being together, not what was going on. I loved our life together because we were together. We're not together now - at least, not in the same way - so nothing matters. It's not that I'm miserable all the time, it's just that nothing matters. I'm doing a bad job of explaining, I know. But I think that's the best I can do now. I'll keep working on it and try again later.
I love you. Thanks for letting me come and eat dinner with you. May we share together in the Heavenly Banquet, very soon! Love you so much,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Helped Turn Father's Hair White

Dear John,
I didn't get the job. Both of the cath lab jobs were off the website job list this morning. So youth trumped experience - not surprising. I would have loved it, but it would have been physically demanding with a lot of call time. And Joe definitely didn't want me to get it - he was worried about a fibromite wearing a 25-pound lead apron. (I can't call a doctor "Doctor" when I've known him this long, including during his fellowship. I'll always think of him as Joe.) Most of the jobs posted now are for the Childbirth Unit, something I've always avoided like the plague. There are some casual jobs that might be interesting ("Casual" seems to be their equivalent of prn), one in the GI lab that also involves holter monitoring (been there, done that) and one in outpatient infusion. I'll hit the grapevine and see what I can find out.
Church was good this morning. I was the only soprano for a while, and I'm not even a real soprano, but Lacey arrived and rescued me. I was more of a tenor today, and will be until we have a good frost and the mold count goes down. (By the way, we're under a frost advisory tonight, headed for a low of 35.) It's amazing how much more fun the choir is when I'm not the director. Bless Brian, he's doing such a good job, much better than I did. He's better with people than I am. My vision took us from Anglican to Byzantine chant; his vision will take us wonderful places.
I was looking at Father during the Liturgy, and realized his beard is almost completely white now. It was darker when he first came here. I suppose we're all turning his hair white - an understandable reaction to us, especially during the last two years. I do hope he knows how much he's loved here. Like I told Bishop Mark at Antiochian Village, Father is perfect for us and we're thankful for him.
That's all the news here. Tomorrow I'll go the the Post Office and the bank on the way to work, and on the way home I need to get yogurt. I'm out, which is a terrible thing. If I don't have too long a day at work, I'll come by for a visit tomorrow afternoon. But I can't bring ice cream until The Chief opens in the spring.
Oh, the earthquake last night was me getting up in the middle of the night to close the house and turn on the heat. It was 41 outside and 61 inside. I bet you thought I'd leave the house open all winter without you here to make me close it, didn't you?
Your strange wife who loves you,

PS - I don't mean that I'm your strange wife as opposed to your normal one. Thank goodness you didn't want a normal wife! And bigamy must require vast financial resources. Love you so much!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Being Anal With the Back of My Head

Dear John,
Jethro and I had a lovely, quiet first full day of fall. Well, he'd say it wasn't all so quiet. We had some scattered thunderstorms and he was a mess - trembling all over, in my lap, both of my arms around him. He's usually not so bothered by thunder in daylight hours. I don't know what his problem was today. But he's fine now, and sound asleep on his usual spot on the bed. I'm in my usual spot with the laptop. The windows are open just a few inches, the dishwasher is on, laundry is done - a nice, domestic day.
Watching football is odd now - I have no problem watching pro ball, but college is a bit difficult. Maybe it's because you liked college football better. I just know that when I watch college football I'm very aware that you're not here watching it with me. It makes no sense, does it? Maybe it's because it was college ball we were watching at UK before we were married. And maybe my understanding isn't really necessary.
It's me - I've always wanted the back of my head to be neat and well-organized, with everything in its proper place. You put up with that so graciously! Actually, you put up with me so graciously. Thank you for loving me just as I am, not trying to make me fit into any mold, giving me the freedom to grow and change - thank you for being you. I really do adore you, you know.
Love you, adore you. Rest well tonight!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Dear John,
It's a lovely night. I'm here alone, the house is quiet, and it's raining. Of course I have the windows open - it's me, and it's above freezing outside. The peace of this night is overwhelming. I'm in the living room with my laptop and the dog is asleep at my feet. I could sit here and listen to the rain forever.
I've been crawling around in the back of my head and I'm finding some changes. It seems to center around the fact that the worst thing that can ever happen to me has happened. For the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of anything. I guess that, when you've faced your deepest fear, there is no fear left. I'm completely at peace with knowing that the Lord will do with me whatever He wants to. I don't care if I like it or not - I don't particularly like any of this, so it doesn't matter. My one preference was to never live without you - compared to that, I have no other desires.
I don't mean for this to sound defeatist or depressed, because it isn't. It feels like a wonderful freedom. I don't have to choose or care or worry. I don't fret about anything. For a woman my age to get a nursing job would take an act of God, so I will do what I can and leave the rest to Him. I have a doctor that would prefer that I don't work at all because of the fibro. If I end up on disability, selling the house, and moving into federally-assisted housing, that's fine too. I wouldn't have to worry about the yard or maintenance, and they would let me keep the dog, so that's fine with me.
I'm still working hard, and doing what I can to get a job that pays enough to live on. I'm spending only what is absolutely necessary ($20 for groceries this week), and acting like a grown-up and all. But I have no fear, worry, or anxiety about anything. You know how we've always said that, politically speaking, there is nothing more dangerous than a group of people with nothing to lose? Well, I have already lost the one thing on earth that mattered to me. And I'm finding that there is tremendous freedom in that. Maybe I've learned something about the limits of what I can actually control. I'm not sure - I will need to let more time pass, and spend more time in the back of my head. Maybe this makes more sense to you than it does to me. That's not right, it actually makes lots of sense to me - I just can't seem to put it into words. But that's never stopped you from understanding me before, so you probably do now, too.
Anyway, thanks for listening. I just want you to know that I'm not worried or afraid. I have no clue what's going to happen, and I'm completely at peace with that. And the rain sounds lovely, and the breeze is cool and smells like rain. And I love you so very much, more than I can ever say. But you understand that, too. Sleep good.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flannel Sheets Tonight

Dear John,
It's another sign of fall - today I washed and put away the cotton sheets and summer blanket, and put the winter blanket and flannel sheets on the bed. If it's going to go below 40 at night, it's time. I remember when we bought the flannel sheets - we got them for $30 for the set, and this will be their 4th year. This deal keeps getting better and better.
I'll miss you between them tonight. Every year when we first put them on, we'd lie awake for a long time talking about how good they felt. The dog doesn't seem to care much. I'll miss having you to snuggle with, and to talk to about how good it feels to snuggle between the flannel sheets.
Another sign of fall - the mold count is starting to bother my asthma. I was up a couple of hours in the middle of last night, coughing and wheezing. So tonight I got out my inhaler - I'll use it until the first frost. I'm thankful that I only need it for a few weeks a year.
Well, I'm off to wash my face and then try out the flannel sheets. Oh, how I wish you were going to be in bed with me tonight!
Love you more than life,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'll Take a Week Off Tomorrow, Please

Dear John,
It was an odd sort of day. I went to work, but not until mid-afternoon. Kathy said she wouldn't have anything for me to do until then. And then I only worked a couple of hours.
I meant to be there around 1:00. But after lunch I fell asleep, so that made me about half an hour late. Then I was walking down to get the car, and ran into Richard. I hadn't seen him since last fall, so we caught each other up on things, and it was good to talk. I went to the bank and was there a while, and talked to Bob a bit when I picked up the car. All in all, it was a lovely day that didn't go at all as I had planned. Isn't that the way it's always been for us?
The car is fine - just in for a regular oil change - but it does need two new tires for the front. This car isn't a cheap date; tires for it run about $100 a piece. But Bob will shop around for a good price, since it's not urgent. Bless him, it is so wonderful to have somebody that I completely trust to look after the car. I know he'll keep it as safe as he can, as inexpensively as he can. He's one of the really good things about living here.
I'm off tomorrow - maybe I'll get the rest of the border down in our bedroom. I really want to get that room painted and primed before it's too cold to have the windows open. (I know - I can hear you saying that it never gets too cold for ME to have them open.) I really should get to a grocery store, too - I'm running low on milk. I'd love to make a pot of soup. This is starting to sound like a week off, isn't it? And I have one-and-a-half socks to knit.
So I'd better get to bed sometime soon. Sleep well tonight - I'll sleep with my hand in your shoulder-print in the mattress. Love you with all my heart,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Your Official Declaration of Fall

Dear John,
I did sleep in some this morning - the dog and I slept much better last night. Today I got to be domestic all day. I cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the stove and the sink, cleaned the bathrooms, dusted, and changed the curtains/pillows/etc. for fall. Then I relaxed a bit in front of a Burn Notice marathon and kintted half of a sock.
So here is your announcement: It is officially fall. The temperature tonight is going down to 38, the trees are starting to turn, and - most important - I set out on the table today that big wooden candy corn that I got for you a few years ago when Irene and I went shopping in Columbus. It's the only candy corn that I've ever liked, and was such a good joke between the two of us.
We had so many jokes, after knowing each other for 37 years. I keep thinking of things to say - half of the joke - and stop myself, since there's nobody here anymore that knows the other half. Sometimes it makes me sad, and sometime it makes me laugh. It makes me sad on the days that I'm feeling like you're gone, and I laugh on the days when I'm aware just how close you are. I knew that when I was a child - I read Hebrews, and decided that all the people who are in Christ are together. It wasn't sophisticated theology, but more of a gut awareness. The cloud of witnesses has always been very real to me.
So today I put out your wooden candy corn, and knew it made you smile. I know you love me and care about me, that you pray for me and watch over me, and that you're waiting for me. I love you with all my heart, and I have no treasure here on earth.
I'm coming,

Monday, September 17, 2012

All of This Was Caused by Deb & Terry's Wedding

Dear John,
The snack last night helped my tummy some, but it was a very strange night. I went to sleep at 10:30, and the dog woke me up at 11:30 wanting to go out. While he was outside I thought I'd check Facebook. I'm glad I did - on Deb Cooney's post for their anniversary, I ran into Christy. I was so glad to see her there! We got to chatting, and she hadn't heard about your death. I spent nearly an our trying to tell her what had happened, but no matter how much I condensed it my Facebook page kept crashing. (See, you really are information overload. This is why I carried copies of your medical history in my purse.) She sent me her email address, and tonight I emailed her the as-short-as-I-can-make-it account of the last year or so. The email was massive, and I didn't even mention my accident. The last couple of years have been ridiculous. It was lovely to be writing to another nurse - I could use all the big words and little abbreviations.
She was so sorry to hear about it. I do hope that you finally realize how much people loved you. I tried so hard to get that across to you. At least you finally understood how much I love you, and that was the most important thing. To me, anyway. I remember talking to Father when we were making the funeral plans. When it came to planning the meal, I told him to triple his original estimate of the number of people we'd be feeding. I also had the funeral home triple the visitation hours they'd planned. And we were right on the nose with food, and the viewing ran over quite a bit. I really do hope you finally get it - people love you. You're lovable, much more than I am. And with all the vistors you get now at the cemetery, I expect you finally understand.
But back to the subject: I told Chisty about my blogs, that she could find all the information as it happened on them. I pulled up There's a Cow On The Porch  and started reading it, and couldn't stop. I read the whole thing - not a good thing to do at 1 am - and didn't get back to sleep until after 4 and some Benadryl. It was amazing to read our at-the-time perception of things. And there were incidents that I'd forgotten about. I'm glad I did it. But I was awake until after 4 and woke up before 7. So I slept 1 hour, was up 4 1/2, then slept 3 hours.
It's no wonder I'm crabby today. (This is your official warning: I am impatient and irritable.) But I'm off work tomorrow, so I can sleep in. And I can't go anywhere because the car is in for an oil change. I will try to behave better tonight. But I still think last night was worth it, so there. Please pray for me, and for Christy too.
Love you so much,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Go, Steelers!

Dear John,
I got to watch the Steelers play the Jets this afternoon, and Pittsburgh won this one 27-10. The Jets got a touchdown out of the opening drive, and fizzled out after that. The Steelers looked much more like themselves today. They made some impressive 3rd-down conversions. And the Colts won, too. I'd forgotten that Andrew Luck is their new quarterback. He looked good today. They were both good games.
I'm not feeling so good tonight - my tummy is upset. Maybe it's just empty; I think I'd better have my bedtime snack.
I love you so much. Please keep praying for me, and sleep good.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Football, Divine Revelation, and the Perfect Man

Dear John,
It's a cool, lovely Saturday evening. USA is showing an NCIS "Staying Alive" marathon. The first episode was "SWAK" - one of my favorites. You don't get to watch Gibbs shoot up computers like "End Game," but it's good.
I intended to go to church tonight, but fell asleep for two solid hours. I must have needed the rest. I also planned to watch UK and Western on TV tonight, but couldn't stick with it. The game is at Commonwealth. I went to three years of games there, and went to all of them with you. Seeing the place hurt too much. I know - I can hear you saying that watching UK play football can be painful under any circumstances, and you're right. We're definitely a basketball school. Going to games was fun because I was there with you.
I remember our first game - our first date, but we didn't know at the time that it was a date. I'd just said I wanted to go to the game but didn't have anybody to go with; you were in the same boat, so you suggested we go together. Walking to the stadium, halfway across the soccer field, the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You're going to marry him." I said, "Say what?" He said, "You heard me." I looked over at you, and thought, "Yes. I can do that." And it was all settled as far as I was concerned. You figured it out a year or so later. But it was necessary for me to know it then, so that when an old boyfriend wanted to get back together I said no. Otherwise I would have gone back with him. As much alike as the two of you are, I'm so thankful that I ended up with you. He's definitely John 1.0.
And you were so kind at the game. I remember the first play - you started explaining to me about downs. When I said that they ran a really great screen play, I waited to see if you would be upset that I knew football. (After all, I grew up in SEC country.) You were glad, because we could really watch the game together, both of us understanding what was happening. I always did learn more about football from you - it was you that explained the West Coast Offense to me. But that moment was when I understood that you wanted an equal, not a subordinate, and that you didn't have a male ego that I'd have to tiptoe around.
Bless you, you're wonderful! You really are the world's only perfect man. And as I always told you, that doesn't mean you don't have faults. If you didn't have faults you wouldn't be perfect, just annoying. You're not annoying. You're wonderful. I adore you. I miss you. No football is the same without you, but I'm definitely not ready to watch UK yet. I have to get a grip and work on this, because basketball season isn't that far away. UK football I can stand to miss, but not basketball.
So please pray for me - that I'll be able to enjoy the things I used to enjoy with you - that those things will someday make me happy and not sad. I know you don't want me to be sad. And I know I'm being normal. As you're thinking right now - this is hard because I'm not used to being normal.
You adoring, abnormal wife,

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Blue-and-White Pajamas

Dear John,
It's 11 pm, and the house is quiet. Jen and Elyssa are gone until Sunday afternoon. All I hear is the clock ticking, some cars on Lake Street, and Jethro breathing quietly while he sleeps beside me. It seems strange to be here by myself. I know it's good for me - I enjoy part of it and hate part of it. I'm probably being normal again.
The temperature is going down to 42 tonight. The house is still open, and I'm wearing my blue-and-white pajamas. Remember when we bought them that week we were in Green Bay? I saw them and loved them. And they came in handy when I came down with H1N1 flu while we were there. But we'd already found that wonderful little pizza place that delivered to the hotel, and it was the weekend so there was plenty of football to watch. These pajamas were perfect, and I lived in them for a couple of days.
We made that trip to see Door County, and found that it was closed for the winter. But we enjoyed Green Bay so much that the trip was well worth it. And I remember that little shop we found on the way home - a combination cheese-and-antiques shop. We got some wonderful cheese there, and I found the jadite salt-&-pepper shakers that are in the kitchen. And wasn't that the trip where we ate at Stir Crazy in Chicago?
The whole trip was made on the fly - Matt had scheduled you off for some training that got cancelled, so you took the days as vacation time and off we went. We seemed to do that sort of thing. When we lived in South Bend you had two days off for meetings that were cancelled, so we took off to Saint Louis to see the Cubs play the Cardinals.
At the bottom of it all was the fact that we just enjoyed being together - what we were doing was not all that important. And we could find interesting things about anywhere - odd little shops, small local restaurants, Stonehenge re-created in old cars - things that were interesting. But it was really about just being together. I think that's why I can't even think about traveling right now. The point of traveling was spending time with you, so now it has no point. It would just make me miss you even more.
I'd better go to sleep before I turn into a pumpkin. Jethro is already down for the night, and the cars have stopped going by. I love you, I miss you, so much.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Five Months

Dear John,
It's been five months today - sometimes it seems like yesterday, and sometimes like it was a hundred years ago. I'm still having this problem with time. Days come and go, but no time seems to pass or to have any meaning for me. I'm stuck in some kind of eternal present, with a distant past but no future.
I subbed at BNI this morning, met with Michael, then had errands to run. I really wanted to go to Panera today - I bought a loaf of raisin bread to make it feel a little less pathological - and enjoyed the visit and the hugs, as I alway do. But I have wonderful news for you! Matt has been transferred back and is general manager there again, to the great delight of staff and customers alike. I was thrilled to hear it, and knew you'd be glad. I was standing there this morning thinking how much I miss seeing Matt there when I go in. I'll try to stop by in the next couple of days - I may even get his wedding present to him. I remember that we were going to visit my family in the Carolinas and then go to his wedding, when my car accident last summer ended those plans.
I remember how happy we were to see the end of 2011. We both said that 2012 couldn't possibly be worse. We we wrong - it has happened before. I will now make a concentrated effort to have no thoughts whatever about 2013.
Well, it's almost 9 and I haven't had dinner yet. I've spent the last three hours getting financials caught up, checkbook and savings account balanced, and three new Juice Plus customers entered. It's been a good day - going to Panera was the highlight for me. And tonight I'll have raisin toast at bedtime, in honor of you. Shall I toast you with my toast?
Love you, love you, love you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Way You Looked at Me

Dear John,
Tonight there's not much to say and not much energy to say it with, anyway. I worked 7 hours today, mostly doing data entry, during which I was eating ice cream to stay awake. I have an early morning tomorrow - subbing for Kathy at BNi, so up at 5:30 - so I'll be off to bed very soon.
I've been thinking about the way you always looked at me. I love it - you could look at me and I felt hugged. You loved me and weren't afraid to show it. I loved to see you coming, to see the love on your face getting closer and closer.
And I miss that look now when I go to Panera. It isn't so odd to come in the door and not see you - there were lots of times that you were in the back when I got there. But looking back and not seeing you when I leave is rough. I manage by just leaving - I don't let myself look back. I put away my tray and dishes, and go straight out the door. When I let myself look back, and you're not there, it makes me cry. So I march straight out the door and into the car - then I cry. Some teariness is involved either way, but I do prefer to get teary in private and not expose innocent bystanders.
Thank you for looking at me that way - thank you for loving me, and not being afraid to show it. Thank you for being you. Love you with all my heart,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apples, Friends, and Sitting in the Corner

Dear John,
It was one of those days that was wonderfully nothing like I'd planned. I intended to take today off, then got a text from Kathy about a product pick-up that needed to be done by early afternoon. So I headed to Goshen, to Jethro's great annoyance.
I decided to run some errands while I was out, and started to do those first. It seemed more sensible to go to work first, then run the errands, but that just didn't feel right. So I headed to the north side of town and did my shopping. On the way to Kathy's house I drove past Kercher's - following my usual rule of not going through town if there's a round-about way to get there using country roads - and their sign said they had Honeycrisp apples. They're not out in the stores yet, so I made a sharp gravelly right turn for the apples, pulled into the parking lot, and there was Teresa. So we had a long lovely talk, which made the whole day good. Oh, and your name did come up. Just a bit. Then I went on to Kathy's and worked a couple of hours, which included a good conversation with a client that came by, and got my hair cut on the way home.
And this is the big news: I'm writing to you from a new place - my own little reading/writing corner in my bedroom. I moved your bedside table to the basement (where it is now an end table for the couch), moved the green upholstered chair into the corner, got a stool to put the lamp on, and I have my little spot by the window. I love it. It gives me a place other than the living room, so Jen and Elyssa will have more freedom in there. And you know how much I've always loved corners! This corner even has a window. It's a very happy place for me.
That's all the news. I'm off to bed now - I'll have a long day at work tomorrow, and will try to take another half-day off on Thursday. Come visit me in my corner anytime!
Love you so, so much,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taxes and St. Augustine

Dear John,
The Bengals and Ravens are playing tonight. I'm not watching - I need to get up early tomorrow, and anyway, who on earth would I cheer for? The substitute officials, I suppose.
The flu shot has finished tormenting me. I woke up this morning with energy and feeling good. And it's been such a beautiful day - clear, deep blue sky, low 70s, trees just starting to turn. It smelled and felt like the first day of fall. And after the hot summer we've had, I'm more than ready for fall.

I went digging through the 2010 tax file tonight, and found that annuity that the IRS is saying we didn't pay taxes on. Among other things, I found the form saying that the taxes were witheld. I'm going to call Michael in the morning and let him look things over, and have him deal with the IRS. They'll respond much better to a CPA than to a new widow whose husband did the taxes.

You should be proud of me - I'm actually letting people that want to help me, help me. That hasn't come easily to me in the past. I was brought up to be so independent, and that's generally a good thing and a part of my upbringing that I'm very grateful for. But there are times when we all need help, and times when other people want to do things for us and should be allowed to help. And these last few months have been one of those times.

I always appreciated the fact that you didn't run to my rescue when I didn't want you to. You know, like the evening I told Adela Collins I didn't particularly care for St. Augustine, not knowing she had done her dissertation on him. No matter what the other students thought, I decidedly did not need rescuing! She and I had a wonderful time debating his place in Church History, and I was quite capable of holding my own. But every time I did need help, you were there to give it, like the trip to Greenville to move my parents into Sterling House, when I was just out of the hospital with gram-negative sepsis. I shouldn't have been out of bed, and you saved me so pleasantly and happily. To sum it up, you were always there when I needed you, but you respected me too much to fuss over me. Have I told you lately that I love you, adore you, and worship the ground you walk on?

I do, you know. Always have and always will. Love you with all my heart,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I've Been Waiting All Day for Sunday Night

Dear John,
It was a good Sunday morning. I finally re-joined the choir, and Lacey and I went to Taco Bell for lunch. And I added another board to Pinterest, called "Grammar Police."
The rest of the day has been about football. I'm sorry, but your Browns managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It must be another rebuilding year Remember that we have replacement officials again, so that's another wrinkle to everything. From what I've seen so far, they are mostly doing well.
The Steelers are playing tonight in Denver. And remember that Payton Manning is playing for Denver now. He hasn't played for almost 2 years and looks like he played last week. I haven't watched the Colts yet - I'm quite ticked with them and really don't want to. They were mean to one of Archie's boys!
If you were at work I'd be texting you play-by-play. I can't text you, but I can give you periodic updates here. So brace yourself for game commentary. There's no score yet; it's early in the 2nd quarter.

Steeler field goal with 10 minutes left in the first half. Manning just scrambled for a first down - I do want him to do well, but not to beat my Steelers. And today is Dick LeBeau's 75th birthday.

Steelers driving - down to the 4 with 49 seconds left - 3rd & goal - short pass up the middle to Heath Miller for the touchdown. Steelers up 10-7. Halftime's here -time for PJs, brushing teeth, and washing face. I'll be back in a bit. Love you!

I'm back. Get this. The Steelers received the ball to start the 2nd half, and with 6 minutes left in the quarter they kick a field goal to go up 13-7. Manning hasn't had the ball for 57 minutes. He throws one pass for a touchdown. Steelers down 13-14. Yikes. The Steelers kept the ball the rest of the quarter, and scored at the start of the 4th - touchdown, went for 2, incomplete, Steelers up 19-14.

With 9-something left, Denver scored and made the 2-point conversion, so Denver is up 22-19. It wasn't that simple, but you'll have to get the rest from SI or ESPN. If I go into it, this letter will never end. Suffice it to say that Tomlin appealed when he shouldn't have.

Denver drove and settled for a field goal. Steeler ball with 3 minutes left, Denver up 25-19. Oh, crud. With 2 minutes left, Rothleisberger threw an interception that was run straight in for a touchdown. They didn't make the 2-point conversion, so Denver leads 31-19. That's the game. As my mother once said in another connection: If I hadn't stayed up so late, I'd go to bed.

Well, it was a good game, and an exciting one. And it's good to see Manning looking like himself. He can beat anybody else he wants until the post-season.

I'm off to get some sleep - it's not quite midnight, so not as late as I'd expected. You get some sleep, too. Thanks for watching the game with me. Love you so much!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mowing, Dinosaur School, and Worrying People

Dear John,
It was a day made for mowing! It was mostly cloudy, with a good breeze and a temperature in the 60s. Jen's been doing most of the mowing, I think in deference to my advanced age. But I put my foot down and mowed today since she's getting over bronchitis. And, on such a cool day, I enjoyed mowing. It's rained so much lately that it was more like cutting hay. The grass was so high that I couldn't see one of Jethro's balls, and sliced it. So he's down to two.
While I was mowing, Jen was vaccuuming. So Jethro was completely beside himself, and now he's completely asleep. Jen's out with friends tonight, so Elyssa and I have had a good time together. Now she's in her room teaching school for her dinosarus, while NCIS has a caffeine marathon. And we're having another beautiful evening, but this time without the rain. I'm loving the cooler weather.
I think I worried people with my letter to you last night - I had emails this morning checking up on me. I'm really not depressed, even at my saddest. I am content and reasonably happy - those things can coexist very well with pain. I felt bad and missed you, and I also missed my mother - yesterday would have been her 91st birthday. She would have had so much fun with Elyssa!
While I was mowing, my mind came up with Daydream Believer  and Draggin' the Line, I have no idea why. While they were running in my head, I was thinking about how happy I was with you. Thinking about it made me happy today - probably because I felt better and it wasn't dark yet. It's getting dark now and I'm missing you more, but I'm still happy thinking about the years we had together. Thank you for every minute!
Missing you,

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Problem isn't Dreaming, it's Waking Up

Dear John,
It was a yucky sort of day. I woke up feeling exhausted. So I figured, since I was going to feel yucky anyway, I might as well get my flu shot. I have felt pretty awful all day. It's been raining most of the evening, so the fibro is part of the picure. But now it's dark and cool and quiet, the windows are open, and the sound of rain is lovely. I should sleep well tonight.
Most of the television stations pre-empted regular programming tonight to show "Stand Up to Cancer." Heather posted on Facebook that she likes the concept but couldn't watch it without crying. She listed the people she's lost to cancer, including you and your brother. I told her that I agreed completely. I just couldn't watch it. It's way too close right now. Maybe next year I'll be able to check it out. But not tonight. For anesthesia, I went to Netflix and watched Burn Notice. It didn't really help, but it did get my mind on something else for a while.
I dreamed last night that you hadn't really died. Nobody would tell me where you'd been and what had happened, but you were back and completely healthy. I was so happy and we were having such a good time together. And then I woke up. I don't know which is worse: waking up from nightmares or from happy dreams. Maybe the terrible thing is just waking up - to my current reality, to the rest of my life without you. That's as unpleasant as it can get, no matter what kind of dreams I had.
It seems that the only way around my problem is to wake up and find you here with me. I don't think you could manage that, and I wouldn't ask you to. I know you're where you should be. I just ask that you keep praying for me. And like I asked you a few days before your death, please, please ask God to let me come soon! Please pray that I won't have to stay here for very long.
Loving you so, so much,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

SOS re the IRS

Dear John,
It was an odd day. There are two threads of news here.
First-up this morning was my coming out here last night - most of the world now knows that I am a Democrat. The reaction has been heartening. I've found a few more closet Democrats, even in the family, which is a delight to my heart. Some of my Republican friends have been concerned about having offended me - a thing which is terribly difficult to do. Twenty years in critical care make you very hard to offend! Yes, I do care about politics. But I care much more about the people I love. And I really do think that we see the same problems - we just envision different paths to a solution. The parties have become so polarized that most of us are much closer politically to each other than our parties are. Facebook has been very entertaining today.
Second-up this morning was picking up mail at the post office. We got a letter from the IRS about our 2010 tax return, saying we didn't pay taxes on an investment we cashed in. I know how careful you always were about that, so I'm going through our 2010 things to find that particular one - if I can't, I'll contact Raymond James. I will probably run this through Michael - a CPA seems in order here. They're saying we owe them $7000 if we pay in full by October 4th, $10,000 if we pay after that. Interest and penalties and all.
I know you'd take one look at it, know exactly which one they are concerned about, and have the documentation to them in two minutes or less. I came to visit you today and brought the letter with me, but you didn't volunteer any assistance. Our division of labor worked very well for us. But there are times now when it has its disadvantages. I'm just glad you always kept very complete records.
And then I went grocery shopping, and Meijer was playing old love songs overhead. I miss you tonight. In lots of ways. I miss the man I love, I miss my tax preparer, I miss my best friend, I miss the person that love songs make me think about. I think I'll go to bed and put my hand back into the dip your shoulder left in the mattress.
Love you more than life,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On Conventions & On Not Spoiling Vast, Eternal Plans

Dear John,
I'm not down anymore - thanks for your prayers. The God Who takes care of widows and orphans will take care of me, since I'm both!
I'm not watching the Conventions this year. I'd planned to, but it's something else that I just don't want to do without you.
I remember the Democratic National Convention eight years ago. We were in Greenville. We had moved Daddy into his apartment, and spent a month getting my parents' house gone through, cleaned up, and everything ready for the estate sale. There was one night that you were tired and went to bed, while I stayed up to see the speech by this new kid from Illinois named Obama. I told you the next morning that I believed I had seen our first black president. If he lived long enough - there were death threats even then.
And four years ago I watched the whole Convention while you were at Antiochian Village for the St. Stephens Course. There's not enough cell reception there to talk on the phone, unless you sit on the bench by the pond and brave the ire of that big gander. But texts got through, so I sent you copious texting about the convention, great detail about this huge, historically-significant thing that was happening. Bill Clinton spoke, Ted Kennedy was there. And I watched a white woman cede her delegates to a black man - amazing to people as old as I am, especially those of us who grew up in the Deep South. I never thought I'd live to see anything like it.
I wish I still had the texts, but those phones passed away long ago. I was journaling through all of it so I have everything except your comments. And there weren't many of those - I remember that you were busy from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM. That wasn't long after you'd had myocarditis and you were running on Prednisone. You probably had no business being there at all. And after you came back was when you started working at Panera.
It all seems so long ago, doesn't it? I know you never felt the same after the myocarditis. Your survival was a miracle - with all the radiation scarring, you certainly weren't a transplant candidate. And most people either die of it, get a transplant, or die waiting for one. You survived, but it took it's toll. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. But it makes me happy to know you feel great now. There will be no more suffering, no more fatigue, respiratory infections, ankle edema, angina, surgeries, chemotherapy, anemia, or even hair loss. It must be the most amazing thing for you! Please do know that, as terribly as I miss you, I'm really so happy for you that all of this is over. The only thing I'd have different is that I wanted so bad to go with you. We've made all these years of our spiritual journey together, and it doesn't seem right to be separated for this last, most important, bit.
Not to belabor the obvious, but God does know best and I do realize that. My wishes have no particular relevance in the universe, and I'm glad of that. If they did, I would certainly have spoiled some vast, eternal plan by now!
Love you, miss you, delighted for you,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nobody Told Me Which Suit is Trumps

Dear John,
I had my job interview today, for a cath lab position. I have cath lab experience - nearly 20 years of cardiac critical care experience - but there are a bunch of applicants for the position and I don't know if experience can trump youth. This is the first interview I've ever had that didn't end in a job offer. Not that that's any indication of anything other than the change in the climate of nursing in general - it just feels strange because the process is so different from what I'm used to. You know - I'm old. And I have no idea which suit is trumps.
My head knows that the Lord will do what is best. Sometimes the rest of me doesn't quite match up with my head. I do have a job and some savings, so I'm not in a desperate situation yet. I really do know He will take care of me. I'm just a bit down tonight. It's the ugly, depressing reality of how hard it is to get a job once you're over 50. I have a lot to offer, but it's not in a young package anymore.
I remember the last time you went job-hunting, and ran into the same thing. Everybody assumed that you were too old to do the job. Then I found that "Hiring" sign at the Mishawaka Panera, and you put in an on-line application. And Matt and Matt liked you and took a chance on the "old guy." How glad was the company that you were there! That job turned out to be such a gift and a blessing, and it still is for me.
Well, the same God that gave us that job is still in charge here. I will be okay, whether it's through this job or something else. Please do pray for me tonight - for God's providence, my obedience, and that I won't stay down for too long. I could use some cheering up. If you have the time, it would really help to hear from you tonight. Call, text, or email - anything is fine with me! Or just come and put your arms around me, and tell me it will be alright.
Love you whole bunches,

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Sentimental Journey Through the Bookcases

Dear John,
I wasn't the only one wanting to cuddle last night - the dog slept for a couple of hours cuddled up next to me. After he went back to his usual spot (the foot of the mattress on your side of the bed), I slept the rest of the night with my hand in that dip your shoulder made in  the mattress. Your family missed you.
I spent most of the day working in the basement. I got my work area fixed and reorganized all of the bookcases. Or thought I did, until I was working on the island and found my stack of church history books. I'll get them organized on the empty shelf later this week.
I had quite a sentimental journey through the bookcases. There are the stuffed animals you gave me in college, and the little plaque we bought for our first apartment. And your chess set and books are still there - I haven't found a home for them yet. There has to be a chess student among our friends. I remember where all of our books came from. Some we gave to each other, some were from our seminary years, some from college. Our type of humor shows - Doonsberry, Calvin & Hobbs, Bloom County. We've always laughed at the same things, and often studied the same things. The golf and chess books were all yours, though, and the gardening and Lizzie Borden books were all mine. But we were always interested in each other's interests; neither one of us would have ever dreamed of telling the other that we didn't want to hear about something. If chess wasn't interesting to me, your interest in it was.
What can I say? I've adored you since the first day I met you. I still love you, adore you, and worship the ground you walk on,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hug Me Tight Tonight

Dear John,
I had big, important things to discuss with you tonight. But it's late and I'm tired, and all I want to do is cuddle up with my head on your shoulder and your arms around me, and go to sleep. Is that okay with you?
I've had a nice, quiet, lovely day. Isaac sent the last of his clouds and storms to us, so the fibro kept me home this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed a day of doing nothing.
Tonight I want to keep doing nothing, but I want that intimate doing nothing of being cuddled up with you. So much was said without needing words - just snuggle my face into your left shoulder and feel your arms tighten around me, and know I was at home, safe, loved unconditionally, understood almost always, in my favorite place, where I had all that I ever wanted.
I think I'll lie down and pretend the pillow is your shoulder and your arms are around me. Hug me tight tonight,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Love My In-Laws

Dear John,
Today is the first day of the new church year - I hope there was a good celebration where you are.
Ah-HAH! That must be why there have been fireworks - BIG fireworks - here tonight. I've had a terrified 55-pound dog in my lap all evening. I told everybody on Facebook: If you want to kill me, use fireworks and the dog won't get in your way.
I had a wonderful day today. Jim and Irene came over in the truck, and took the stuff for the nieces and nephews back with them. I'll mail your father's pocket watch to Mike. They took the wardrobe for Chris and Heather, the quilt and china and small rocker for Anna, the chest of drawers for Jacob, and your father's rocking chair for Jimmy. While they were here they helped me haul lots of furniture around. Your bedside table and my cedar chest are in the basement, the green upholsered chair is in my bedroom, I put together a small bookcase that matches my desk. And we hauled furniture around in the basement and got most of Elyssa's playroom set up. I still have my work area to organize, but all Elyssa's area needs is a power cord. Have I told you lately how much I love your family? They came over last night and left this evening. Bless their hearts, I feel bad about letting them do so much for me. But I  try to realize that it's your family that's normal and healthy. I grew up so far away from family that I didn't get to do those kinds of things. And your mother sent me another Meijer gift card, which I'll be happy to put to use. We're almost out of dog food!
Oh, and I got a Facebook friend request today from Aleesha! You've brought the nicest people into my life, and I thank you for that. Nobody who has ever lived has been as wonderful as you, of course. After all, you're the world's only perfect man. And, as I've told you, that doesn't mean you don't have faults - if you didn't have faults you wouldn't be perfect, just annoying. I've always loved your faults, too.
Love you, all of you!