February 21, 2015

Tennessee Ice

Several of my blogging buddies have been checking on me via e-mail and asking whether the power has stayed on at my house.  Thankfully, yes!  I had a neighbor call me Thursday night, so it was nice that somebody locally touched base with me about my welfare too.

Road conditions improved enough so that I could finally get out of the house mid-day yesterday.  I dropped Angel off for a bath and nail trim at the dog groomer, while I went and got a much-needed haircut.  It was the first time that I had ventured out since Monday morning.

February 18, 2015

Praying the Power Stays On

February ice storm

A winter storm only underscores my solitary existence. East Tennessee got treated to an ice storm yesterday, followed by some snow. The photos featured here were taken then. Cold temperatures continue today, along with snow flurries and winds. I’m praying that the power stays on. I have no backup heat sources (e.g., fireplace). I’ve already researched where the nearest emergency shelter is located, just in case I have to head that way. I did a web search to figure out how to manually open the garage door. I have food, water, and spare batteries for flashlights, but this girl and her pooch need heat in the house. I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to all of that.

February 11, 2015

Chilling with Angel and Texting with Donna

I continue to be very busy with household tasks and work associated with the estate. There are times when I wonder if I am every going to catch up. It is rare event when I sit down mid-day in my recliner. But I was able to get my feet up for a rest yesterday afternoon while I was on a donors' conference call with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And, any time that I am in the recliner, Angel makes sure that she snuggles up.

This iPhone photo is terribly blurry, and it was taken in a dark room. But perhaps you will overlook its technical deficiencies and consider the merits of the subject matter. Isn’t she cute? Her little snaggletooth shows on the right-hand side of her little mouth. Yes, we happened to color-match our clothes, as luck would have it.

February 8, 2015

Grieving and Compassion - Rambling Thoughts

This is another long post and not a particularly happy one. Fair warning. Click out if you are looking for entertainment. If you want decorating ideas or recipes, scoot along. There are plenty of other blogs that can provide such amusements.

I have learned much in the past two years. My education will continue as I venture along the journey of widowhood. Most significantly, it has been startling clear that people generally have no idea what to say or not to say when life tragedies strike, such as cancer or death of a loved one. Goodness knows, I have made many verbal blunders in the past, and I now painfully see the errors of my ways. One achieves a whole different perspective when the coin is flipped.

Human vulnerabilities and sorrows make people very uncomfortable. As a result, they will frequently engage their mouths before they engage their brains. If you are at a loss about what to say or not say, a simple Google search provides valuable assistance. Here are a few articles to help get you on the right track:

February 1, 2015

Tending to the Business of Death

I’m sorry if I have not responded to all of your e-mails or comments. It has been overwhelming at times. Frequently, I don’t know what to say back. I’m miserable. I’m grieving. You don’t want to hear that. It should be rather obvious. I have been beautifully touched by the eloquence of some who have offered consolation. I can tell that others do not know what to say because they are uncomfortable about the whole subject matter. (That’s okay. Eloquence routinely escapes me too.) I am very thankful for every single card, e-mail, comment, or phone call that I received. And it gives me joy to know that many of you are praying for me on a regular basis.

I’ve had some folks tell me that I will get over it. Sigh. I respond to such folly with silence because I am polite. I’m sure that they mean well. But they have no clue what they are talking about and the reassurances are empty. I will never, ever “get over” the countless horrors that I experienced during Jim’s long illness with pancreatic cancer, nor will I “get over” his death. He suffered. I suffered. Now I face the rest of my life alone. If I die tomorrow, I will die alone. And, it may take a while before somebody notices. I’m confident that the mail lady will suspect that something is amiss before anybody else.

Get over it? Please don’t say ever something like that to a widow or widower. Please. Okay, I’m off my soapbox now…