Just a little over a week ago, I spent the first night in my new place. It was a long time coming as I had some pretty major renovations done to it while I camped out with my dad. Having spent so much time here over the past two months, it was an easy transition, yet bittersweet, as my dad and I would once again live alone. I truly enjoyed the time with Daddy and thank God for the opportunity. He is now 86 and I treasure every moment with him.
It was anything but a quiet first night. My grandchildren, Lesley and Timothy, along with my sister, Debbie, stayed with me for a sleepover. Timothy is 100% boy and a rambunctious one at that. He is funny and cute and very entertaining. He talks incessantly and keeps us all in stitches. Lesley is quiet and a deep-thinker but the piano kept her busy. Between the two, it was loud! I am thankful my three amigos wanted to share this transitional night with me. It is good to be loved.
My neighbors have been very kind and welcoming. One even had a lovely luncheon for me so I could get to know a few of the ladies a little better. I’ve had a couple of invitations to join them for different outings. That is a new thing for me, but it so nice. I think I will flourish here among these new friends.
Today has been a bit of an up and down day for me. After a time of Spirit-filled worship and a good sermon, I watched Timothy make his first soccer goal. And his second. And his third. That was awesome! His little body took on a whole different stance after that first goal and the game became very serious. What a privilege to share that with him.
After the game, I spent a few minutes talking with someone I’ve known much of my life whose husband has metastasized lung cancer and isn’t given much more time here on earth. Hearing what they are going through brought back the hurts and pains that Les and I suffered. It breaks my heart to know that others have to face those things. She said they have peace and know He will be with Jesus soon, but it still hurts, I assure you.
There is so much pain in our world. A distant relative recently lost her husband who also had lung cancer. Her mom shared with me that she is very quiet and stays to herself. She said she wants to help her daughter but doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t want to talk. I was able to tell this mom that her daughter has to work through this in her own way and in her own time. I remember that my only desire was to shut all the doors and stay completely alone. It just takes time to digest the loss of a spouse. I suggested she just simply love her daughter and let her talk when she’s ready.
Leaving the ball park this afternoon, I made my way down to the assisted living facility where Les’ mother has lived for at least the past 8 years. It is a hard visit. She isn’t able to carry on much of a conversation and when she’s fully aware, she remembers that Les, her oldest son, has died. Watching her eyes fill with tears and her bottom lip tremble shakes me to the core. It is said there is no pain like that of a mother losing a child to death. Her response assures me that is true. She is always glad to see me, even though I don’t visit very often. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know if I came yesterday or if it’s been 5 years. Today was actually a rather good day for her. I gave her two simple bracelets that belonged to my mom and she kept admiring them, saying how much my mom loved jewelry. They may disappear before tomorrow night, but they brought her pleasure today.
A trip down there always includes a stop at the family cemetery to replace flowers. I told my mother-in-law I was going to stop there and in her childlike way she asked me why I was going there when Les wasn’t there, but in heaven. That question surprised me coming from her. My reply: “Yes, you’re right. He’s not there, but it’s nice to remember him with some flowers on his grave site.” She was satisfied.
I have never been one to linger at a cemetery. Today was no exception. My emotions were raw and unable to handle it. This little plot of grave sites sits in the edge of a field next to the woods. It is a quiet place where there is rarely anyone around. Les’ body is buried beside his grandmother who loved him as if he were her own child. He returned that love. The truth of my life cannot be escaped when I enter that little cemetery. I AM WIDOWED. And I miss Les still.
BUT I am blessed beyond words!!!! God has healed my heart and allowed me so many good things. I have a new home amongst welcoming folks. I have friends and family that continue to stand by me. And I am loved by God, the Maker of heaven and earth. There is nothing that can separate me from that love and in that, I find peace and joy immeasurable. It is that peace and joy I pray for my hurting friends and family. It isn’t time that heals. It is Jesus!
All my love, Sharon
PS: Please come see me in my new home. I would love to have you for a visit.