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Now Choose Life

Choose to Live Your Life in Abundance in the after--- after the spouse dies, after the marriage ends, after the kids leave. Join me on my journey of CHOOSING LIFE in my after. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19

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August 31, 2015

Losing Hemingway

     We lost our family cat over the weekend.  Hemingway wasn't just any cat-- He was a special cat to me because every time I looked at him, I thought of R.

     I was having an especially rough day about a month after R passed away.  I was working with other librarians in our school district at a small rural campus that the school district was closing.  This was a K-2 campus so I was working with children's books all day.  Every time I saw a book that I remembered reading to my own children, my grief would be compounded thinking that when I took those children's books that I had read to my kids and boxed up out of their boxes to read to my grandkids, R would not be there to share it with me.  I had so many thoughts going through my mind on that day.  My friend Claire took me outside to get some fresh air.

     While standing there a cat walked by me and put its front paws on my legs for me to pet him.  When he got back on all fours, I saw his paws and gasped!!  He was a six toed cat.  I had wanted a six toed cat for about a year.  R and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary the year before.  We went to Key West.  While there we toured the Hemingway House.  The property is full of decedents of the six toed cats that Ernest Hemingway loved.  About that time, the principal walked by and said that she needed to find that cat a home.  He had lived on their campus, but with it closing, he couldn't stay there.  I told her that I had to have him.

     My son helped me pick him up and take him to our house.  Hemingway never left our property.  He was the most docile cat.  And he, along with being six toed, was just a strange cat. He stared at me in a way that I've never experienced.  He was just always a bit odd.

     I read more into ordinary circumstances than a lot of people do.  I have had odd things happen after losing R. Things for which there is no rational explanation.  Hemingway finding me was just another odd occurrence in a long line of oddities.

     R passed away on Dr. T's late wife's birthday.  Hemingway passed away on Friday which was the 6th year anniversary of Dr. T's late wife's passing.   There have been so many other odd "coincidences" of important dates. I don't know what any of the things that have happened mean, but I know that it is just part of the woven tapestry that is my life. And, I know that I don't believe in "coincidence." There are just too many to ignore.
   

As my daughter told me.  Hemingway served a huge purpose in my life.  He brought me hope and joy just through his existence.  I have moved forward ( not moved on... I'll never move on)  and I am very happy in my new life.  He served his purpose and now he is gone.  I am so thankful that I had him in my life!!
August 27, 2015

2nd Trail Run

I met up with the group of women who do trail running in the area.  They are so far out of my league that I probably should just stay home, but I went back for a second run with them.  I pretty much run by myself.  The first night we ran, I met a young woman who was about my speed.  I had to miss the next week and I saw on Facebook that she went.  She didn't make it last night so hopefully next week we can run together again.
The actual trail was just under 4 miles.  By the time I walked to and from my house to the trail, it ended up being right at 5  total miles.  I was wiped out afterward, but felt good this morning and made it to my weight lifting class this morning!!

Here are some pictures from last night.



August 26, 2015

My Opinion

I've read a couple of items about Kathie Lee Gifford being judged for going back to work so soon after her husband passing away.  I certainly have some opinions on this.  I want to start by saying that no one should judge her choices!!  That is first and foremost.  But here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

1.  She married a much older man.  She has had years to process the fact that he would more than likely die well before she did.  Not that it makes it any easier to lose him, but I think when you have had time to process it, it would help on some level.

2.  She has grown children.  My children were 22 and 20 when we lost their dad.  They were not small, but were certainly too young to lose their father.  But that is what life dealt us.  I knew that how I reacted would deeply affect how they reacted.  They were watching me to see "how to do this."  I could not fall apart because they were at very critical times in their lives- finishing college and starting their adult lives.  I didn't want either of them to not go on with their plans.  I had to show them that I was going to be OK, and I tried to do that from the beginning.

3.  She has a job to do.  I know that work doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and I'm sure NBC would have given her all the time off she wanted/ needed.  But she has a job that she take seriously.  I had a job too.  Although not as high profile as hers, it was still a job.  I was a school librarian.  I had worked really hard over the years to save days to have to take off.  I thought that I might need them to help with my parents some day.  Because I wanted to keep as many days as possible and I didn't want to just sit home and cry, I went back after about a week and 1/2.  I completely understand her wanting to get back to something that was "normal."

4.  She has a strong faith.  Her faith has always carried her through.  And, she has the personality where she is not afraid to tell people about it.  I too have a strong Christian faith.  We buried R about 41/2 hours away from where we had the funeral service.  The kids and I made the drive- just the three of us in the car.  On the drive, I said to them.  "You know, we are going to have a lot of people watch how we handle what has happened to us.  We have a choice to make here-  are we going to grieve as Christians or are we going to fall apart.  Are we going to live our faith or not?"  Both of them told me that they had already thought of that and were making the choice to grieve in their faith.

So my opinion is that Kathie Lee is doing what she feels is best for her family and for her faith.  She always tried to live her faith-  she is going to grieve in her faith!!  That affects every decision she makes.
August 25, 2015

Wow!!

All I can say is wow!!  Who knew that by commenting on Hungry Runner Girl's blog, I would have so many people read my little blog!!
I commented on her blog one day and had more people read my blog in one day than I have ever had read it in a month!!!  ha ha  I'd really love to start having a lot of people follow me, but don't really know how except to have the discipline to keep writing everyday...
If you read my blog from HRG and are reading this today I just say "Thank You."  I hope to really start writing more.  It is cathartic and I love to do it!!!
August 20, 2015

New Beginning

I really started a new beginning today.  I left a job as librarian at my middle school campus when I left Texas.  I had been there almost 20 years.  Today I started a new beginning.  I did a 2 hour observation at the middle school here.  It is quite different from the school I came from.  I observed a classical languages class as well as an intro to Latin!!  Everyone I met was extremely nice.  I have an elementary observation and a high school one left to do so I can start subbing at the schools here.

It is a strange feeling to be a new person.  I feel the same on the inside, but have to remember to say my new last name!!!  ha ha-- just a strange feeling.

My daughter is doing well and will begin looking for new apartments this afternoon.  I feel better about her and know that she will be fine.  I was just hoping that she would be settled for another year and not have to worry with a move.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't end up running yesterday!  I was really thrown for a loop by my mood and just stayed inside all day.  Grief is a weird companion and it was with me all day yesterday.  I just gave in and gave myself a break to stay home.  It is a toss up as to what is the best way to handle grief.  I always believe that getting out and running- or any type of exercise- is better than doing nothing, but sometimes you just need to rest.  I think that is what I needed yesterday.  I've promised myself that I'll get back!!
August 19, 2015

Falling into Fall

I guess it isn't officially fall, but it feels like a fall day here in Northern New Mexico.  There is a difference in the air.  A "bite" in the coolness of the breeze that has picked up this morning.  As I sit at my window and watch the flutter of the leaves in the Aspen trees, there is a slight unsettling in my stomach.  The main reason for the unsettling feeling is that my daughter is not settled right now.  Because of roommate issues, she is having to move for the 3rd time in her two years of living in NYC.  It is an added stress in her life which adds stress to mine because I worry about her.  I hate it that she is having to look for a new place to live, and I really hate the added expense that she will have to go through.  Since my move, I have lost a huge part of my income and won't be able to help her as much as I would like-  not that I have had to help her a huge amount, but I have had the income to help when I could.

My other reason for the unsettling feeling is that every fall since R died has brought an unsettling feeling to my life.  In the early days it was just more of the terrible grief.  That first year I was scared to death for the season to change and the days to get shorter and colder.  I didn't know if I could face it.  As I approach my 4th fall without him, it isn't the horrible grief and fear that I am experiencing, but an unsettled feeling.  I am thankful that I have a new life, but this new life is just that SO NEW.  A new husband, a new name, a new town- which means a new identity.  No one here knows my old life.  In some ways that is refreshing, but on this day it isn't.  It is just weird.
So, I leave you today with Happy Fall Y'all.  That is all I can muster today.