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Sunday, August 20, 2017

#47, August 20, 2015, Leveling Off

This is the next in the series of transcriptions from my journal, written during the last year of Dave's life:

Somehow, things have leveled off—it feels like we are on a plateau of sorts that is less vulnerable.

A new normal  revealed itself when I wanted to take Carol to Iowa to see her new granddaughter and Dave declared he didn’t need a babysitter. Indeed, he didn’t. I left him overnight and he was fine. More than that would not have been as fine, but he had food and didn’t have to do much. 

If he sleeps, he’s pretty OK. If he doesn’t sleep, he’s pretty rough and weak. And we’ve had a few cooler days when he’s slept. That is good.

So my leash is a bit longer that I thought it was and I’m using the extra length with a degree of comfort—on both our parts. And it’s funny that Dave’s ability to see me make good decisions without input from him has helped, too. Also good. 

I don’t know how long these times will last, but I’m grateful for them.

Image: pixabay.com


Thursday, August 10, 2017

#46, August 13, 2015, Which Greater Love?

 This is the next in the series of transcriptions from my journal, written during the last wonderful, sad year of Dave's life:

Where is the greater love? Is it in the flush of romance, when the beloved is beautiful and precious, ruddy and strong? When he reaches out for me with passion and burns to the touch? 

Or is it when every day is much like the one before, when the heaving landscape has smoothed into a plateau and no adventure promises? Weakness and kindness walk hand in hand in this place, and memory fills the territory anticipation once held. 

There is no answer to this. It just is, and I must be content. Otherwise, I will be condemned to ingratitude. 

No matter how I feel, God is here. He has laid down this path for me because He loves me. I must walk it because I love Him. 

I feel a fresh breeze.

Image: from our family album, taken circa 1979

Monday, August 7, 2017

#45, August 7, 2015, Releasing the Stranglehold

This is the next in the series of transcriptions from my journal written during that last wonderful sad year of Dave's life:

Something changed when I thought about yielding to God. Something let go. I don’t know what, but I’m not as tied up. 

First, it seems now like this season may be longer than I wanted or planned. I understand it is more out of my hands than I did before and the living I do in it is not so strangling. Sometimes, when Dave coughs those deep, wracking coughs or is so weary he can hardly walk, it’s easy to get annoyed or discouraged, but there are equal times of easier days.

Making decisions regarding what he wants for his future is going to be very helpful. He is deciding now, so I don’t have to. It sets me free, free enough that I have already decided, and continue to decide, what I am willing to do.

I think I have released at least a part of my stranglehold on our lives, and I can breathe a bit. So thankful for this respite, this time of greater ease.

Image: thebohemianjournalist.com

Thursday, August 3, 2017

#44, August 3, 2015, What Would Happen?

This is the next in the series of transcriptions from my journal, written during that last, sad, wonderful year of Dave's life.

Thinking this morning about how desperately I’ve been trying to control what is happening around me, and how miserably I fail. 

Yesterday’s lesson in church was about how God is the Bread of Life. He provides constantly for me in real, palpable ways. He feeds me. He keeps me safe. He goes before me in trouble. But I don’t let Him.

What would happen if I finally yielded to God? I can hardly imagine.
I would say:
I am not responsible for Dave—his happiness, his health.
I cannot plan either for the rest of his life or my own after he goes.
I cannot rely on our savings for my financial well being.
I must spend more energy on responding to what is happening than planning for what may never happen.
I must be content with not knowing and learn to trust.

I don’t know any of these things.
I do not serve either God or Dave by doing. I serve them by believing and trusting.

Image: walkworthy.org

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

#43, August 2, 2015, The Problem of Unlearning

This is the next in the series of transcriptions from my journal, written during the wonderful sad last year of Dave's life.

Sometimes I just want to be done with this, but even as I think that, am not reconciled with what that means. 

Dave is not done, is not ready, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to be him. His life has wrung itself out more than mine, that’s true, but I don’t think he loves his life any less than I do.

Yesterday, he wanted to invite his cousin to come stay here overnight. I have never met this cousin and suddenly he feels this new attachment to him and a list of other cousins he’s never met. I told him that I didn’t feel up to it when in truth I just tired of all the fuss around entertaining strangers. Maybe I should be willing to give it a try, but I just don’t want to.

I can’t imagine a world, my world, without Dave in it. In fact, I can’t have one. Dave and I have been together 37 years and I think of how each thing I do every day will affect him. Everything. Every day. I will never shed that habit. Never. 

A widow, then, must be alone only in the physical sense—the old practical concerns no longer apply. But the thought processes—I will never have enough time to unlearn those.