Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hymns and the Ritual of Blogging

Since my husband died four months ago, there has been less traffic on this blog and am not sure who actually wants to read it. Or maybe I have less issues to write about. I have six ideas in draft form. I do put bits and pieces on the Facebook Like page for this blog regularly--actually several each week--I wrote about a random act of kindness there recently. But what about this blog? What do you readers want on this blog? 

One issue that came to my attention was how hymns can reach the care receiver.  See the link HERE

Richard Gunderman writes about an old gentleman who came to life with the "ritual" of worship. That care receiver suddenly broke forth in song. 
God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.
Ritual–in this case, as in others, a familiar hymn–had transformed an otherwise hopeless recipient of care into someone quite different. At least for those few minutes, he had become a human being capable of reaching out and caring for others, a beacon of light and joy to everyone.
I did not think of my husband enjoying hymns near the end of his life as a ritual, however, Mr. Gunderman, but as worship. I do miss our worshipping together with listening to hymns in the master bedroom. Great Is Thy Faithfulness was a favorite one. I had moved the boom box into the bedroom and I used it to play hymns on CDs. That boom box is now back in the den and it would be a grief issue to use it now as I sit in the den writing this post.  

Blogging has been a main ritual for me. I do have two other blogs--one theological and one on my teaching of DUI classes, but Plant City Lady and Friends has always been my main blog, my ritual. I guess in the throws of grieving I am attempting to find my voice again. Hope to get that ritual of blogging back. 

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my daily Scripture that has sustained me over the years. I email five social media friends Scripture each day and several of them email back their Scripture. I returned to Weight Watchers and see slow progress there. I email four caregivers encouragement each day. I am tutoring Esteban and substitute teaching and as usual am teaching an occasional class for DUI offenders. Life goes on. A cruise is planned for me as a guest of a family member. The grave headstone has been placed and artificial flowers are now on the grave. 

God is taking care of me, but it is 
not His ritual--His care is my hope. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Am I sad, depressed or grieving? Yes to all three at different times.

How are you? people want to know. It's hard to know how to answer. However . . . . . .  

My days of being depressed are less and less and I am weaning off of an anti-depressant (Paxil) now. I started taking it in May when my husband was going downhill. I take this pill every other day now instead of every day. In November I will take Paxil every third day.

No wonder I am not as productive as I usually have been. When I lose something or something needs fixing, it is A HUGE DEAL to me now. 

Less than a month after my husband died,  Tim Fall, a judge in California, who blogs more than I do, and who has commented on this blog, asked me to write about my two times being a widow on his blog. It is HERE. Of course the loss of both husbands is different--one suddenly and one from dementia. 

I am going to a Grief Share group at Sally and Jake's church. It is great to be there with others who have lost family members or friends. I can see those of us who are sticking with this series are all getting better. 

A discovery I made last week in Grief Share was that I am comfortable being a caregiver and have been reaching out to other caregivers now. However, being a widow is less comfortable. You have to eat out by yourself at times. You remember when you went places with your late husband. At home you remember his pastimes and think about how the home is different now, and what is comfortable as you forge a new life and changes you aren't ready for yet. 

Tonight in Grief Share we dealt with what people say to us when we are grieving and how to forgive them with God's strength. 

Grief us indeed complicated. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

First Yard Sale

On Labor Day my guests decided they would help a widow [me] with yard sales--their idea. I dared not take them up on this generous offer. Three Saturdays in October seemed the perfect plan. 

My neighbor Cindy down the road loaned me tables Thursday,  and even after her errands came by and helped me set them up in our second backyard where there is some concrete.  

Cindy's tables loaded in my GMC

Friday night, after much afternoon rain, I called Sally and she commandeered her husband Jake to help me put out tools from my husband's workshop on those tables for today's yard sale. Jake always likes to feel useful. Soon my teenager neighbor Esteban came over to help.
You can't see much of the tools, but you can barely see two port-a-potties and a shower chair.  Jake, Esteban and myself then put tarps over the covered tables as it got dark Friday night. It did rain some during the night, but I was ready as I could be. 

I set my alarm for 5 am for Saturday morning. By 6:30 am when their doors opened I was at Weight Watchers. I lost another 6/10 of a pound. I did not stay for the Weight Watcher meeting, but started out for home, fearing that someone would be there in the dark to buy. Just before I got home, in the dark, I put out two yellow signs to direct people to my house. Returning home at 7 am no one was at the house and it was still dark. 

At 8 am I had my first customer. At 9 am Marilyn and her husband George were here. Marilyn even brought lunch to prepare for all of us later. Soon Marianne and Greg were here. Marilyn and Marianne were part of my summer writer's group, and Marianne was the gal I interviewed HERE about her Early Onset Alzheimer's. She is doing great and knows so much about dementia that she was even helping Jake who has a later stage of Alzheimer's after Sally dropped him off. Jake was great at keeping dog Ziggy from running off. 

The day turned out to be pleasant--no rain. Soon this skilled group moved the yard sale down the driveway and closer to the street. People have to be able to see the stuff you are selling if they are going to stop, I was advised. "Many hands make light work" and soon the tables were closer to the street. 

We interacted with all my country neighbors. One, Lee, is a caregiver and he bought those two port-a-potty chairs, the shower chair and the elevated toilet seat from Lowes' that I had written about HERE. I sold all four items for a dollar a piece to this caregiver whose wife has Parkinson's disease. It warmed my heart that I could do this and I prayed with him about his caregiving journey and told him about this blog. Just love your wife, I advised him, even when she is difficult--it's her disease that makes her that way

It was curious to me that my late husband had so many cabinets with drawers for his carpentry supplies--maybe a dozen! It was equally amusing to me that men would buy this stuff! Everything went cheaply, and even so I made $409 after Cindy and her crew came back about 5:30. She was pleased that we would be storing her tables in my garage now, ready for the sales the next two Saturdays, instead of in the second back yard as had been the plan. 

Safe and ready for next yard sale
Dog Ziggy and I are tired and ready for bed now.