December has not been a good month for me! I have been busy with work, but at home I can't seem to get into the spirit of Christmas! I am missing Pete so much and everything I see, touch, hear, taste or feel, makes me cry! I have been doing better for the last week or so, but I am not very Merry! I did get my shopping done yesterday and that was an all day event. Left at 10:30am and got done at 5:30pm. I was bound and determine to finish it. Went to church this morning and after I sort some laundry, I will be wrapping gifts for the entire day and night. I have missed the blogging, but I just seemed to distracted to really post anything readable! Most of all I wanted to wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas! You have all made an impact in my life. God sends good people my way! I hope that once I get through Christmas, I well better be able to move on! My husband sent me a message. I walked into the bedroom closet a couple of days ago. His side of the closet has a wood bar and it broke right in the middle and all of his clothes cascaded onto the floor making a huge mountain of clothes. Yes, they are still there. I think he says perhaps I should go through some of this stuff cause there is no where else to hang it. The pile does serve a purpose, really! I am short, and I keep sheets on a shelf above his clothing. I don't have to drag a stool in there to get sheets. I can just climb the mountain of clothes and I can reach the sheets!! May God Bless You All!!
Today I thought that I would share a story about Mary. No, not the mother of Christ, just Mary a person whom my husband and I met in a chemotherapy treatment room. Pete had treatments at The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. This experience happened in 2003 when Pete was getting chemotherapy in preparation for a stem cell transplant. In the cancer treatment center, when your name is called you wander back to the little room where you will be sitting for 4 hours to have the poisonous drugs infused to your body. This particular course of treatment took along time, they are not always this long, some we had were all day affairs, some were 2 hours. In these rooms there are two recliners, so that two people are having treatments at the same time. We came into that room and Mary was already in her recliner, receiving the chemo, a man was with her. Pete and Mary's actions were very much alike. Pete taps his feet nervously all the time and I noticed Mary's feet were doing the same dance. We introduced our selves to each other. Pete and Mary shared some feelings about chemo and we all laughed as they seemed so much alike. The gentleman with her was her brother who came to support Mary through this journey. He had a book in his hand and so did I! He was reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, for Cancer patients, and guess what, so was I! They were two of the kindest people we have ever met in a chemo room. We talked and laughed and the time went so fast! We all agreed if you could ever have fun in a chemo room, this was a fun day. Mary shared her story. She had a cancer that involved her colon, and tumors that were entwined everywhere in her abdomen. Mary had already had a surgery and was doing follow up chemo at this time. Her surgery was supposed to be very involved and would be 4-5 hours long. They were going to film this procedure for students docs, it was quite a mess as Mary indicated. The day of her surgery Mary was pacing nervously because they kept bumping her surgery time to a later hour, this happened two times, something more critical needed attention. Her daughter-in-law was with her. Mary said her faith was strong but nothing like her daughter-in-laws. Mary described the daughter-in-law as being the most spiritual person she knew! Mary was going crazy waiting around for the surgery, she hadn't even been prepped yet so she was in a waiting area filled with other people. In the waiting are, Mary's daughter-in-law, proclaimed out loud for all to hear, You don't have to have the surgery! Everything is ok, you don't have the cancer, Jesus has taken care of it! Well, Mary was thinking, is she crazy, people in the room are staring at her! Mary said, what are you talking about. The answer from the daughter-in-law was, It's ok mom, Jesus is right here now, standing beside me and he said you don't need the surgery. Mary, did go to surgery that day! They opened her up and guess what, there was nothing wrong! Now they had xrays of the mess inside her abdomen, but presto, nothing there to fix! I think that God was present that day and of course so did she! We met her doctor that day in the chemo room. The doctor said she had no answers to what happened that day except perhaps a Miracle!! They did Mary's chemo just to make sure that there were no stray cancer cells floating about. Her daughter-in-law told her it wasn't necessary, but Mary decided to do the Chemo, just in case. Lesson learned: God speaks to his people. If your faith is strong, you will hear him! You too, could have an encounter with God!
I enjoyed Thanksgiving day with my family. We went to my sister Lynn's beautiful lake home. My parents were there and two of my sisters kids made it home. The food was great and I felt sick by the time I got home. Two of my sisters did not come and I wish we could have all been together. I am really missing my husband, it seems I am worse as the months go by! Work has been difficult and there is no one here to share that with when I get home. I was off yesterday so I did mega cleaning. The mission is to get this hell hole cleaned up and get the Christmas decorating done before Monday. I was scrubbing floors and rearranging furniture till 10 pm last night. I am ready to roll today as soon as my body wakes up! I have to drag 700 boxes down from upstairs. Normally my youngest son would be around to help, but since he does not live at home anymore, I can't be waiting till he shows up to do it! I will soon put on the Christmas music and I will be singing and dancing around the house as I get into the Holiday spirit. It isn't as much fun doing it all alone, but it will cheer me up. I love Christmas music and the best part I know all the words to every song. If I dance to much my dog will attack me, he plays really rough! I miss the kids be little and helping out! I haven't had the time to read any of your blogs for awhile. I must admit I really miss that! What the heck, I miss my blogging buddies. I just have been getting home late and going to bed. I hope things will improve at work and I will be able to get back into my normal routine. My new job is beyond words, and I have never in my 50 plus years of life experienced anything like this before!!
I am sure most of you all have cell phones. I had a cell phone but it was one of those trac phones, you know the kind that you buy a card for for so many minutes. Call me cheap or I just didn't have the need for one. I carried the trac phone only for emergencies. I figured that I commute all the time, so perhaps I should have a way to call for help if my car broke down. I am not a big talker, well that is, on the telephone. I do talk allot person to person! My husband used to say how can you possibly think of so much to talk about! He was a quiet and shy guy! With my other program that I directed, my team could handle anything so they rarely had to call me! If I wasn't home they left a message and I would get back to them. They would just give me a heads up on on issue, and they usually knew how to handle things. With this change of jobs mu boss figured that I would probably need to carry a cell phone and perhaps even have it turned on, imagine! So I did it, I am a proud owner a real cell phone, with a bill that comes in the mail! I purchased two other phones for early Christmas gifts for two of my kids who couldn't afford them. I hated not being able to get ahold of them when I needed to! They came for supper on Sunday and I told them Santa came early, they couldn't have been happier! Then they left!! I figured out a ring tone and how to turn the thing on. It has a camera, which I will never figure out! The thing frustrates me already. I haven't even had a call on it yet! I called myself just to make sure I had the volume on! I will need to call the kids over and have Cell Phone 101 classes. I did announce at a meeting today with other directors that I'm moving on up now in the world, with a cell phone! Pathetic or cheap? I don't know, perhaps a little of both.
I have been way to busy lately to find time to do a meaningful post! Yes, I missed the Sunday Post, Experiencing God! I will get back to doing that when I get into the groove of my new job. My first day was fine, and I have today off. The next three will be long and not as pleasant, lot's of meetings. I have lots to do today, trying to take care of things in regards to the business end of my hubby's death. Making all the calls that I can't do at work. Some of you have asked what song was playing when Pete and I had our last dance. I don't know, it didn't matter, and I am not sure that I heard music! I was caught up in the moment of the embrace! There must of been music, cause my mom and dad were dancing next to us in the photo!
I made it through my last two days at work but not with dry eyes! On Thursday there was a little surprise party for me, back in the lunch room where the individuals and staff have breaks. When I walked in and one of the individuals that we support said, " Were going to miss you Marla!" That's all it took, I totally lost it, I had to leave the room briefly, and with tears streaming down my face. I walked back down the hall and gained my composure. I headed back to the lunch room and was able to sit and visit and enjoy the morning break with everyone. They had all kinds of cookies and bars, it was very nice. My team had someone take a photo of all of us together. They gave me a nice picture frame, black and white that says Faith, Family, and Friends. Under the word Faith, they place a photo of me wearing a big sombrero. The big sombrero was given to me by my team last year after our 2 day state re certification review. We received no citations. This was the first time in the surveyors career that he did not write any citations for correction. I was so proud of all our staff for the great work that they do! In fact we were the only ones in the state to have no citations. So my team brought me this sombrero and said I was the best head honcho they ever had! They said they placed that photo under Faith because they always had faith in me. Under the family photo, they took my family photo off my blog, under friends they placed the photo of all of us that we had just taken that morning. It is a great treasure to take with me to hang on the wall of my my new office. I had lunch at my parents that day. I told them that I wouldn't be having lunch with them on Friday, since my team was taking me to lunch on my last day. I have lunch with my parents most days unless I am out of town at meetings. I have been going there for 5 years now. I know that they have enjoyed having me visit with them over lunch over the years. My dad turned 80 in Sept. and mom is 76. They have been married 58 years. They are the best parents a girl could have. Well when I was ready to leave my mom hugged me and started to cry, and I could see tears coming from dad's eyes! I was crying and hugged them both again. I have been so grateful that I have gotten to spend this special time with them over the last 5 years. I will miss that time with them. I will have to make sure I head up that way on the weekends to visit them. They also come here, to help work in the antique store that my mom and sisters have. I may have to start visiting them at the store when they work Saturdays. I packed my car and headed home, and you guessed it, I cried like a baby half the way home. I have tears rolling down my checks as I am writing this. I just a big baby! I know I will be fine once I start my new job, but it's been rough these last two days!!
I really have the Blues tonight! I only have two days left in my current job with a group of people that I will be so sad to leave! My team is the best group of people that I have ever had the privelage to work with. I have always believed or heard that you shouldn't get to close to those you may have to fire! But I can't help it, I love these people and they really are great friends! I will begin a new journey on Monday. I am staying with the same agency, the same position that I currently have, just taking over a different area program. I am leaving a strong team of managers and a successful program and taking over a program that has had issues. One of the supervisors there will be moving into the position of Area Director. I know they all work together so well that the transistion will go well there. I will be using some of my team to come in to do some training and help me out in my new adventure. This has been an emotional roller coaster for me and I dread these last two days. I know I will be crying by the end of the day on Friday!!
I have decided that on Sundays I will post some stories about experiencing God. Some of these will be my own experiences and some will be from others who have shared stories. I have been meeting with a group of women, at my church in a small group and we are reading the book Experiencing God. This is the first small group that I have ever participated in. There are 7 of us in this group, different ages, and all of us on very different levels in our spiritual journeys.I have always believed in God, said a little prayer at night, but hadn't attended a church for many years.I realize that it is so much more than a prayer once a day. It has been in the last year that I have been growing stronger in my faith and have been thirsty for God's word! I found a great church and the pastor is a great teacher. I attend the modern service, which is a casual, no dress code environment. You sit at tables with coffee and doughnuts, they even serve a full breakfast once a month. The music is played by a contemporary rock band. Very different from the services I attended when I was younger. I read an article in the newspaper last fall about my Pastor. I just kept having reoccurring thoughts in my head that I should go check this church out. I finally did after many months. I know that I was sent there for a reason. I knew after attending a few services that this is the church that the Lord lead me to. My thirst to grow in my faith came over me as if the Lord himself, hit me in the head with a ruler, telling me to wake up!I suddenly became more aware of everything I said to people. At worked one day I had to tell my team one of those little white lies, something I wasn't supposed to let them know at the moment. After the meeting I was so aware of that white lie, because a lie is lie, in God's eyes. God reveals Himself to each of us in special and exceptional ways, so our perception of Him is unique! What I once thought was coincidental circumstances, I know now that it was an experience with God! I'll talk more of this in next Sunday's post! Iknow it's still Saturday, but I have a busy day tomorrow. The kids are coming for supper, so after church I will be cooking all day!
In August my niece Haley got married at my sister's beautiful lake home. It was an outdoor wedding. They had a huge canopy white tent set up on the grass, so you had a great view of the lake, the dance floor was laid upon the grass. The flowers on the tables were done by friends of my sisters, who went through every ones flower gardens, and since the river is on the other side of the lake homes, they gathered wild flowers and grasses and these flowers were gorgeous, each tables vase of flowers was a little different and unique. It was 95 degrees, so a hot evening. My husband usually goes to bed very early so I didn't anticipate that we would stay to long into the night. There was something special about the evening. Pete seemed to have this amazing spurt of energy, he looked so good that night. We danced a slow song and we haven't danced for many years. While we were dancing and holding each other so tightly, never wanting to let go of this moment, I was thinking this could be our last dance. I think we both knew this would be our last dance, clinging to each other never wanting this moment to end! I have this photo in the bedroom so I can see him holding me ever so tightly and I can still feel him holding me! The kids were in tears much of the night as Pete danced the night away. He was a good dancer at the fast songs, much better than I. The kids said he seemed to be having the time of his life. Pete said to me that night, " I just love weddings, everyone is so happy!" Not a profound quote by any means, but from his heart. He was happy, he was enjoying life for one last time. Twenty- two days after this night he began a rapid decline in his battle with cancer and passed Sept. 10th. It's amazing how one night in your life will make such an impact and I will carry it with me forever! My sister snapped the photo! I like it because I can see his face and he is holding me so tight. I know it's a photo of a backside, and those pants made my behind look huge!
My daughter and I were in the bookstore browsing one evening. We were in the magazine section, I was looking for a cooking magazine. I saw a man that I knew there, his name is Dick. Emily was goofing around and said, "Mom, didn't you say that you wanted to pick up the latest issue of Playgirl?" I nervously said, " Be quiet, I know that man, he does handyman things for us at work." " You're going to embarrass me!" She just chuckled and we continued to browse through out the store. I had my purchases and we went to stand in the line at the checkout counter. Dick and his wife were behind us in the line, in this order, a stranger,me, Em, wife of Dick, and good ole Dick himself. I decided that it would be polite to speak to him. So since he was a few people away from me, I lean my head forward in Dick's direction and say loud enough for him to hear me. Hey Dick! Well his wife just kept looking straight ahead and Dick did not acknowledge me at all. So , I'm thinking he didn't hear me. So I yell out Hey Dick, Dick! Still no response. So now I'm thinking this guy is really rude and thought he was a nice guy. Soooooooo, now I am yelling a little bit louder, Dick, Hey Dick !!!! This guy would not respond but his wife gave me a funny look. I'm thinking I pay this man to do repairs and he won't even speak, how dare he! Soooo, I am yelling Hey Dick quite loudly this time! Emily says, mom what are you doing, people are looking at you saying, Dick, hey Dick, he obviously is a jerk! Buttttttt, I made one more attempt to get Dick to acknowledge me! Soooooo, one more time Dick, Hey, Hey--DICK!! And---like magic he spoke--He looked right at me, and said, in a calm voice, "Mam, Who are you?" " I'm not Dick." I was feeling really stupid, and Emily was laughing hysterically out loud by now. Well what could I do but laugh! I had to apologize and explain who I thought he was and how he must be Dick's twin. The rest of the checkout line was laughing by now! So what would you do if some foolish woman in the check out line was yelling, Hey Dick! I'll share some other of my foolish moments in upcoming posts!!
I don't have much time to post lately as I am working some very long days at work interviewing every employee in one of our area programs. I have been leaving at 7:30am and getting home at 9:00pm. I will talk more later of this work adventure. The great news is the pocket knives our closed, my son Andy showed me all the tricks with the knives. My oldest son Seth came by and started the lawn mower and he informed me if you have gas in it, it will start much easier! Who would have thought?!?!?
I have a grandson named Cain who is now 11 years old. He has spent every other weekend with me since a young age. We are extremely close and he was very close to my husband. On the weekends when he would come our world revolved around him. He is such a great kid! His other grandparents have allot of money, we are the poor ones! The other grandparents have a really nice home ours is old and needs allot of work! The other grandparents are to busy to attend baseball, soccer, football, class musicals, etc. We attended most everything we could. I ran around the yard with toy machine guns playing army, tackle football, let him bury me in piles of leaves, have hot wheel races and cut his toast with cookie cutters and give him breakfast in Grandma's bed, and that's only a few things. The other grandparents have a corvette, we have a dodge. The other grandparents have a motor home, we have a tent. Cain said to me when he was pretty young: "My other grandparents have a fancy house grandma, and your house is kinda old, but you know what grandma, this house is filled with lots of love. " Isn't that so wise from such a young boy? His other Grandpa passed away in 2003, at age 62. It was a tragic accident, he was electrocuted while working on irrigation equipment. So the loss of my husband has been very hard for him, but he knows Jesus and he is very mature for his age. When Cain was little, very little he called me Barda for many years. I don't know why that was his name for me. The really strange thing about that is only one other person called me that and it was my Grandpa Oscar. Grandpa had names for all his Grandchildren. Mine was Marda Barda. He died many years before Cain was born. Maybe Grandpa gave him that name!
I took my yearly trip to a pumpkin patch last week. It had been something that my husband (Pete) and grandson Cain did every year. We would go through the patch a gather pumpkins and gourds to spruce up the front porch and house for the fall season. Since Pete is not with me anymore and I didn't have my grandson with me I thought I would venture off on my own. Pete has this collection of pocket knives and he of course always carried one in his pocket, it was his go to tool of choice. I thought perhaps I best get a pocket knife out and bring it with so that I could cut the stems from the vines. I found one and opened it up, it looked just right for stem cutting, well the blade locks in place and for the life of me I could not get it to close. So I proceeded to open five more thinking I could close them. They are still open! I grabbed the garden clippers instead, which worked just fine. A bit of advice, have your husband show how to close a pocket knife! Other things I found out I can't do! My sons and I can't get either of the lawn mowers started. I tried to pull the cord, but I am to short or the cord seems to long, it's a humorous sight, I'm sure! I am not saying nice things to the mower. The blower, that is impossible to start! If I did start it , when the gas runs out, what the heck is the oil /gas recipe that you mix up for the thing. My hubby always blew the leaves and then chopped them up with the mower. I have two huge maples, two huge ash trees, and a magnolia tree. This just stinks, way to many leaves for me. You know the lawn is colorful with the fall colors of the leaves spread across the green grass. At lest that is a positive spin on all the leaves. I really thought I knew how to do anything or at least figure it out! When I was a single parent and my kids were little, I got a real Christmas tree and the trunk was to fat for the tree stand. I didn't have a saw, but I did have an electric knife! The tree fit into the stand, mission accomplished, but of course I ruined the knife!
Good Morning! I went to church this morning and thought after church that I would go to the cemetery to visit my husband. I haven't been able to make myself go there since the day of the funeral on the 15th of Sept. It wasn't as bad as I thought that it would be. I have the Lord right by my side which makes things so much easier. I just can't really accept yet that he is really gone. I thought that I had been preparing myself for years but I don't think one can ever prepare for the emptiness that one feels. Those you love deeply seem to be taken from you way to soon. I only know now that he is in a far better place and is at peace and looking and feeling fine! I did have to tell him that Nebraska took a whooping last night, of course he probably knew that already.
Let me introduce you to my family. Here we are on Christmas Eve of this last year. Things were good, we were happy, loving each other. Nothing compares to the love of your family. We will never have another photo like this again. Christmas will never be the same again. September 10th, just 3 weeks ago today my husband passed away. We are all lost and wondering how our lives will ever be normal again. We all miss him so much! Pete fought a long battle of 13 years with 4 occurences of cancer. He was working just two weeks before his death. He has always been our hero and he fought as long as he could for our family and we are so proud of him. He lived his live as normal as possible, working, doing everything he could to maintain a normal lifestlye,despite being an ill man. He never complained, always worked. So admired by all who knew him. He taught us all to face challenges with dignity. He suddenly became ill with pheumonia and just could not fight anymore. He was so tired! Even though he was ill with cancer he always seemed to bounce back. He had agreed to tempory placement on a respirator to reverse a condition such as pneumonia. The kids and I could not bear to see him on that machine, everything happened so quickly, he failed rapidly, and we had to take him off the machine. He went peacefully once he came off of the machine. We spent every night their sleeping in chairs, if we slept at all. We all had alone time with him and we would like to think that he heard us talk to him as we said our goodbyes. He would have been so proud of the kids and how much they loved him and supported me. Life for me will never really be normal again. I lost my lover, my best friend. I walk into this house and the emptiness is at times overwhelming, I really am lost in my own home. I know in time things will get easier, but I will always be lost without him.
I am making an attempt to create a blog and I really do not know what I am doing. I am sure with a little practice perhaps I will know what I am doing. We will see about that. I have been reading some blogs, mostly folks related to me so now that I finally have a computer at home, I thought I would give it a try. I did a little flower gardening after work, cooked supper, packed lunches, doesn't sound very exciting, does it. My husband goes to bed quite early so I usually spend my evening on the computer because I am to tired to do anything else. Sometimes my dog, Rocky, a boxer decides to get up off the bed and pay me a little visit. Rocky is a almost 2 years old who I now love, but let me tell you I almost gave up on this dog. We had another boxer Oscar who developed lymphoma at the age of 3 and had to be put to sleep. My son thought that my husband needed to have another dog right away. My husband also has lymphoma, actually this is his 4th reoccurence. Oscar was with Pete through his stem cell, and he was always at Pete's side. Oscar was an amazing dog with a great personality, so human like, he could even say mama! Pete and Oscar had lymphoma at the same time. It was very hard on us when we had to say goodbye to Oscar. My oldest son Seth went and got another boxer for Pete. Well this puppy was unlike any other puppy! He was a bit aggressive and I would be left to hang out with him in the evenings, since my hubby goes to bed when the sun is still shining. This dog would just jump and attack me all the time, I used to jump and the kitchen table and be in tears, trapped in the kitchen with this dog, whom I did not like at all! My husband being a dog lover said he will be a good dog, just wait and see! One day I come home from work and he tore up the kitchen floor, he actually ate alot of it!! I wanted him to go! Well Rocky has turned out to be a pretty good and lovable dog! Who would have thought!!