Today would have been my friend, Julie’s 45th birthday. I sent her mom a Facebook message, for which she thanked me. It’s been over 6 years since she died. You don’t realize how fast time is going until it’s already gone.
And other distressing news: my internet has been down since yesterday afternoon. I keep calling them and they keep assuring me that they’re working on it. I’ll have brief periods where it’s up and then it’s down again. Of course, the good news will be, when I actually post this, I should have internet again. At least for a little while.
It needs to get fixed because I have some homework due this weekend. I did a little bit of it up at City Hall, but I really do not care for the internet up there at all (it’s satellite). Plus, I want to send a note to the school principal to complain about something. I found out that the school weighed all the kids this week. That really bothers me. Why is their business how much my child weighs? I’ve already heard reports of some cruelty that has ensued (not directed toward my kids) as a result of this. I want to find out if this is a state-mandated thing or just what it is they’re thinking. But I need to my internet to do this.
I mentioned in my last post that I went to Omaha last Friday to see Kathy. I didn’t think I was ever going to get out of the house that morning! Lizzie had been sporting a temperature, off and on, all week long. I was concerned about sending her because I would not have a way to pick her up, should the nurse call. With Will’s car still not running, we’re down to two vehicles, which gets dicey at times. So David wouldn’t be able to pick her up, either. And then Sam was saying he wasn’t feeling the greatest, either, which concerned me. So, I thought, well, I’d take their temperatures and then if they were even slightly elevated I’d keep them home and not run the risk of the school needing me to pick them up when I was 140 miles away.
Fortunately, I had finally shelled out the $35 for a nicer forehead thermometer just a few weeks ago. I went to use it…and got an “error” message. I changed the battery – same message. Lizzie casually asked me, “What would happen if water got on the thermometer?” I told her it would mean the thermometer would be dead. “What do you mean, dead?” she asked. Distractedly, I answered that that meant the thermometer would be ruined.
So I couldn’t take anybody’s temperature. And then Sam couldn’t find his coat. He has two. One I had discovered the evening before fermenting in the bottom of his back pack. His thermos had leaked earlier in the week and was now growing microorganisms on the coat. Into the wash it went. Well, into the dirty laundry it went, I mean. I didn’t have time to wash it right then. But that was ok, because he has another jacket.
Which he found outside by the trampoline.
Saturated by the pouring rain we had the night before.
And then Lizzie began to hesitantly confess to me that she had actually submerged the brand new thermometer in water the night before “just to see what would happen.” I was so torn. I wanted to pinch her little head off. But at the same time – this was huge. I am not aware that she has ever voluntarily confessed to anything that she knew would land in her trouble before. It speaks volumes for the trust that she has in me – a trust that has taken forever to grow. So as much as I wanted to wring her neck, I also sort of wanted to do the happy dance.
I needed my Moms Day Out by the time I got through my morning!
I heard back from the principal. He said he’s not happy about the weigh-in, nor is the P.E. teacher. Apparently, it’s now a requirement of the Presidential Fitness program that all public schools have to have implemented. The weighing is done in private. I told him I can understand they don’t have a choice, but I’m still not very happy about it – told him it reminds me of George Orwell's “1984.” The last time I talked to him I referenced, “Lord of the Flies.” He may start to think I’m a literature buff or something…
Oh, speaking of “Lord of the Flies”…yesterday three of the kids had dental appointments. While I was there, my neighbor came in and we got to talking. She is not very happy about the bus situation, either. It’s always nice to know I’m not alone in my paranoia. Lizzie told me that they’ve recently announced that the buses are going to be fitted with seat belts and assigned seats will be given. That’s not going to take care of the problem, though.
Sam’s little hamster has figured out how to scale the sides of her cage. It’s coated wire and she just wraps her little claws around that thing and shimmies up and down. His last hamster was just a little lump. All he did was eat and sleep. But Smokey is loaded with personality. Whenever she sees me, she immediately pokes her head out of the litter and comes to the side of the cage. She loves being held. Now Lizzie is asking for a hamster. I told her maybe for her birthday. Separate cages. I don’t want any dead hamsters – or babies.
I think I ran over my phone yesterday with my van. It had tire tracks on it, on the side, anyway. I’m not sure it could handle the full weight of a mini-van, but something sure got it. Somewhere between City Hall and home, a distance of about 3 city blocks, my phone disappeared. I was in a panic! I drove back to City Hall twice, looking for that thing, dumped out my purse, called it incessantly with David’s phone, looked through the van, prayed…and eventually discovered it right behind the wheel of my van, on the driveway. It was covered in dirt and there were distinct tire marks on the side.
Not a scratch on that thing.
The $31 I paid for the Otterbox cover was worth every penny.
A couple of posts ago I was talking about how I’ve started using my phone to listen to radio messages. My mom then told me that Dr. Jeremiah is going through the book of Ruth right now, and I might find some answers to the widowhood/remarriage question I posed last week. So, I’ve been listening to him. I am loving this series. He is taking the book verse by verse and I am learning so much! There is so much in that little book.
I also started listening to the “Revive our Heart” program hosted by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (or whatever her last name is now that she finally married) and last week she had on Margaret Nyman, whose book Mom got me when Paul died, “Hope for the Widow’s Heart” or something like that. She was widowed just a few days before her 40th wedding anniversary about 5 years ago. It may have been a re-broadcast, I don’t know. I really have been appreciating this. And I got very excited when she and Nancy began talking about the end of 1 Cor. 7, which is the very passage I was questioning!
It is Margaret’s opinion that older widows are being cautioned against remarriage – not because it’s wrong, but simply because, she said, remarriage when you are older and have married children and grandchildren and a more established life can be extraordinarily difficult. Whereas, in other areas of Scripture younger widows are encouraged to remarry.
Ok. I can see that. So, what am I, then? I don’t think I’m necessarily an older OR a younger widow! I’m right in the middle. But what I took from her explanation is that remarriage at any age is never wrong (for the widowed, anyway) but your chances of unhappiness in a remarried state increase as you age. Hmmm….
I had some unhappiness in my life this week, but it all turned out ok. It was momentary – and had nothing to do with remarriage.
Sunday, I had the rough draft of the first half of my final paper due. I worked on it for a couple of days, cleaned it up, and submitted it. I got the grade back Sun. night and was dismayed to see I only got a 70% and it was full of criticism from the teacher. I looked – and discovered that I had somehow submitted the wrong version of my paper. The professor got my rough, rough draft that I was just writing for myself. Oh, I was absolutely sick over this. I immediately emailed him and then later left a voice mail. I was so embarrassed. I wanted him to see my “good” work, especially so I could get some feedback on what he wants to see for the paper’s final draft. I was so upset I couldn’t even sleep very well Sunday night. But the next morning I heard from the professor and he said he understood and to go ahead and submit what I had intended. So I did. I was kind of hoping that he’d consider changing my grade, but I knew I didn’t dare ask for that. He’s kind of a “hard” guy (ex military I found out, as well as edging up into his elderly years). I consoled myself that the assignment was only worth 15 points, so it wasn’t a huge portion of my final grade. But still…I found myself feeling anxious again Monday as I did my grocery shopping and just wanted to get home so I could get on the computer and verify that he had gotten the cleaned up copy I had intended to send all along and I was once again, in his good graces. Then, I remembered that last Dec, my adviser had put an app on my phone so I can access all my classes with the device. I had never tried it before. But I stood right there in the grocery store and figured out how to open the app. And then I saw that the professor had changed my grade from a 70% to a 100% and left some very encouraging comments.
I started crying right there in the pasta aisle, which I'm sure was startling for those shopping around me. I never expected such grace.
One day last week I was thinking about camp, for some reason. I was thinking about Ben and David going this year and how in another year or two I could plan on taking Lizzie up to the mother-daughter retreat they hold every April. And then, I thought about Sam and realized he won’t get to go to the father-son retreats – so how can I go to the mother-daughter ones with the girls then? Oh, I suppose he could go with one of his brothers instead some year. And it is possible that some day I might marry a man who is completely invested into my kids (he’d better be, or I won’t be marrying him) and with whom Sam might develop a close relationship. But it hit me
He will never, ever go to a father-son retreat with his own dad.
And I just wanted to cry. Obviously, it’s not new information, but some times those feelings of just what has been lost suddenly break to the surface, like a loose air bubble. That was one of those times.
Sunday, a lady at church came up to me and shared, at first hesitantly, that the other day, her husband was trying to do something at his house, and commented sadly that, “Paul would have known how to do this.” She said he’s commented a few times before how much he still misses him and how much Paul had meant to him.
And I was so thankful she told me, even if it made me misty-eyed. I have noticed as time has gone on that people don’t say his name to me much anymore. I suppose it’s probably equal parts having to do with the simple fact that he’s not around anymore, as well as fear that it might make me sad. But it doesn’t. I don’t think about Paul as much as I used to. I think that’s an evidence of healing and time…and in my case, the busyness of my life and how much is going on in my brain at all times. But, still, as much as I am beginning to look to the future, I love hearing his name on the lips of others. I am grateful for the few stories that people share from time to time.
So, anyway, that was a gift to me Sunday night.
I have a new favorite verse. My mom just shared this with me tonight:
One night this week I tumbled into bed and I was so tired but I couldn’t drift off right away. I was particularly discouraged and worried about so many different things. I found myself praying, disjointed, and telling God I am so tired…of the stress…of being alone…of doing this all on my own, day after day after day. And, please, couldn’t he just send me another husband, like drop him on my doorstep, so I wouldn’t have do any actual looking, so I’d have someone to help me with it all? The kids, the house, finances, the future, vehicles…everything. I need help. I wasn’t meant to do this by myself.
And just as quickly as I prayed, this verse came into my mind and I have no doubt Who put it there:
I don’t need another man. I just need Him.