Saturday, October 31, 2009

End around

I did an end around. I have attempted to go to 7:30 church at Lumen Christi 3 different times and have not been successful so I tried 4:30 today and it worked. The tears came but not too badly. I will try 7:30 next time!!
Today has been one of those days that you just want to forget. Everywhere I turned it was sad, bad and no good. I cried, I got angry, I got lonesome, I just experienced everything but joy. I visited the cemetery and that was sad, I went to church and that was sad, I was at home much of the day and that was sad and the story goes on. I am hoping and praying that tomorrow may be better. I really needed Gail's hand, her look, her hug just anything from her but as you know she is in heaven in such a glorious place and I am in this big lonely house actually feeling sorry for myself at this time. I was so mixed up that when I got home Larry B had left a message for an invite to Lords Day but it was too late so I had eggs and bacon for dinner. How bad is that? Those little old ladies behind me in church are lucky that I didn't give one of them a big old hug just out of need!!!! I will do better tomorrow.
Cynthia turns 29 tomorrow, Lord may your love and grace be with us all.
I have prayed for the Klein family today, I know these times are so difficult.

Good Bye October

As we count down these last hours of October I think there may be a sun rise on the horizon. I can see a bit of change in my heart. The nights seem not so terribly lonely as a few weeks ago. The days seem not so empty as they once did and the work around the house seems not quit so meaningless. I still do not sleep very well, I still often aimlessly get things done and I so often think of all the things Gail would be doing if she were here. Yesterday both Audrey and Faustina were here at times and I just know how much grandma would be beaming if she were here. At times like that I need to remind myself how happy she is in heaven and how much better she is because of that.
I am beginning to gather things for deer hunting and I need Gail to help me but of course it is again a solo venture.
I had one of Jenny's home brews Thursday. It was really really good but in a 22 oz bottle---I need to drink the last one not solo!!!!!!
I lost it yesterday as I filled out papers for health insurance for 2010. I had to mark the box "not married" and I had not done that before.
I listed Gail's quilting machine on Craig's list last night, will see what happens.
A very good friend Bonnie Klein died yesterday. She moved here from ND at about the same time as we moved. I remember getting together with Bonnie at the Two Spot in Devils Lake and talking about the Lord. She too battled cancer for a long time and I am sure endured much pain and suffering in her battle. I pray for her husband Joe and children Gretchen, JJ and Chris. They are adults now but the pain is still so difficult and I know Joe will need all of our prayers. One of the difficult things is after a long battle like that a person knows that when it is not in God's plan to heal the person is finished with their suffering and that is good but it is hard to wrap one's mind around that because they are missed so much.
I need to figure out what I want to do tonight as I do not want to answer the door and give out candy, somehow I need to avoid that.
I will drive to Resurrection Cemetery today to spend a short time there and see the pumpkin Travis put on the grave site.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

B & B Cottage

This was my little home Sunday-Tuesday night. I sat near the front windows and wrote thank you notes some of the time. The real fireplace made it a bit homey. The rooms were oh so small and you could stand any place in the kitchen and reach anything!! I am sure I will remember Wren#6 as it was my first time to venture out without Gail by my side.
Today was a slow day which was nice. I did go baby sit Faustina for a bit as Jude had a dr appt this morning. Most of the rest of the day I stayed close to home. Mary called and invited me over for dinner which was nice. I had not seen Henry, Liam and Audrey for some time so I needed that! Of course it was nice to see John/Mary as well. Mary's dinner was delicious.
I made 2 calls out state today. I called our former neighbors in Devils Lake ND. They still live in the house next to where we used to live. They have 29 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren! I also called Andy/Harriet Hrezo who live in Ohio. I had a nice visit with Andy. They are the ones who really were responsible for us buying the house I have now. When we were looking Andy went and got the Sunday paper that was in the garbage already and that is the only way we saw the for sale ad in the paper.
Cynthia turns 29 Sunday. My or my how I remember getting our little girl in a miraculous way. I came downstairs one morning and told Gail she was pregnant. She started to cry and became angry with me as she thought I was teasing her. We wanted a little girl but after Gail had been so so sick for a month the dr told us there was no way we would have any more children. I held Gail and assured her that I was not teasing and I just knew God was giving us a little girl. We put a pink little bank on our dresser based on God's promise and sure enough November 1ST came and God's promise came true. For Gail to conceive was a total miracle. For our entire married life that moment of God's gift remained the greatest gift ever. Of course Aaron, Travis and John are as special as Cynthia but I am talking about the way God so lovingly gave us our hearts desire. As much as Gail loved the boys she so wanted a daughter. Now of course we have Amy, Mike and Mary who are in the same league, special. Lord please pour your grace out on all of us Sunday as the memories will be like the fall colors in the forest---vivid, front and center.

Home again

I returned home last night. It was a good vacation. Of course it was difficult at times and it was so empty without Gail but I made the best of it. Some highlights:
*Door County still had beautiful fall colors.
*The Rineharts and Schwabs are always fun to be with
*The sights and places in Door County are fun to see.
*The B & B we were at was nice, quaint and neat.

Some low lights:
The only low light was that Gail was not there. I just miss her so much and in that kind of setting it was lonely. She was the "reason" for so much of my being and now she is not here so in spite of all the fun things and good things over the 4 days her absence made me sad much of the time.

How did I do? I think I did fairly well. I spent quit a bit of time alone in my little cottage and that was good for me. When ever Gail and I would go like that Gail just did everything. She would spent the first hour or so making the place our little home and that was always so neat but this time I needed to do some of that and it brought tears often but the "down time" and the "time alone" was needed, wanted and it was good for me. When ever we would go some place I would always have about a half dozen things in mind that I could get for Gail. Often I would not get anything but it was in my mind and that would be my mindset as I strolled through stores. Now that is not the case so I often would aimlessly go into a store and after the fact ask myself why I went in the store.

I feel that God is saying to me in these days that I have much sadness to endure, I will miss Gail forever and in these days ahead Gail will be so much at the forefront but God is saying that he will carry me through and the sun will rise in the distant horizon and smiles and happiness will return in his time. He does have work for me here yet. I need to be here for family, for friends, for community and Servant Camp. He will show me how to hold Gail in my heart forever while still running the race. As I listen to God I actually get excited and I await the return of a life that is full of fun, games, happiness, service, work and love. I am still at a loss as to how to live my life without Gail. However I know and I look forward to the day when I can wake up in the morning and remember Gail, smile and then plunge into a day of living life to the fullest that includes family, friends, work, service and much more. I do not know when that may come but when it does I will welcome it and embrace it with open arms--- much the same that I try to open my arms to the Lord daily.
I have much work to do today so I need to get going.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In a few days

I have decided to not take my computer on our WI vacation so I will not be blogging until Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
I had a great time with Jenny Dodge at noon today. We had lunch together and were able to catch up on things that have happened over the years. She brought 2 bottles of home made brew and I will save them until I get back.
Most of the day was uneventful. I struggled a bit getting ready for the 3 nights away but I think I got all, or most, things together.
I am hoping the days away will rejuvenate me. I am getting a bit tired of going through things and there is a long way to go. I may clean up areas when I return and then take a break. We will see what happens.
Time to see if I can fall asleep.

I'm so lucky

I finished reading a book "Forever Ours" by Janis Amatuzio. It was a wonderful book for me to read and I think anyone would really really like it. It tells many real life or death experiences and certainly gives one food for thought and hope in eternal life. On one of the last pages a man explains how defeated, how sad and how difficult it is to deal with his wife's death. A doctor turns to him and say how lucky you are. The doctor goes on to say that most people live a life time and are not loved like that man was or can't love like he did. As I read it I thought that certainly could be about me. Gail had a special and unique ability to love and much of it was directed at me. I think in return I loved her in a way that was rare and special. So, as of today I will go forth with that attitude. I know there are tears ahead and sad moments but I promise I will do everything in my power to live like a very lucky and blessed man. I have been saying and thinking that the upcoming holidays will be difficult. I am going to change my thinking. I know that I will shed tears from time to time BUT I am going to go towards the holidays with an attitude of honoring Gail and enjoying every minute with family.
Deb/Dale stopped by last night on their way to Goshen IN. That was fun.
I got together with Dan L yesterday afternoon for a Surly beer and wings. As I usually say the treats were good but the conversation was better.
I will leave tomorrow and will return Wednesday evening. Ernie/Carmen, Ed/Carol and myself will spent 3 nights at a B & B in Door County WI. Those 2 couples are mature in age and young at heart so it is always a fun time. Gail and I survived 3 North Shore vacations with them and then 3 weeks in Hawaii so I have no fear!!
I am looking forward to having lunch with Jenny Dodge today. How lucky can an older guy get than to enjoy lunch with a pretty young lady. Don't worry, she is happily married and my focus is and will be for a long time kids, grand kids, cleaning, clearing and my wood shop!! Jenny and her family have been special to Gail and I for many many years and today will be a time of catching up as our paths have gone in different directions. It also is important that she is bringing some home made brew that she and her husband make!
I just realized that I need to prepare and pack myself so better get going. I actually think I may have to put in a load of clothes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Out the door but not out of mind

After about 5 weeks of hanging in the doorway between the entry way and den several items of clothing that Gail wore most of the time went to Goodwill. I am not sure I should have been surprised but it was emotional for me. I almost stopped in mid stream and hung them up again but I knew that there is much use left in them and someone who buys them will really like them. I will see them often in the future in pictures etc so they will not be forgotten. I also cleaned out Gail's traveling desk. I gave her a very nice brief case several years ago and she only used it for her writing things when we would travel. I emptied it out yesterday and I think I will use it for the same purpose. Again it was not easy. I still have a Lunds plastic bag sitting on the steps. In it are my swim suit, a towel and other items that Gail packed the day Jude was born. She thought maybe I could take Faustina to Wabun Park swimming during the day if the baby did not come in the morning. I just have not had the heart to unpack it but soon I will do that.
I was looking at pictures on the camera the other day and there are 2 of Cynthia rubbing Gail's feet just a few days before she died. I am not sure if I want to keep them. I would rather that image of Gail as she quickly lost weight in her face fade into other memories of good health.
I was able to put the disk of Gail's wake program in the computer yesterday and watch and listen to it. I plan to make several copies of it for the kids. Hugh Springer did a wonderful job with it.
Don F was here for breakfast this morning, Dick Larkin picked up Aaron/Amy's meat, I will get together with Dan L this afternoon and Deb/Dale will stop here tonight. Sounds like a full day ahead. It would certainly be Gail's kind of day---doing something all the time.
I had lunch with the Schwab's and Rineharts yesterday to talk about our WI trip that we will leave on Sunday. For being more mature adults they sure are a wild bunch!! I may have to find myself new friends who are more laid back and reserved---just kidding.
I am going to do some running around this morning so will get going. I sure miss Gail, Lord continue to come with your love to sooth my heart and soul.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I was so embarrassed yesterday at White Rock Coffee. I brought in the gift things to pay for the coffee and I was happy that I was using them up only to have Greg point out that 2 of them expired in 08 and the other expired in 05!! If I had looked at that I would not have used them but Greg was good enough to let me pay for the coffee with them. It seems that I am not tuned in to details like I used to be or should be. Actually when I think about it Gail often pointed out things I did not notice like going to the store for something and coming home with the wrong thing.
I did go to Claire's soccer game and then out for a burger with Al/Deb yesterday afternoon. That was good. I also really enjoyed Henry being here in the afternoon. Henry picked out our lunch which consisted of hot dogs, chips, root beer and cookies. When we arrived home Cynthia had the fire going so we roasted hot dogs in the fireplace which was fun. Henry was so cute when he was picking out something to drink he said he had to be sure to not get something he isn"t supposed to drink, in other words no coke etc.
I often read the last thing Gail wrote. Her writing was always picture perfect but on Friday, September 11Th in the morning she wrote, which one could barely read, "where am I in the long skim of things, better or worse? " I almost daily use that quote from her and ask myself that question. We need not ask that of her anymore as she is with our Lord and doing very very well I am sure but for me it is a very relevant question. As I look at my house, my family, things that should be done, people I would like to relate to, my relationship with the Lord, my emotional state and so on I do ask that question. Gail has now been gone from her physical presence on earth 5 1/2 weeks, in the long skim of things that is a short time but in the short of things that is recent, close, near or in other words a short time. This morning I liken my heart to the shutter of a camera. As you take a picture it opens and closes and I think the hole in my heart is still there with the shutter open. Almost as if it has malfunctioned and it needs to go to the repair shop to get that shutter to close. I know that the repair shop for me is God, family, friends and that is working well but the partial repair (I am afraid that it will never work like new) will be longer in coming. I am becoming more comfortable alone at home, more accepting of "me and this home" but the gap of Gail's absence is huge and I suspect will be that way for a long time. For the long term outlook I would give myself an A and for the short term a D!!
A friend (I say friend but I have never seen her, talked to her or even seen a picture) Rebecca from Pennsylvania has been reading this blog and sent a very touching note by e-mail. Tomorrow she and her husband celebrate their 10Th anniversary and they will light a candle for each of their family and friends who have passed away and can't be with them. She said she will light a candle for Gail even though the only way she knew Gail was through the blog. That touched my heart.
When I write I tend to get teary eyed and emotional so will wrap this up and get busy---that always helps. I do have things to do, people to see, places to go and work that is waiting.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The answer

I know I already wrote this morning but I want to write down an answer I received this morning. I put up the picture of Gail waving good bye at the end of the slide show. I said I did not know why I did that as each time I look at it my emotions go out of control. Well this morning as I came downstairs and saw the picture my mind just jolted and I thought there is Gail waving hello to me this morning and now I know why I put it up. It now gives me hope and joy to see her saying hi each time I walk by.

White Rock here I come!

I woke up to an empty coffee container. How bad is that!! Actually it is good because I have parts of 4 coupons from White Rock Coffee so I will use them and get a pound of wonderful coffee for free!
I woke up this morning all ready to meet the challenge of a busy day but much to my dismay the time was only 12:47 AM. How is that?? I looked at the time about 4 more times before I rolled out of bed to the pitter patter of rain. It is supposed to rain all day.
I was wondering about hats last night. In going through so many things I have found many hats. They are from Saris in Madison to Holiday Island Arkansas to Notre Dame football and many other far reaching places. Am I old enough to line them up on the back window of my car or is there an age requirement for that? I wonder if I can google that to find out. I also found a wiggly little Hawaiian girl for the dash and I doubt there is an age limit on that!! If I keep this up I may find a fuzzy thing to put on the steering wheel and then maybe I should buy a knob for the steering wheel too. Somehow I feel myself going out on a limb here and it may break any time.
I take Henry to school this morning, have lunch with Jim R, out with Henry again, soccer game to watch Claire play, dinner with Al/Deb and then men's group. I know Gail would look at me and ask how do I expect to get any honey do things done when I insist on globe trotting like that.
In writing this blog I have a big problem. I am the world's worse speller. I love spellchecks but sometimes I am so bad I can't get close enough for the right word to come up!! I will just blame it on those first 3 years of school at Woodlake Country School where my teacher gave me the same spelling book for 3 years and by year 2 I had memorized all the words so never learned to sound them out. What the heck, may as well blame someone as a person can get depressed if they are to shoulder all of their own faults and blame themselves!!!!!!
It is now 6:28 and I think White Rock opens at 6:30 so I better hit the road for some of that scrumptious energy producing java.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rain again

Cynthia/Mike are celebrating 3 years of marriage today. It was a different time. Leo, Faustina, Audrey and Jude were not with us, Gail's health was good and I was into my last year of teaching as well as Gail and I were in our last year of the paper route. How time does change life. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly but always change. I should say that if you google Faustina Elaine Adkins you will come up with Cynthia/Mikes blog and at the top they have my all time favorite picture of Gail. Her eyes are so full of life, so full of love, so full of mischief and all other good things it is great. It was taken during Cynthia/Mike's wedding dance.
I spent the whole day around home. The house had been in a complete shambles for many days as I went from one thing to the next always sorting, throwing, recycling etc. I spent about 5 hours just picking up, boxing up and cleaning up. Actually it makes me feel better. I did go out one time to get some goodies for a meeting here this afternoon and then I stopped at the funeral home and paid the balance of the bill.
I found the picture of Gail waving good-bye, that was the last picture in the slides, and put it up on the mantle. I am not real sure why because I lose it or almost lose it each time I look at it but something inside of me said put it up for you and all to see. Perhaps it will help the mending process.
The last few days I have been struggling with expectations. I try not to have expectations of other people but at times I fail. In this case it is related to some close people that I have not heard from after Gail's death. In a few cases I sent a letter letting people know. I know it is wrong for me to have some of the thoughts I have but they do rear their ugly head sometimes. Of course I can not and I should not have any expectations if for no other reason that I have failed so many times to express my condolences but still they do persist and I need to pray against them.
I have been taking short short walks several times a day. I usually just go to the end of the block and back again but it gives me a chance to reflect, to think, to observe, to look at God's fall coloring book and it is good. I realized this afternoon that when I do this I usually have my hands in my pocket. It just dawned on me how much I miss holding Gail's hand, the warmth of it, the tenderness of it and the comfort it would give me. I remembered her saying when we were in Hawaii that she had never been able to hold hands as much as we did there and she loved it. I have come to the belief that LOVE is God's super glue. Super glue can fix, mend, repair and hold things together forever, yep LOVE is God's super glue for sure.
As I sit at the dining room table I can still see in the twilight of the day leaves falling in the front yard. I remember Gail saying several times that she knew something would happen this fall. Of course we always said she would be healed and now I do wonder if she had any idea of meeting her Father and savor this fall when she would say that.
I am going to write some thank you notes tonight. Like Gail and I would often laugh and say, got things to do, places to go and people to see---now that is me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Empty again

I should and I wanted to be at Paul Korkowski's wake tonight. I wanted to be there for Phil and Kathy but I could not muster up the emotional energy.
I feel like I could be the oil pan of our 70 Chevy Impala when in about 1980 or so I was teaching John how to change the oil and he striped the threads of the drain plug and of course the pan would not hold oil. Well I feel I can not hold any energy tonight. I also remember that when that happened with John I know I had little patience and was frustrated, well tonight I feel that way. I tried to energize myself by starting a fire in the fire bowl in the back yard but that was not exciting, not energizing and not fun. I simply got cold!
I had a scare this morning. The recycle truck went right by my pile of things. I was temped to get angry but then I thought that I bet there was so much there they probably radioed for a truck to come get it and that was correct. An hour later it was all gone.
I get an A. I am supposed to be on meds for a couple of things and I always relied on Gail for those dumb pills. Well I keep them in a weekly pill tray thing and last week I took them every morning and every night. I even surprised myself. Keep up the good work Carmen.
I was able to get together with John B today and that was fun. It had been way way too long but it always is enjoyable for me when it happens. I can't explain it but there are a handful of people in my life that I just seem to connect with. It has nothing to do with spending time together, doing the same thing, having common interests or anything like that. For me it just means that for those few people there is a "connection" when I see them. Anyway, like I have said before in other situations, the beer was good, the atmosphere was OK but the conversation and the "being" was just wonderful.
I have noticed that nights are not quite so bad now. I still do not like them but they are more tolerable than a couple of weeks ago.
I did get the last storm windows on. I was not able to get them on in the way they should go on but the weather looks to get cold again and wet so I thought I had better put them on the best I could in a short time.
The house looks like a disaster just happened. It may be time to get my act together. I say that and then ask myself if I have ever had that happen!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Looking back

I went, I talked, I sang, I prayed, I worshiped and I did not shed tears. Perhaps I had drained my tear reserve in the morning at St. Kates but regardless of the reasons I did not have to use any tissue and this time I brought some! I did pray really hard that God would give me the grace during my first community meeting without Gail to participate without the distraction of so many emotions. I talked to Carol, Bob, Steve, Marie, Mark, Doug, George, John, Beth, Nadine and the list goes on. I would not say it was my favorite time in the last 5 weeks but for sure God answered my prayers in the way I desired. I have come to believe that God always hears and always answers but not always in the way we desire. Why, if only I knew.
Recycling is coming tomorrow so I am trying to get as much paper out of here as I can and so tonight I went through yet another box and this time it was the size that holds 10 reams of paper. Everything in it was related to Gail's cancer in some way. I found TEN wristbands that you wear in the hospital. TEN I could not even remember all the times. At first all the notes, all the prescriptions, all the lab reports and other things made me mad. I thought how could God have not healed her when she wanted to live so badly and prayed and worked so hard towards good health. Then I thought no, anger is not the answer. Instead I focused on how brave Gail was, how courageous she was and how those godly gifts allowed her to see Faustina, Audrey and Jude born, how it allowed us to have a heavenly 7 week camping trip into Canada and how it gave us 3 glorious weeks in Hawaii to say nothing about the countless Friday date nights, the countless grandma/grandpa Thursdays and the list is impressive. So I said THANK YOU GOD for healing Gail during that period of almost 6 years and I am so thankful that you gave our Gail those gifts which she used, endured and suffered through.
I also did start another box only to find in it our wedding cards and other things that I am not yet ready to throw or look at so they shall sit in the north bedroom for another day.
I look at the time and it is 10:41. I know that going to bed means that I am closer to getting up tomorrow and then I will say 5 weeks ago today. Five weeks is almost 10% of a year. Cynthia was over here this afternoon. We talked and discussed how it still doesn't seem real, yet it seems like yesterday or perhaps a long time ago. It just is kind of mixed up. There is one thing that is for sure and that is the loss of a loved one changes one's life for ever. Time may not heal completely--it will mend but change is forever. I am thankful that in spite of the many imperfections that I have and that Gail had we gave our full effort to live life to the best of our ability, to love each other with every means we could muster and to serve God with our whole heart.

Batter up

I got up in plenty of time for 7:30 church. I got dressed, had some coffee and arrived at Lumen Christi about the time mass would have started. I couldn't go in. As I drove home I felt just like I remember feeling (for a different reason) in Cayuga when I was playing little league baseball and the game was on the line and I was up to bat. I would step up to the plate, turn my bat around several times, pull on my shirt and then step out. I would think about what happens if I strike out or pop up or in some way make an out. Then I would step in again, act really big, dig a small hole with my right foot, adjust my cap and maybe would step out one more time! I almost feel that way with things, or situations now. When I got home this morning I took a walk up to St. Kate's College. I had not been on the campus since Gail died. The last time was with Henry, Liam and Faustina. Actually Ken K took a picture of us returning from that walk that day. I spilled a glass of water yesterday and I studied the water on the leg of the chair as I wiped it dry. There were little droplets slowing moving down the leg of the chair and I carefully wiped all of them dry. My face this morning felt like that chair leg looked. My only problem was I forgot the tissue so I had to wipe my face with my green camp fleece pullover. Around the campus as I walked, wiped, thought and pondered I said to myself, "How powerful God made Love." I thought about how much fun I had and how proud I was of myself in high school as I could throw bales all day long, I could out last anyone on the football team in running, I could hit harder with a tackle than bigger guys, I always felt good about myself physically yet as strong or powerful or fit I felt God made Love so so so much stronger. It is amazing to try to fathom our mighty God. As I walked around St. Kates I felt so out of control, so humble, so helpless in the eyes of God that I cried even more. Not in a bad way but in a surrendering way.
All of our family in town is going to take in the Danish breakfast this morning. It should be fun.
We had our first family celebration without Gail yesterday as Audrey had her first birthday party. Faustina was grandpa's date as Cynthia/Mike had a dinner date. After the party we came home and had a grand time for a couple of hours.
I went through many boxes yesterday. The recycling person will once again be busy at 2094 tomorrow morning. Gail had boxes full of boxes full of boxes. I am not sure what she had in mind but I know there were at least a thousand projects in the back of her mind.
I wondered as I walked today if there is a coffee carrier like those water things you see where someone has water on their back and a little hose going to their mouth. I didn't take a cup with me because I have not perfected walking and drinking at the same time so I always have to stop. Well with one of those things I could walk and drink and enjoy. I'll have to check it out.
Next Sunday at this time I will be on my way to pick up Ed/Carol and Ernie/Carmen for our little outing to Wisconsin. It is yet to be determined if I can act like a team member or as an add on to the team!! The others will see me in a whole different light, let's hope it is good!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A day of extremes

It was a day of ups and a day of downs. In the morning I stopped at Resurrection Cemetery. Grass is now starting to grow over the black dirt. For some reason today it seemed like a cold, dreary sad place. The tears flowed down my checks as if it were a hot day and I was squirting myself with a sports bottle. That took me by surprise and for some time I just sat in the car to calm myself and clear my eyes so I could drive. After lunch Jerry Wind stopped, Cynthia and kids stopped, John/Mary and kids stopped and Jan and Jenny came. ALL at the same time. It was a time of laughter, memories and it was fun. Although we do not see Jan and her daughter Jenny very often at one time they were a huge part of our busy lives. Then everyone left and I remembered that Friday nights were Gail and my date night for many many years. I remember looking at the clock in school waiting for 2:00 to come so I could hurry home and spent time with Gail. Often there was no special event or dinner or anything but it was our date and it was a big deal and most always fun. For MY date night tonight I searched through 100's of pictures for 8. I put them in an old unique frame and set them on the fireplace mantel. I took most things off and arranged new things just for Gail. I am sure if anyone notices they will instantly recognize that it is the design of a man, not a womanly touch but it will stay like it now is for a period of time. It contains special items that Gail loved, it has a candle from the funeral, it has pictures of the Lord and it has pictures of Gail from year 1 to the end of her life. I like it!! It makes me sad and happy at the same time.
As Gail said in her dairy on march 26, 1964 "I will be honest because I am only fooling myself." I failed again for lunch. There was great left over fish, salad etc. and what did I do??? I went to the store and bought potato salad and summer sausage NOT a good thing but now you know that I am weak and bad to the bone. I need to change so what is new.
I will not mention Jenny's last name but she has such a cute giggly to go with her laugh and she does remember the strangest things. She promised me some home made beer soon and I will be sure to hold her to her word.
The weather forecast is for sun Saturday and Sunday and I am looking forward to it.
I had failed to mention that the quilting machine that I would like to sell is for sale to anyone who wants a wonderful machine for a great price. It is a bit pricey as the current retail with the extras is about $4100 but you can have it for $2800!!
I am going to bed early tonight.

Weeks end

Amy and Micah came over last night. For me it was a great time. I am afraid that I talked too much but it does seem that helps me during this time. They were on a cruise for their honeymoon which sounded like a lot of fun. I couldn't help but remember that our honeymoon was 2 months after our wedding and it was a 4 day stay at Uncle Hugo's cabin complete with school files that we ordered---we never did live that one down. We said later that our 10 day trip to Italy when Cynthia was going to school in Roman was our belated honeymoon. That may have been possible but that was after 30 years of marriage!!
I had fun making dinner last night. I made beer batter fish, sweet potatoes fried in canola oil with curry and stir fried snow peas. The fish was delicious and even Mike and Cynthia agreed. Now of course I need to do the dishes this morning.
I did get through some more things yesterday. I am kind of waiting for the time that I can get back some order as for now, in the middle of things, there are boxes sitting all over the place. I told myself that last Monday was the last really big recycling day in terms of boxes etc. but I now take that thought back as next Monday there will be a huge pile of boxes and bags on the curb.
Everyday I need to tell myself when I wake up that this is not a dream, this is real life, I am alone and Gail will not come back. I would not complain nor feel sorry for myself or feel angry but the reality is the sense of loneliness and emptiness is indescribable. The funeral was 4 weeks ago today. I am doing OK but the experience of losing a spouse and reentering life alone for me is just a very difficult thing. I am so thankful for family, friends and neighbors. I can not imagine going though this alone.
I think my morning coffee is ready!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

property tax day!!

My or my what a rainy and dark day.
I have been going through many many boxes of cards and papers and it is so interesting. Some of the things that I have discovered
*Gail certainly was a woman of inner beauty. So many cards, letters and things telling her how special she was were neatly bundled and stored but to look around our house you would think that she was any ordinary housewife but she was so special to so many people.
*Some people must not ever balance their checkbook as checks were found. I am assuming that people did not give us gifts in the form of checks knowing we may not cash them!!!
*I have found many pictures in cards and people do change.
*I found a book we made of sharings about her for her 50Th, wish I had it out a month ago
*The card industry must do very well!!!!!

I stopped in at Vision World to drop off Gail's glasses to be reused by someone. I could not drop them off so that will be done at a later date.
When I was going through papers last night I looked at the clock and here it was 2 AM, don't really know how that happened but no wonder I was starting to get tired.
This weather reminds me of what I would think London may be, it is so cloudy, so rainy and just not a happy kind of atmosphere. If this keeps up I may have to purchase some happy pills to compensate for weather, not really.
No, there is a pile of papers staring at me so will go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So what-----Sew what

The machine is a Bernina 440QE. The QE stands for quilters edition. Gail enjoyed making quilt squares so much I surprised her on our 40Th wedding anniversary in June of 08 with this new machine that she could use to sew her squares into beautiful colorful quilts. Now the quilt squares with their perfect stitches and 100% straight seams hang listlessly and quietly in the closet. She was able to use her QE for about a total of 5 hours as her last sewing project was the PJ's she made for Henry, Liam and Leo. It is just too valuable to be sitting here so I did some homework with the help of Carmen Rinehart and it is now ready to sell. It almost took more courage than I had but in the end I realized that anniversary gift or not it just can not sit here. I guess I can feel sorry for myself or I can look at it as another dose of reality that Gail just is not here and the memories of our life together will have to take the place of her physical presence. It would be so easy to tell myself that it isn't true and she will be home tomorrow but of course that can't happen and I do believe that God can and will make good out of a difficult situation.
Actually I did fairly well today. I had breakfast with Jim C, went through some boxes, stopped at State Farm to pay the house insurance and readied the house for men's group. Also in those activities the sewing machine was readied for sale. I did fall down for lunch as I grabbed some chips with melted cheese on them, not good I think!
Tomorrow property taxes are due and then on Friday the balance of the funeral expenses is due. I did call Visa to see if I could increase the maximum on my credit card! They said they would let me know, not the answer I wanted. I may need to get a bit creative in the next few days!
I have nothing scheduled tomorrow until Amy and Micah come over at 7 in the evening. I may try to sleep in but I do not know if that is possible. I have come to the conclusion that in the last weeks my bed has gotten bigger, colder and less inviting and yet that seems strange. I do not want to get too personal here but I miss curling my right leg around Gail's left leg and holding her hand. Now when I try to curl my right leg I almost fall out of bed and for sure I get cold.
I did a fun thing today. I had taken a flyer up to "frame it". The flyer was put up around Cayuga in 1968 inviting people to our wedding dance. It was tearing and fragile so I had it mounted on a stiff backing and now I will frame it. I like it a lot and it does remind me how much Gail loved to dance and I was such a poop. I do wish I had changed in that regard.
It is now 11:23 so think I will try to get some shut eye.


Here October is almost half over. As I write the temp is 36. Yesterday when I was up north the morning temp was 19 and a high of 38. Normal temps are a high of 60!!! We have had these temps for more than a week and don't know when we will get some warm temps again. I do need to get a few windows on so am waiting.
I really had a great time Monday and Tuesday. Mark Lauer took me with him for a 2 day trip to visit his dad. I so enjoy his dad. He is 83, works more than most 40 year olds and has stories to last forever. Last year at the age of 82 he split 40 full cords of wood, some for himself and sold some. When I asked if he used a mechanical splitter he said no they were too slow so he does it by hand!! Yesterday morning Mark and I spent about 1hr and 45 minutes on the water and came home with 6 Northerns that were between 24 and 27 in long. We also let several go. I had not fished for many many years and it was great. I now have 8 pd of filleted fish ready for a fish fry.
It was very good for me to get away for 2 days. I was able to talk to Mark about Gail without tears, was able to think about many things and I actually felt that my mind cleared a bit. Oh my Gail is still so so close and my heart still has that large hole which oozes of pain, hurt, memories, love and so much more but to be able to put a band aid on that hurt for a short time was good for my soul and good for my mind. A month ago, oh I don't want to go there this morning. To remember but to smile is my goal in the days ahead. When I returned home yesterday and the house was so cold (54) I wanted to talk with Gail about what we should do until the house warmed up!! Of course I couldn't talk with her so I turned up the heat, put more clothes on and worked around for a while, how romantic is that--NOT.
I am meeting someone for breakfast this morning so need to go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow snow go away

Gail died 4 weeks ago today. This morning as I was waiting for the recycling to come I was going through papers that Gail had saved and now is a time to throw most. I will leave with a quote from a note I found. Gail had met a gal Barb who had a young family and had breast cancer. Barb was heading up a support group and encouraged Gail to join it. Gail had told her that she had such a wonderful family and community that a support group was not needed. I remember the morning of December 8, 2004. Gail asked me if she should go. She was having a difficult time as she was still doing treatment and I had found out that I had prostate cancer and that was difficult for her too. We decided she should go for her friend Barb. (Barb died this past summer of breast cancer) Here is a note from Barb the day after Gail went to her support group. "Dear Gail, Yesterday I went for my herception---only 3 more to go!! I asked Wendy if you had arrived and she told me that you were taking a break until February. My heart stopped and I wondered how your husband was doing--and perhaps you were taking time to focus on him getting well right now. Gail, I wanted to tell you what a miracle it was for me on that Tuesday night that we sat together, you know, I was trying to invite people to the group and encourage you to come. I thought that although you didn't feel it was what you needed, perhaps you could be a voice for someone else. I was so humbled when I saw you that night, in spite of the news from your husbands doctor. As you shared your strength and wisdom with your clarity that the cancer is gone, it's just gone. I realized you were there for me that night. I went home afterwards and told my husband a miracle had happened. I had been struggling for months with fear. While I know this is normal and understandable, I just could not will myself to let that fear go. I never expected the answer to come to me--and change me--through someone else. You reminded me so much of my mother's generosity and gentleness. I am sure she and God both had a hand in meeting you. Gail, I've been getting treatments for 12 months, always on Tuesdays. That Wednesday morning meeting was by accident---I was blessed that day. I am incredibly grateful to you for being there, for sharing your story and for taking the time to talk. Please know that you have made an enormous impact in my life and I am very grateful." To those who may read this you now know Gail a bit better and can realize even more how blessed I was for 41 years.
I will be headed up north in about 3 hours. I think we will be doing some outdoor activity so it may be interesting with this wet snow!!! I will be back tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Year book of 1964

Cynthia brought down the Sargent Central 1964 year book. Oh my so many memories as that was the year Gail and I started dating. The time has gone so fast as life races.
I have been with family most of the day and that is good. John/Mary invited me over for breakfast and then Cynthia came over about noon and Mike joined us at 6 or so. We watched the twins go down to defeat. Somehow it really did not matter to me. I am now alone to sit, think, pray, ponder and just reflect on life, Gail and what may be ahead. I have come to believe that I am not impatient but I so do want some of the pain, the loneliness and the emptiness to fade. I don't expect it to go away, in fact it most likely will never go away but I really would like it to fade a bit. I know that I need to be alone, to just take time to sit and absorb where God has me in this time but it is painful to not be able to talk to Gail, not be able to touch her (I wish I would have hugged her more often), to look into her eyes and just be. I will never forget how everyone commented that her eyes were so clear, so alive and so beautiful until the very end. It may be difficult to wake up tomorrow as that will be 4 weeks.
It will be a long process but I have begun to think about who am I now, where am I going, how shall I live, how should I spend my time. I guess the bottom line question is now that I am alone and God willing could be here a long time who am I really. I have decided that I should keep Gail in my life by acting and living like she would have liked but I do not need to keep her as part of my life by doing things in the same way as she would. An example is the kitchen windows. I need to put some shades up and she had wanted to fix and put up some old bamboo ones. I will not do that just because she would have but rather I will do what I think I should put up. I don't know if I am clear to anyone or myself but I may try again to explain at a later blog. It may sound strange but it is difficult to make decisions about keeping pictures up, things up etc. It would be easy to just keep Gail in front of me forever but it may be the best to limit that and keep her close to my heart and honor her by being a better person.
I will be leaving tomorrow afternoon and will return Tuesday night. I am looking forward to getting out of town for a time. Mark Lauer is going up North to visit his dad and I will tag along.
Don't know if I mentioned but I put up a bale of straw with gourdes on it and corn stalks on the front posts. Gail loved to put corn up. I think we missed that last year and it would be easy for me to feel badly about that but I need to resist that.
As I sit at the dining table I see thank you notes to write, I think about windows to put on, boxes to go through, bills to pay etc. and I think I need to be thankful for much. I need to be underwhelmed by things and overwhelmed by God's goodness.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I made it!!!!!

I went to Rosie Springer's wedding and came home with no more than a 1/2 doz times of teary eyes! I wanted to go, I was honored to be invited but to be honest I didn't want to go and face the "first" social event for me without Gail at an event where many community people were in attendance. I missed her at my side, I missed her kiss at the peace during the mass, I missed her smile and I did not like the ride alone there and home but I did find out that I can do it and there were moments of laughter and light hearted conversation. The wedding was very nice and it is always nice to be at things when young people are there.
I am finding that there are many many things around the house that take time that I did not realize added up to spending much time taking care of. Some of the things like recycling, picking up, doing dishes, vacuuming the rug, keeping the bathroom clean, making sure there is food in the house, clothes and the list goes on and on. My goodness I am beginning to think I could be busy all the time acting like a houseman!
With little sleep last night I think I will try to go to bed early. I am wondering if today could be the tiny start of getting out of a bit of my funk. I will see in the morning. I read in a book yesterday that if a person is ready to love they need to be ready to grieve. How true! I now take my wedding vows much more seriously than I did even 2 months ago. I was thinking last night about Gail's love. I thought back on how complete, how total, how encompassing and how sacrificial it was. I was in awe of that complete love which I do not think I appreciated fully when she was alive.


This it it, October 10, 2009 and at 10 AM the deck looks like that. I am guessing that it will go away but for now that is real!!!
So much for going to bed late. I went to bed at midnight last night and when I woke up I was ready to get up, the only problem is it was only 12:45 AM! I think I looked at the clock at least each hour and got up at 6:15. I really should have gone to men's group at 7:30 but just could not get my mind up for it and I did go out for breakfast with John. I came home and tried to rest but my mind would not settle down so here I am blogging away and thinking that life has it's ups and downs with today being on the down side.
I am happy that I got the walnut lumber stacked inside last night so that is set for the winter. I am sure we will get some warmer weather but when??
Last night the Minnesota Twins blew their game and actually the ump blew an important call but it just did not seem important to me.
I think I will try to gather some things up for Good Will this morning and get items out of the house. With the buffet and table clear things may look a bit brighter.
This morning reminds me in a big way of the fall we moved to St. Paul in 1977. On October 17 we did not have a house yet, the boys had been rejected from school even though we had enrolled them and there was light snow on the ground. Gail and I often referred to that blue Monday as the one of the worst Mondays of our life. Of course it all turned out well and it will again I am sure.
No, if I intend to make anything of my life I best get into gear today and see what the Lord has in mind for me. I do not want the Lord to have big things in store and miss them!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still Friday

I have been going to bed late which helps me sleep better so will blog a bit tonight. I feel that I am running on empty tonight. At times I have to fight ideas that I am inadequate. I know that is not true but those ideas tend to come. I went to a sporting goods store today and guess what? I turned to my old ideas which was to wander into the women's section and ask myself if I should buy Gail a pair of socks or something. Then I stopped at Nokomas Shoe shop and did the same thing. When I came home after spending time with Dan L I worked in the front of the garage and finished whatever I will do this fall there. It is now clear enough to drive the truck in and I put the walnut in also. There is still much work to do there but enough for now. Cynthia was here much of the day and Mike came over after a meeting. I thought I would go to men's group tomorrow morning but I just do not feel like it. I feel like my energy level, my emotional level and my mind is on the red dot near empty. There are times that I whistle, I sing etc but really in the end it just is so darn lonesome, empty and hollow I just do not know. Am I different than others who lose their spouse, I would guess not but does that make it easier, no. It seems to me that much of the lonesomeness is self pity. I certainly would not be sad for Gail but only for my own selfish reason but still the feeling does not go away.
Each day I have hope and anticipation that it will be easier and some days it is but then another "first" occurs and it seems like it is the same thing. It seems so strange because I have support that one could not buy for a million dollars and so many people show their love in so many ways sometimes I think it is tooo much and then I think what would one do without that? I can fully understand how or why some people do foolish things at times. I find my thoughts going way way back to childhood, to high school etc. I have not thought very much about those days for many many years. I will be out of town next Monday and Tuesday and I am hoping that will be a good thing.

Another first and another difficult time

For the last couple of years Gail and I had shared some meals with Jerry and Susan Wind monthly. It was always a special and blessed time. Last night for the first time we shared a meal again. This time it was neat to have Cynthia/Mike there but it was very difficult to not have Gail there. I absolutely hate those "firsts" but I know that I must walk through them and with time those situations will be a joyous part of my life again but for now it just is so darn hard.
I did not do any work yesterday. Joel came over for a period of time and that was really good, then Ed Schwab took me out to lunch and again the burger was good but the company was the best and lastly we were at the Winds.
The temp read 31 this morning so I would say fall is official and winter may be knocking on the door. NOT
I do have a lot of paper work to do yet in regards to Gail and I have not been too hurried in getting to it but I suppose that needs to be done. I received paper work for health insurance yesterday in the mail and it was addressed to Carmen Lee. I just stared at it for a while as I just did not like the looks of it. In my heart I wanted it addressed to Carmen and Gail but I do know that is no more so I will move on shuffling my feet for a time but in the end I know my step will be steady with my head high and my mind clear of this cancer induced fog. Lord please continue pouring our your love, your grace and your stamina into every fiber of my being.
Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Old things, old friends

Several interesting things happened yesterday. Cynthia and I went through some of Gail's china cabinet. We took out many things that will be given away and still there are lots of things in it. There were things like 8 cups from her personal garage sale and other things that she had gotten from many many people. There is still the pitcher, saucers and cups from Mexico that I gave her in 1972 and they may have to go some time. I was able to do some more work in the garage and get the lawn mower and edger in the front from my wood shop in the back. Perhaps I have 2-3 hours left so that I can put that area to rest until next spring and also park the pickup in. I removed the 2 downstairs air conditioners and put them away.

In the evening after Travis left I called Larry Fangsrud who had been by best friend from the age of 10-21. We had roomed together in college for 3 years and when I transferred to another college my junior year our lives took different paths. Well I have been meaning to call him for many many years but did not take the time so last night I did. We had not talked for perhaps 40 years. He lives in Havre Montana and he could not believe that we were talking. We talked for about 35 minutes and believe me that is a LONG time for me to talk on the phone, it was good and it was fun. I told him that sometime in the next year I may take a road trip and visit him.

Lastly I once again had a difficult time getting to sleep but once I fell asleep it was lights out for about 6 hours so that was good. I went through 3 more boxes at 1 AM and the only interesting thing in any of them were ALL the Italy things from our trip in 03. For sure the pictures, about 200, brought out the crying towel but it was good. I am still looking for 1 picture that I remember and I have not found. I remember that Gail said so many times that she would return to Italy any time just to see the many many beautiful churches. As beautiful as the churches were I bet they pale in comparison to her home today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Just barely as it is about 12:45 AM now. I am just restless and can not sleep. Travis sent me an e-mail that got me to thinking. He said that he has been reading the blog daily and it sounds like I am having a hard time. I had not thought that way except it may be true. It just seems like I am so darn lonesome. I know Gail is in a wonderful place. I don't want to be with her now as I want to live out my life here etc. but it just is so so lonesome. It seems like over the years we had grown so much as one. I am not saying that everyone should be like that but for us it happened and it seemed right. Often we would start to say the same thing at the same time. Much of the time we would have the same idea and most of the time we agreed. For now I am just so lost. I actually have a feeling that it will pass soon but not yet. I don't have much desire to do anything right now. I have found myself thinking a lot about the past. I am remembering some of the cute outfits Gail wore, some of the goofy things she did. I remember one time she e-mailed me and said she was depressed and when I arrived home she may be a little grease spot in the corner of the basement. I actually hurried home early and there she was in the kitchen just as happy as could be. I was so relieved but upset and she thought it was so funny!! I remember one time when we were still dating. We were driving to a movie in her car because I only had a motorcycle and I was singing to her as we sat sooo close. I had my arm around her and I was singing some song that had the words "lets go all the way" and I was as innocent as could be and later she shared that she was a bit concerned and we laughed and laughed as I was so in love I didn't even know what I had sang. I can remember the joy I would experience when I would board the bus after a basketball game and she would be saving a seat for US. I know that I never minded that sometimes the ride home were as long as a 100 miles. I always liked my motorcycle cause she would put her arms around my waist and hold me so tight. I remember that my dad always had an old car so we had to be careful because if we would stop someplace we shouldn't it may not start so I always left the car running!!! I would sit on top of the barn on a Sunday and look west to see if she would be coming in their red car with the yellow canoe on top. (I had no phone) When I would see the car I would climb down, get on my bike and ride the 1/2 mile up to the lake and make sure I arrived just after she got there. The first time I thought my love for her was the real deal was late one night we were in her basement and just sitting talking and for some reason we had our socks off and she started playing footsie with me and her warm toes on mine felt so good. That is really strange but it happened and I thought as I drove home that I could be happy spending the rest of my life with her. One summer weekend I drove my motorcycle to her uncle's cabin where her whole family was. There was a rain storm so I had to stay over night. As I was going to sleep in a top bunk she came in to say good night and she had on the cutest little short nightie and I almost fell out of my bunk!! Her brother was in the bottom bunk and she gave me a little good night kiss on the lips right in front of her brother. wow. Oh those memories are so nice and they seem so far yet so near. Here it is after 1 so maybe I need to try to sleep.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The plastic man

You have heard of the bag lady? Well I have become the plastic man. I have almost TWO bags full of plastic containers that people have given me full of food. The support is tremendous from every one I know but the plastic man!!!!!

I realized a new thing last night. I have nobody to talk to, actually I mean nobody to bounce things off of. If I have a thought or an insight or even a complaint (yes I often fall) there is only the 4 walls to talk to. Sure the thoughts bounce off the walls and come back in the same way they left. At least Gail came back with confirmation or a "what if" or I disagree!

Several people came over last night for the game. They came over because in the house there is a HD television and HD reception! It was fun and it went well but as you may guess it was very empty. I tried my best to be "the host" and I think I did about a B- job but of course there was an empty feeling all night long. For most of the evening I forgot about our Gail of the last few weeks and I remembered our Gail who was the consummate hostess, the queen of the house and the selfless gal who served and loved all. The image was glorious but the reality was she was so so missed. I did think that perhaps that is a way for me to allow the image of Gail those last days to fade, not go away, but just fade so I can recall but they are not at the forefront. My desire is that when I remember Gail I first think of the giggle and that infectious smile and then if I want I can remember how she was the last weeks of her life.

I woke up to a cold rainy day. It looks like we are expecting cool temps this week. I do not know where that Indian summer went, maybe it will come later. I do have a few storm windows to put on and of course many many things should be done by tomorrow!! I am thinking that with high temps now in the 40s or 50s it may be time for the air conditioners to come out!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Three weeks

I could tell you what I was doing 3 weeks ago today. I can also tell you how my whole morning went. On that day I woke about 2:30 and came down to sit by mother. I remember sitting facing the window on the north and praying that maybe God would allow the sun to come up a bit early that day as mother always seemed to do better in the daylight or it may have been me who did better. At 12:40 Gail was introduced to the Lord. Well today is a different day in many many ways. I have not been sleeping all that great and I prayed, please Lord give me a good nights sleep last night. I fell asleep about 11:45, looked at the clock once at 3:45 and then woke up as a tiny bit of rose colored light begin to sneak through my bedroom window at 7:15. Thank you Lord.

I spent more than an hour putting out paper, bottles and some clean clothes for the recycle person. This is the last day of MUCH stuff going to the recycling truck. I have continued to go through things and have now gotten in to a few boxes of things that are in the "what should I do" category. There are of course many many more boxes like that. I would guess that my winter project may be boxes!!

Mark Lauer just stopped and it was a great time. I now see Cynthia here so will go.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Psalm 30:5

This morning I live for the morning that there will be joy. I can put a hundred words on paper or a hundred thoughts down but the bottom line is today I am sad. I know Gail is happy and in a wonderful place, I know that God is so near that it is like camp. I can feel him, I can hear him, I can taste him and almost see him. For that I am so thankful but for some reason this Sunday is a sad day. Very close to the surface are tears and thoughts of Gail. She is so close yet out of reach, so real yet not in my presence and so alive in my mind yet of course not alive on earth.
In the last 48 hours I have had in-laws here and family here and it has been good but yet Gail is not here and for that my spirit is sad and my body aches for her presence. I sense that I am becoming impatient so Lord please grant me your grace and your patience to endure and live life to the fullest until joy once again registers in my heart.

Another first

Mark and Mary Saunders left last night. It was the first time someone came for a visit like that since Gail died. It was nice. We went for a walk on Friday and Saturday and did some work on Saturday. Mostly we just talked which seems to be good therapy for me.

I went to Lumen Christi for church this morning and it was the first time I had gone there since the funeral. I lost it and came home as I did not want to be sitting there and have people look at me and think I was goofy or something. It will be OK next Sunday I am sure.

Amy Root brought over home made cookies yesterday. I haven't even tasted them yet. I am afraid that when I do taste them it may be the end quickly!!!

I continue to read things that Gail wrote and it is pretty amazing. On January 3, 1964 she ended her diary with, "I had a good day and thank you God for everything".

We have a community meeting today. I have been planning to go but after church this morning I am not sure I am ready. Being in a crowd with people I know for some reason still is so hard. I may have to take some more time before I venture out to social things. I do not mind a tear or two but when I lose it that is not good. I am wondering now when a person who has been so much a part of you for so long leaves, how much time is needed. Sure it is still so close to September 14 but I do have the desire to begin to live among friends, family and community again. Working around the house is fine but I know things should change at some time.

Gail's brother invited me to go pheasant hunting in a couple of weeks, I may do that. I have not hunted pheasants for many many many years and who knows I may take my deer rifle by mistake!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Mark and Mary arrived last night about 5. They will be here for the weekend which is really nice. Not sure what we will do today as the weather is still cool and wet.

Last night we talked a lot about Gail which I like to do and it is good for me it seems. I do like to talk about her and I hope I do it in the right way. I miss so so many things about her that is seems to talk kind of puts some of those things aside for a time. I know that she would have served Mark and Mary so much better yesterday than I but I will learn and of course I will not ever be as good as Gail but I think I can become a good host.

Yesterday I worked for a couple of hours and cleared the 3 dresser tops in my bedroom of things that I did not want up any more and that was good. I put up a nice picture of Gail and I that was given to us when Servant Camp celebrated 25 years. By the way I did get 15 thank you notes written and it is good to look at names etc.

This will be short so will go.

Friday, October 2, 2009


It was nice to sleep in my own bed. We had made our bedroom Gail's since about July as Gail had so much going on at night and then after September 14 Cynthia and Mary had been working in the room so last night was the first time I used the bedroom for a LONG time. It was nice. Don't know why but I am still waking up many times a night. That often means I don't sleep as much as I would like.
The mornings are so so dark now. As I sit here a bit before 7 it looks like it could be midnight. The days are certainly much shorter than a couple months ago. I might add colder too!!
Yesterday was one of those "check gut" days. I ran some errands in the morning and was around the house the rest of the day. This may happen many many times but it was a day where the tears were just below the surface much of the time. I don't find myself angry, nor upset or anything close to that (maybe that will come) but for some reason more than any day so far the reality of Gail not being here ever again just stared me in the face most of the day. I thought of several silly or dumb things. I asked myself if I would now be the drink man! You may not understand but often when Gail and I were planning an event we would think of the single men as a source of the drinks for the event! I asked myself if I would be the 5th wheel meaning if someplace there were married couples and me. I asked myself if I would be more dependent or more independent now. Finally I asked myself HOW should or HOW do I make my life now. I do know that it is so close to Gail's death and those questions can't and shouldn't be answered now but at times things rattle around in my head and it actually is not loose screws. I also begin to think about many of the things Gail did and of course I have spent much time so far going through many things and it has become so clear that Gail just did not have the word "me" in her vocabulary. She did have the word "I" but it was ALWAYS what can I do for someone else. I often think of how when someone would come to visit or stay for a time Gail just put her agenda on hold and was there to serve, love and care for that person if needed. I think back of when her dad was dying of ALS and she literally gave most of a year of her life because she loved dad so much. She doctored for months after his death with things that were related to caring for him for several months. Of course she just would never had allowed it to be any other way. She carried her selflessness to the very end. The last time she ever left the house was to help Cynthia deliver Jude. She was weak but yet she stayed with Cynthia the whole day. She did want to be part of the birth but her focus was to serve her only daughter Cynthia. When she was so weak and in pain people would come and they would think she was doing so well. Little did they know that Gail was able to put that brave front on because she did not want others to worry about her. Many times after they left she would be exhausted and would need much time to rest. I do realize that after the fact it is easy to see things in a more Rosy light but really she was unbelievable. I now, more than ever, realize that her life was such an example of being Christ to EVERYONE she encountered every day.
Travis just arrived so it is off to breakfast.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Can you believe it is October???

Oh my goodness. I just did not sleep last night. I would say I looked at the clock at least a dozen times. I think it may be nap time this afternoon.

I did not work at all yesterday. Cynthia again was here for some time over the lunch hour. We spent time recalling the days things happened before Gail died. For the first time I went back and read some of this blog. As you might guess I kept a towel on the arm of the chair. I also did type out a note to be put into many of the thank you notes.

I did do a great thing yesterday. I was able to balance one bottle on top of another bottle to make sure I used the last drop. All these years I watched Gail and thought how talented she was to be able to do that. I found out that it is easy!!!! Then I was wondering if Gail does that in heaven to save or if there the ketchup bottle just stays full.

I did go the the college soccer game. Claire Saunders did not start for some reason so I watched the first 20 minutes and left. It was so not interesting without anyone on the field that I knew.
Before the game I was near Hamline as I did some errands but it was too early so I looked around for something to do for 45 minutes. I ended up stopping in at a kitchen counter place. I decided it would be great to have teak counters in the kitchen. After all they only cost 1.5 times what you would pay for Cambria!!!!! I found myself saying I could not do the kitchen now as Gail should have had a new one years ago. I stopped and said that was wrong thinking but still there will be NO new kitchen soon!! One of the things we had talked about from time to time was when we had a blueprint of a new kitchen drawn up and then decided any money we had needed to go into family and not a new kitchen. Almost from the day we decided I wished we had not made that decision but......

I have come to an interesting realization. When I was teaching I could always look forward to the weekend when there were no kids, no lesson plans and no need to think about the many issues at work. Now I more than ever I realize that as a stay at home_________ there is no respite on the weekend. It is 7 days a week. There are meals on the weekend, pick up 7 days a week and the list goes on and on. I think in the Catholic Church the process of sainthood is 50 years. Let's see, Gail was married to me 41 years so she could officially become a saint in 9 years or did I do that wrong? I do know she was a living saint.

I am trying to figure out a way to keep the air conditioners in all winter and still winterize the windows. Don Ferber said he would help me with the windows and storms. Gail and I would usually spend 2 days and during that time she would wash the inside at the same time as I wash the outside. Sorry Don but I am not sure I want to look at you through the window for 2 days!! Just kidding.

As I finish this there is a cold hard rain pattering against the window. I just know that if this were November or December it would be snow---I do not think I am ready for that. I do visualize Gail's grave covered with snow and for some reason I don't like that.

No, it is time to open the shades, feed Wallace and think about a new day. Come Lord in all of your glory to all those who ask your presence. Give us wisdom, give us the ability to love, give us the ability to forgive and pour out your grace in each of us so that we may be Christ to all we meet.