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Now What

I have been a widow for about three months now, I am still trying to define who I am without my sweet husband beside me. Advice is volunteered after each, “How are you doing?”, and my reply is always, ” Fine, managing alright”. There is nothing more to be said at that point. Inside I am crying at the loss and smiling at the memories. Too precious to share with anyone yet.

For now, I am content to be home, paint, scrapbook, read and watch old movies. I need the quiet right now and I am appreciating the healing time, for what else can it be?

My heart is filled with love for my family and has been brought into sharper focus since my sweet husband passed away. I have a deeper love and appreciation of my children, grandchildren, siblings and family in general. I know it is never a waste to say, “I love you.” to those special people in my life.

I am so thankful we had such a happy home, appreciated our time together and smile at our differences and how we celebrated them. I can rejoice in the passing of my parents and now my husband because of my Lutheran beliefs in Heaven and I can cry because I selfishly want them here with me.

There is no one size fits all manual on finding my way through this because we each have our own experiences and beliefs that equip us on this new journey. I can recall the happy moments shared with family members from my great grandmothers and on through the family tree. Faith and family are the bedrock I am building my new life on with each tentative step into my future.
Wild Flowers

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Losing You

It has been about 12 weeks since I lost my sweet husband and I miss him so very much. I find I am in this new role as widow. I am not sure what a widow should be like, there is no prescribed plan to follow and no books to tell me how to feel and act. I am also grateful that you left a Will to ease the burden of administer the business part of death. I have been fortunate in that I have very supportive family and friends who have been such a store of strength as I work my way through this new life I find myself in.

I visit his grave a few times a week and try to keep it clean, even though our prairie winds like to bring dried grass to rest against the headstone.
I am not sure what else to do because I want to do things for him and since he has passed away I do find myself at a loss as I loved taking care of him. I think taking care of someone is a part of me that I find so fulfilling. I love being a homemaker, I love being a mom, and I love being a homemaker. Loving the grandchildren is just the cherry on my cupcake.

Thanks to my strong Christian faith I know he is in Heaven and is richly blessed, rest easy my love.

After He’s Gone

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My heart continues to feel a loneliness that was not present when my husband was alive. His passing was sudden and unexpected which has it’s own set of grief responses. I can honestly say there is about 3 weeks where time meant nothing to me and my memories of those days are non-existent. I was aware of people around me but what was said and done are lost to me.

One of my daughters and three of her children stayed with me for several days after the funeral and their presence helped facilitate a return to the normal rhythms of day to day living.  Children live in the moment which serves as a reminder to live in the here and now. The past is over and the future is not yet here; enjoy the moment that is here.

One thing that does not seem to be addressed upon the demise of a loved one is the business part of death. There are funeral arrangements to be made, which in itself has a myriad of choices to be made. There is asking friends to be pall bearers and someone to give the eulogy, clergy to be contacted and worked with, music, programs, and obituaries that need to be done. Business. A funeral director can be a great resource to draw from and believe it or not, they can be a valuable resource about finances for the entire business of the death.

I do not deny myself the tears that come from nowhere, I enjoy the smiles that come with a sweet memory.  I do not deny my emotions and live them in the moment.  The day to day business of living carries on and memories come at will and the emotions evoked honoured.

Living a day at a time, taking things a moment at a time, and honouring my emotions work together to facilitate a starting point to my new normal.

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My Time to Rant

9c5f9398b6b678d5e263e360c75f993fI have given up watching the news, not sure if I ever will again. Between the reports of crimes against humanity, crimes against disadvantaged persons, crimes against children, crimes against animals, crimes against nature and my list continues. Why oh why are we allowing these things to happen?

I have grown to learn that we do not have a justice system, we have a legal system. I have learned that in Canada a life sentence is not. I have learned there are not enough people to oversee criminals once they are released from prison, mental health institutions, put on probation or parole. Just why?

If anyone speaks out against the injustices we see or the calibre of media output, we get branded as red neck, bigoted, having a secret agenda, or any number of things that are defamatory, quickly becomes the target we live under.

Many people don’t speak out about anything because they do not want to be signalled out in a negative light. Living in a small rural community the pressure to go with the status quo is expected and for the most part these values are part of the most hated group in Canada now, Caucasian, Christian, Albertan, and English speaking.  Men bear the added burden of their gender.

Time for the pendulum to swing to centre, stop the insanity and make people accountable for their actions and choices. Now is the time to realize that consequences can also be very positive.

 

Global Change

It is not a secret the climate has been delivering some interesting and strange weather to many areas on our planet. Record rainfalls, flooding, mudslides, extreme heat, drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, raging forest fires and so much more. With political will changing and climate accords being ignored what are we left to do? Await an impending demise?

On  global scale I believed we could save our planet by planting more trees, growing home gardens, encouraging farmers not to use chemicals but return to crop rotations and natural fertilizers on their fields.  The family farm is no more for the most part.   Farming is now big corporations contracting to ensure commercially viable options for our food production. Chemical companies by default then become our food suppliers. Scary thought. How could chemical additives and genetically modifying seeds for crops be a healthy alternative to their organic counterpart?

On a small scale, we have planted ‘food’ trees and have vegetable gardens as well as flowers to feed the bees, butterflies and birds in this area.  Evergreen trees have been planted for wind breaks and weather protection as well as offering a safe home for birds and some small critters.  We actively chose organic products when they are available to us and have found a an organic, family run farm to buy our eggs. We only buy wild salmon and avoid farm fish. We do not immerse ourselves into the latest food fads and do not believe one product is the cure all for everything.

When we do buy meat and poultry products we try to get organic or at the very least have not been raised on meat by-products in their food.  Small steps but important ones as food supplies and availability can be compro10703932_10152237731467271_5846619980639634150_nmised by world markets.

These are not big steps by any means but they are at least a step forward to helping us stay connected to nature and living as naturally as possible. The consumer can vote for change with their wallet, supporting business with ethical practices and locally produced.

When the world seems to be spiralling out of control we can take our power back in the choices we make with our spending and living habits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Travel

The speed with which time is passing must be controlled by some unseen force that enjoys making life challenging at times. Summer is a very busy time for me but thanks to time travel I suddenly find myself living the same day over and over; I offer as evidence that I am about 2 months behind in where I should be by this time on the calendar.  I have chores for the summer that include food preservation for the coming fall and winter. These include making jams, jellies, pickles, and canning our fruits and vegetables.  The only thing I have accomplished is dehydrating but that’s only because I forgot to bring in the herbs I had picked one evening and the hot sun managed to dehydrate them without using the electric one we had purchased some years ago.

My other big chore when summer is deep cleaning our home before holiday season is upon us. Time travel somehow managed to ensure I had to do this task much earlier than I wanted.   This is how that unknown force behind time travel went back three days that saw one of our cats bring in a live mouse. Sadly, it did not survive nor did it show itself anywhere. The stench of rotting rodent became very strong and disagreeable. Living in rural Canada, rodents are not a rarity in most homes, most do not have the benefit of feline assistance however.  I searched everywhere, following my nose, but it eluded me. Nothing left to do but pull everything apart and search. still I could find nothing. There is some sage advice out there that says to follow your nose, which I did. Still no resolution. Not a corpse to be found.

There was nothing left to clean, wash or disinfect. Nothing remained untouched.  Life had to go on in spite of my best efforts.  As a way to compensate for the madness that had taken over I made my husband’s favourite supper.  Soon enough, we had eaten our meal, ate our desserts and drank our tea cups dry.  Time to do the dishes, I blame time travel, but the time had come, I couldn’t delay any longer; time to do the dishes.  I am fortunate enough to have a portable dishwasher to help me with this chore and I began to wrestle it to the sink.

As I moved it out wrestled it to the sink, our marmalade cat hopped up on the top for his favourite time, riding the dishwasher. I think that must be the kitty’s idea of time travel, going from one place to another without any concept of how short a distance it actually is. I have no idea when he decided it was  something he loves to do.  The little bit of moving the great, white beast and the smell got even worse.  I shook the great, white beast once again and sure enough, out falls a rodent carcass. It had been hiding in the  insulation around the motor of.  I think it likely had a heart attack while feeling safe in this makeshift nest but the constant attention of three cats was likely the culprit. I removed the carcass, sadly I have had a lot of experience with this but they are usually a fresh kill, then proceeded to clean everything with bleach water and Lysol spray.

The silver lining, the cleaning is done and I have free time coming up this fall. This time I got one on the power behind the time travel, I’m done my heavy fall work. As a matter of note, the pet door is now sealed and I let the DRC’s (dirty rotten cats) in and out through our screen door. My little way of being in charge of what comes in and out of our home.

By the way, the house smells clean and fresh with a tingle of citrus.

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More Hours Required

vintage tipsLooking at my to – do list I have realized I need at least 6 more hours in my day to just get caught up. I am suffering from that nasty spring cleaning bug and my expectations greatly exceed my ability. Great ideas come to me, usually when I am trying to get to sleep. No shortage of ideas but a significant lack of ability.   I wish my children lived close by so they could come in and we could have a cleaning bee at each others homes. I have never figured out doing someonoe else’s dishes is more enjoyable than doing my own. This applies to laundry as well.

I check my email once a day, I check my Facebook every day, one time only so that doesn’t capitalize on my time. Then one day, I discovered Pinterest.  I don’t think there is anything left for me to Pin. I finally decided I would dust my books, one at a time and while I have it down from the bookcase I read or re-read to help me decide if I should keep it or put it in the gargage sale (the one I have planned for three years).