Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ouch. That Hurt.

Right now, I am at my step-dad's funeral. I set this up to post just as I went in for reasons you shall read about in the next few paragraphs. Please say a few prayers for us during the course of the rest of the day, I am sure we could use them.

Yesterday, I went down for my step-dad's viewing, more for duty than seeing him. We saw him before he died way more than his own kids did, we were with him for 2 hours in the house while family and friends came to see him after he passed away, and he knew we loved him.

My sister, who was his primary caregiver, said all of his belongings are divided up and given to his kids. She wanted his belongings out of the house as quickly as possible as they were difficult for her to look at. Everything happened peacefully and quietly and with no arguing - thank God.

After viewing his body yesterday (a custom in the USA), I sat in the pew to watch the pictures on the slide show play; remembering, seeing pics I had never seen, enjoying 'reliving' his life through pictures.... of his children, of his grandchildren on the first wife's side, of his ex-wife before he met mom, his parents, of Liz, of 2 of her children - but not one single picture of my mom, my siblings (other than Liz), not one single picture of any of the grandkids on our side of the family (except Liz's girls that lived with him). Liz has 5, Danny has 4, Shari has 3 and I have 2 - and not even one picture of his great grandchildren on our side.  We have one nice family photo of all of us siblings together with him and two of the grandkids, Megan and Christian... is it in there? Nope. Not one stinking picture. Steph was even called in a mad rush to ask for a picture of Megan for the slide show. She was not asked for a picture of her or her family... but for a picture of Megan... Talk about a slap in the face. That is not supposed to hurt?

There are several dozen pictures of his entire family on his 1st wife's side; complete with kids, grand kids, great grand kids, his siblings and cousins...

Not one of us or us/ours.

Our part of the family stands exactly where I thought we did.

I understand the slide show is done during grief and pictures are randomly found and used. However, I had come home, gone through hundreds of pictures and given a thumb drive with a dozen or so of our side of the family to pick and chose which ones to use (mom and dad's wedding picture was included) and offered to find a few more if needed. 

Not needed apparently. Not even any of those dozen. And not one of moma and David. However, I did make a quiet statement about it not being there and later I was told it was added.

The funeral is today. I will get through it with my family; my daughter (his grand-daughter) and son-in-law, granddaughter (his great-granddaughter) and my hubby. My son will be there 'from a distance' and quite frankly probably the best place to be. This was the only grandfather our kids remember. Together, whether we are remembered in his life story or not, we were part of his life. 

If I have received a private message from you, I will answer. I am not handling this well I guess and I am numb. Responses are not even possible right now, but I will get there. Thank you for your love, prayers and understanding. Please continue to send them our way. I loved the Bible reading shared with me. Thank you so much.

I was right to stand off and watch from a distance. Obviously, we were right where we belonged.

And though it seems like our family never touched his life, I know in my heart we all did - each and every one of us.  And that is what really matters.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Horrible Loss for Our Family

Two weeks ago, dad was doing ok.

Yesterday, he died. My step-dad had pneumonia last month and seemed to be doing better. The pneumonia was cleared up, he was sent home from the hospital and doing better, but he was weak. However, he took a drastic turn downward and he was so stinking weak he couldn't move. After having back, knee, hip and cataract surgery in the last few years it is no wonder. However, he was ok a couple of weeks ago, but now he is gone.

I am not sure how I feel about losing him. Oh, I am sad he is gone, don't get me wrong. Very sad indeed. But I have been struggling with his death. It is like the end of an era - he is the last ties to moma, I guess, and he is my last parent. Dad was not my real father - in fact, mom and him got married after Steve and I got married, but even though he was my step-dad, he was still a very real part of our family and has been for years.

Just before moma died, Liz went to live with her and stayed on to care for dad after mom died.  She has been living with and caring for him for 11 years; Drs visits, hospital stays, surgery's, filling meds; you name it she has been there. She was faithful to him until the end, promising him he would never go to a nursing home, but that he could stay at home until his dying day - and he did.

I guess that is one of the reasons I feel like I don't have a 'right' to feel the way I do - but I don't know how to explain what I do feel. I guess I feel like he is Liz's dad more than mine, and his kids come next and somewhere down the line comes me.

David made my mom happy. Mom had never been truly happy until she met David. I loved David because he loved mom unconditionally and she deserved that. They both whined about this or that but the other was there to console and cater to whoever was down at the time. I was always happy that moma had David and glad that they found each other. Dad died 10 years and 10 days after mom died.

David was a farm boy.  He was raised on a farm with lots of siblings.  He was a simple man; it didn't take much to make him happy - take him fishin' and he was a happy camper.  He was also a talkative guy.  Oh boy, was he talkative!  Moma used to call just to hear someone else's voice and I used to say things on my end to make her laugh and he was justa ramblin' in the background. Todd talks about the time he was polite for 5 minutes to let dad finish his conversation (with himself) and Todd finally gave up and used the saw to cut boards. Dad was still talking 15 minutes later when he turned the saw off - having never missed a beat and not even realizing Todd had not heard a word he said while he was sawing.  Oh, yes, dad was a talker... lol... and I say that fondly.  I will miss those ramblings...

David's funeral is Wednesday, January 16th. This will be a tough week. I am staying here at my house for the most part - a bit over an hour from where David lived. I have gone down to be with my sister, but she is surrounded with people who love her; Jaci, Megan, Robyn, the preacher and his wife and David's family. The house is tiny and I am not sure what I am supposed to do anyway. I feel lost. I come home and still feel like I need to be there, but when I am there, I am, once again, lost. Weird...

It doesn't make sense. 

And all the while, the world keeps on twirling... Drs appointments, work, sewing groups, homeschool meetings, shopping, eating, sorting... it all keeps happening and I keep thinking, my step-dad just died! 

Everyone is going through David's things and dividing it up. Thankfully, it has all be done peacefully and with care and concern for everyone. When I am there and see things leaving, I sit back and think, just let us bury him first - just wait!  I don't say it, I just wish it. I haven't asked for a thing from his possessions. I have no desire to do so. I guess I feel like he might still need something so let's wait a bit. I just want the earth to stop for a moment and let us mourn our loss. Why do we have to go from one season in our lives and race on to the next season without getting a grip on 'the moment we are in'?

Why am I so torn over his death and my place in it? Why can't I put into words what I feel?

My dearest David, we are going to miss you.  You were the only grandfather Steph and Jeremy really knew - as you know, our father's died early in their lives. Both are sad to see you go, both are gonna miss seeing 'grandpa', and both have terrific memories of hanging out with you and fishin'. We all have lots of wonderful and fun memories with you. You leave a very large hole in our hearts, but the terrific memories will always be ours.

Do me a favor, hug moma, make her laugh again and hold her tight for us. Tell her how much I loved you both. And tell her I still miss her.

And we will miss you just as we still miss moma... I am definitely mourning your death and our loss. I love you.

Now go rest in God's glory, "Pop". 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Buttons, Buttons, Who Has the Buttons?

I must confess.  I have the buttons.  All of the buttons everyone has ever given me - I have them!  Grandma's buttons, moma's buttons, granny Daisy's buttons... everyone's buttons!

I loved admiring my buttons. They were all pretty in jars where I could see them.  I proudly displayed them on a shelf and as I needed buttons, I would dig and search for the 'perfect' buttons.

But several days ago, I needed two pretty blue buttons to go on an owl pin cushion that I was making for a friend and I had to dig through jars and jars of buttons looking for a perfect match.  I didn't find it.

So, I got this wild hare to sort them, and I spent days pouring buttons into a cookie sheet and sorting by colors:

Now I have jars and jars of buttons, all sorted by colors and ready to use in an instant.  There is one jar of 'mixed' buttons - I am sure you noticed that jar - see in the picture above?  They are not sorted because they are those cheap crafty buttons and I refuse to allow them to grace my pretty button's presence in the same jar - but even crafty buttons have their place on my shelf.  I have antique buttons from the turn of the century and buttons in every decade since then - and as many buttons as I have, I don't have many 'new' recently bought buttons.  

But I did have to go buy buttons for that owl I made!  I think I need MORE BUTTONS!

What have I been doing with my time?

I finished all the squares to my underground railroad quilt!

Now I just have to add the lattice work, border and binding.  I will shop for that this week I hope.  Sharon and I had a blast making it together.  We both agreed that neither one of us would have finished it if we had not had the other to prod us on.  It has surely been an experience!

I finished a couple of 'rag' quilts. This was one before I finished - but I love the colors!

Guess you have figured out I love those bright colors by now, right?

I will find pictures of the recently finished quilts and share them another day.

Sarah asked if the cat we lost was the one we bought with the house.  Sarah, you will be happy to know that Princess Cost a Lot is still with us. She is terribly antisocial so we seldom see her though - but she guards the shop and polices the field mice.

We are all doing ok after the loss of our pets.  It has been difficult, but we are making it.  Thanks for asking and thanks for everyone's concern and prayers.

Later gator!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Very Difficult Day

I won't/can't go in to explanations, but today we lost two furbabies.
Squeaks (named so because she didn't meow, she squeaked - and was quite a squeaky chatterbox at that):

And Goofy, Raelee's dog - can you tell?:

The picture above is Goofy with Raelee when they were young. It is a picture I could find easily through the tears.  Raelee is now 9.

We are gonna miss you both.  Rest in peace sweet loved ones.  Beloved pets that will stay in our hearts forever.

My eyes have cried more today than they have in years. 

Steve said it best:  "Sometimes life sucks."

Yeah, sometimes it does.

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