Kissing The Face of God

Kissing The Face of God
Kissing the Face of God

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ok so I've been away for a bit.....

I apologize to my one follower (lol) that I have been away for a bit. I have been going through--and am still going through--a severe depression following my husband's death. At first I felt numb. Then I felt somewhat vaguely anxious, followed by crying jags which no one in my family approved of or understood (all males).

Also I just noticed, as I tried to post confused looking guys URL 's here for photos, that suddenly none of the URL's are "valid" and all are 8,000 miles long, so one more thing has fallen to to pieces. So I apologize profusely for no entertaining photos in this post. I'll get my son to look at it when he gets back from camp.

Anyhow, I note that (some) guys just don't have a ton of patience and tolerance when it comes to female catastrophizing--even when it is a genuine catastrophe, and believe you me it doesn't get more genuine than having your sweet husband die in your arms.  I am getting through my days as best I can.  I get up, get Daniel (13 year old with high functioning Asperger's) off to whatever he has going on that day, and get to morning mass, which calms me and centers my day. We have just lost our associate pastor Father Wade, my spiritual director for the past two years and the man who got me through my husband's funeral and my breakdown at his coffin graveside. Our replacement associate priest, though extremely sweet and gentle, is difficult to understand having come directly from India and is unfamiliar with certain words still (widow being one of them), so we are all feeling a little lost and off balance  However, we've still got Father Isidore!

(I hate that shirt--it makes me look huge)
So, after Mass I do a variety of things to try and occupy myself--working in library at church, coffee with friends, adoration, grief group on wednesday days and on monday evenings, visits with both my son's therapist and psychiatrist and my own, all of whom are a good 45 min drive away, visits with my Stephen Minister, and so on. It all helps a bit, but inevitably those moments of panic and distress return and my family (by which I mean my 3 boys, my dear sister in California, my far flung nieces and sometimes my ex husband (long story--we rent our house from him and he comes by on the weekends to help out and micro manage until my brain spills out my ears--he IS helpful but makes me feel like a nincompoop--ex: "Your tags are expired on your license plate Kerry!!!! Are you an IDIOT?", etc when I have never ever had to do that stuff before and  am doing well to remember to feed everyone and buy groceries and do laundry.

Then comes the dreaded evenings. I struggle with my youngest son often, as he and I go round and round on the "I bet I can say something to make her cry" merry go round, and my nerves are such a jangled mess by that time of day that it doesn't take much to dissolve me into a puddle, which just worsens the situation.

At a funeral I recently attended, I sat next to a sister who was with the sisters of St Eudice of the 11th hour--an order for women ages 45-65. They wear a full habit and have a wonderful apostolate that really appeals to me. If, when Daniel is raised, I still feel the same pull towards full time service to God as a religious, it's nice to know it's possible for someone my age.

I am still struggling to know my place in life, now. I don't like being a widow, but I can't imagine anyone as wonderful and ideal for me as my dear one in Heaven.  I don't know how many years I may have left but I feel unproductive, unloved and afraid right now. I cannot go through the remainder of my life this way. I have gone to widows forums and they are so sad to visit--it helps to know I am not alone, but oh, the pain there, and the anguish, and it goes on and on, for years.     Right now that is just too frightening to comprehend. So I am trying the one day at a time thing.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1)  I knew it I knew it. No sooner does your beloved die and leave you alone with a terrifying pile of bills and a terrifying lack of income than the flood of broken stuff behind to roll in. I used to tell him all the time, "You cannot die and leave us because we cannot fix the computer, or the TV, or anything else remotely electronic, nor can we get the cell phones to work again, or fix my blow-dryer when I get water in the plug somehow, or any number of other things that only he could do.  Now I have trouble with my widgets on my main screen--I can't see them and I don't know if anyone else can either.  Anyone know how to fix this? Anyone have an electronics tech I can borrow? Oh Dear Lord Jesus, I miss him so--please take good care of him.

2)  Which sort of brings me to my next rant. Which I warn you won't make any sense.  But here goes.  Why is it that there are "no marriages in Heaven"?  I think the Mormon religion picks up a lot of converts just by promising them they will be "sealed forever" to their spouse and family in Heaven. That thought is very attractive to most of us earth-bound humans who have a hard time imagining that they won't desperately want to see and be with their dear ones when they get to Heaven. Yet the image I keep getting is one of well, you might catch a glimpse of a familiar face now and again and wave across the streets of gold, --MAYBE--but you really won't care because all the focus is on God. Now, I realize that this is one of those mysteries we won't fully understand til we hit the Pearly Gates, but....but.....I want to think I will see him again, hug him again, that we will know and recognize each other as special to one another in the earthly plane, and that we will continue to have some sort of friendship/relationship in Heaven. It makes me sad to think we will just pass as ships in the night. I mean, do we retain our personalities, and whatever things made us special to others in life on earth? Or what?

3)God, what are you calling me to do?  I don't understand. I don't have the foggiest idea how to be a great mom to a teen with Aspergers and ADHD . I'm too old to be a nun, too young to be so alone, to poor to start up a business or begin a new career. I don't know what God wants from me.

4)  Family is tired of listening to me talk about my dead husband, my grief, my financial concerns, etc. Kids (ages 29 and 21) tell me it is boring, that I can't "lay" my sadness on them by ever speaking of it or crying in front of them, that I need to pretend to be happy so I'm more entertaining to talk to, or they just will stop talking to me altogether.  I should leave all that for a paid counselor, they tell me, not for family.  I thought that was what your family was for--to help you bear the burdens during the rough times, and share your happiness in the good times.  I can't pretend a happiness I don't feel two months after losing the love of my life so I will be more "fun" to hang around. And if they don't want to be around me they will have to take a number and get in line.    
When I read blogs or hear about other families who cling together during crises, who express love and caring, I feel a pretty big (if I am honest) twinge of jealousy.

Wallowing in self pity again

 5) How much self pity do we get per day? Someone told me 15 minutes--set the clock, cry about your lost loved one for 15 minutes, then resume your normal life. All well and good but my normal life is no longer here.  He took it with him when he went. Now all I have is horrible surprises behind every phone call , ruined credit from medical bills I can never hope to pay ($75,000 for one day in ICU, and he was there 3 weeks), kids who don't want to talk to me because I'm not "fun", a closet full of clothes he will never wear again and trying to deal with the Social Security nightmare.

Better set my watch.

6) I wish they didn't only sell Delaware Punch in Louisiana and South Texas. That was one remarkable canned beverage, by golly, and it  was always around my house when I was a kid. Whenever I got sick, I got Delaware Punch, Welch's grape juice and Flintstones orange Push-Ups.  

7)  Took our dog Max to the vet today. He has a nasty yeast infection in one ear. Poor guy. It's a dog's life.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Can't I Even go to a Movie?

Well, my youngest and I decided to go see "The Croods" this afternoon, an animated movie about cave people. I thought it would be a nice treat for us, as we almost never go to the movies, and man was I amazed at the PRICES!!! I recall a few years back joking about how one day soon it would be $10 to go to the movies, and lo and behold, it is. Not only THAT, but they wanted $6 for a small bag of popcorn and $4.75 for a small SODA! I was flabbergasted.  Even if I had the money, I would not pay that much for a soda anywhere.

But be that as it may, the movie was actually very sweet--until it got to the ending, where the world was splitting up into separate continents, and the dad who is a big strong guy, throws his family one by one over the gap onto the other, much nicer side, knowing he will be left alone on the soon to be destroyed other side. He then goes back to a cave and draws pictures of his whole family on the cave wall, then draws a figure of himself with his arms wrapped around them all in a huge circle.

By this time, Daniel and I were both sniffling and weeping.  But somehow, this being a movie, the dad figures out some fantastic plot and manages to get back to his family--which is totally something Robert would have done.  He always had something up his sleeve, whether it be a $20 bill tucked away somewhere when we were desperate for food, or a computer part we needed, or whatever. He loved to be able to say to his family, "Don't worry, I got'cha covered".  And he did. Always.

SO, we left feeling like we had been run over, and looking like we were staggering out of the scene where Old Yeller gets shot.

But when I got home, and was telling a friend by text, she said "Maybe it was just Robert's way of saying he is still there with you, just on the other side now."  And somehow that comforted me a bit.   Like he was saying "I'm still here. I got'cha. And Jesus has us all!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Benedict Arnold Dog

You know it's bad when even your dog rejects you. My husband and I used to have the most wonderful dog on earth, named Zenith--a Catahoula Leopard Dog that we were blessed to find at a local shelter. We had never heard of the breed but we got her as a birthday gift for our then 3 year old son, and she was am amazing dog-a once-in-a-lifetime dog who was so smart, she trained us, and so comical and sweet and manipulative--but in a nice way--we adored her. She passed away two years ago from cancer  of the spleen, and our hearts were broken when we had to put her down.  SO broken in fact that we all went out immediately to get a new dog, as we just could not stand the idea of not having one, and Max, the other dog, belonged to my middle son, Tanner.

So, we ended up with a small German Shepherd-cattle dog mix named Sukey.  She's a sweet dog, a bit of a troublemaker, likes to chew things up, but we loved her. Not like Zenith, no, but she was a friend.  She always slept on the bed between Robert and I.

Well, since my youngest son Daniel--who has been sleeping in my room at the foot of the bed since his dad died most nights--began usurping her spot on the bed, she refuses to sleep anywhere on the bed. She umped up as usual the first night we came back from the hospital in Houston where Robert died, and when she saw it was Daniel and not Robert, she hopped right back down. She won't come back ever since.  I feel extra-rejected somehow.

Friday, May 10, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) Can I just please cancel all "special" days and holidays for the next year or so? I had a birthday and it was just way too painful without him, even though dear friends and my middle son tried to make it better....and I did win a wonderful St Therese Journal giveaway at Shower of Roses blog, which I could not help but feel was a "present" of sorts from Robert, as I never win anything. But missing him is just slaughtering me.  Nothing is the same, and I mean nothing.

2) This has got to be a super-depressing blog to read. I know I wouldn't want to read it if I were still happily married and trying to make a place for myself in the catholic wife-and-mom blogosphere. But I can't seem to find a way over to the "widow" blogs without  losing what I was looking for in the "Catholic" blogs and child raising blogs, so I don't really know where to go. Looking for a widowed catholic mom with kids still at home blogosphere seems a bit I guess.  There is no such thing apparently anyhow. So for now I have no idea where I fit in.

3) SO let's change the subject.......Amtrak Trains! How many have ever ridden one any distance, like, overnight somewhere or further? When I was little, we took the train from Union Pacific Station in Los Angeles across from Olvera Street to Beaumont, Texas to visit my aunt Bessie. She was really my great aunt and was like a grandma to me, and I loved that cool as all get out train ride.  I always read every word of the brochures, and we got a bedroom and there was a neat blue nightlight above my bunk, and the rails would sing you to sleep. And the next day as we went through El Paso, we went past  a big mountain that looked like an Indian chief lying down--Cochise, I think it was called.  Union station itself was a beautiful landmark of art deco design that really made you feel like you were getting ready to go somewhere BIG! And the train in those days (60's and 70's) had not only a dining room but also an "automat" car where everything was dispensed from vending machines (corned beef hash, I remember particularly) and they had all kinds of neat stuff.

Amtrak Automat car

Bedroom on train

Interior of lobby of Union Station--you KNOW you are going somewhere major when you enter here!
4)  Why don't nuns wear habits anymore? I mean, yes, some do, and those orders seem to thrive--the Nashville Dominicans, and the Mary, Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans for example. But so many don't, and I just can't imagine going to all that study and love and dedication to be a sister and want to help people, yet not let your identity as a woman consecrated to God be known to all upon sight.  I can't help but think it must have something to do with the fall off in vocations, among other things.

5) Russian Nesting Dolls--how can you not love them? My faves are the ones that have jillions of tinier and tinier ones inside til they are so tiny you can hardly believe it. My middle son got me a lovely owl one for my birthday this year.

6)  I can't read anymore. So many books and my brain doesn't work any more to read them. It's just.....broken somehow.  I can't think anymore.  My husband took my brain as well as my heart when he went.   I really should donate them to the church library.

7) Which reminds me.....I need to go try and find two books I am missing from there. I got a call today about it.  Oh, the guilt.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Panic Attack

I have suffered for three years with severe panic attacks. Up until now, they have all been health-related--I was forever convinced I was dying of cancer, or, in the rare moments when I was not , I was convinced my husband was. Very sadly, he did turn out to have cancer and we lost him in March.  Somehow that completely cured me of my own fears of having a fatal disease--I guess because of the thought of being with my beloved Lord, and my sweet husband again, now holds such beauty for me I no longer fear it.  But it was a high high price to pay to cure that worry.

Today I am having a minor-ish panic attack for the first time since he passed and I am trying to pray my way through it. I don't know what has brought it on exactly--maybe just the howling misery of not having him here with me. It's just a nameless fear, but it scares me. Maybe it's my upcoming birthday on tuesday--my first without him. I don't know.  But I ask for prayers that the Lord Jesus will help sail my boat to calmer seas.

On a lighter note, what a cute picture I found today of my now 13 year old son in first grade :

#3 son at age 6 on a butterfly garden field trip. What a sweet baby. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) I love the new Pope--such a humble man, how can you not love him? I can't wait to hear ore about what he will be doing in office. I love that he says a public mass each day! I wonder who gets to come?

2)  May is the month of the Blessed Virgin.  I think often of how much she endured--losing her husband, then her son. Then going on to help build the new Church--without the physical presence of either Joseph or Jesus. Such a brave, wonderful woman.

3) How on earth do people manage when a spouse dies? Even the support groups I go to and the blogs I read hold out little hope for improvement in the icepick  like pain, no matter how long goes by.  I can't imagine ever being with anyone else. He was my soulmate.  My friend.  I could always trust him.  He never lied to me. He always loved me. He never looked at anyone else. And he had the longest, most beautiful eyelashes on earth. How do people do it?  My mom died 20 years ago and as much as I loved her and as bad as it hurt, this is no comparison.

4) Went for a delivery with Mobile Loaves and Fishes last night, to take food and clothing to the homeless. It was unseasonably cold last night and people were begging for warm clothes.  We drove by the Salvation Army, and saw some through the windows upstairs making their beds, and the unlucky ones downstairs outside freezing and huddled around the building, racing up to get the food.   So much misery in the world, in so many ways.

Mobile Loaves and Fishes truck

5) I hate weekends. For some reason they are so hard to get through. I don't know why exactly--they just are.

6)  I am grateful for the support group I have been attending at The Christi Center.  It's a couple of hours out of the week I don't have to feel weird about bawling my eyes out til I break out in hives (as happened last week in the shower), or not being "over it" yet.  Everyone there knows what it's like--they know the awful, indescribable pain of losing your partner, your other half--and way too soon.

7)  Oh my Robert---please come back.  Please come back. Please come back.