Thursday, February 2, 2023

Too Painful for Words

 Too painful for words, but too helpful to be silent. Just two months ago, I remembered Dean on his birthday, and now I remember him again on his "death day". Both are dates that are seared into my memory for different, but similar reasons.

We used to celebrate Dean's birthday in December, because it was an event that brought life to a man I came to love for over forty years. Our marriage changed my life in ways I could not have imagined. At his death, five years ago now, my life has once again changed. I became a widow; but that hasn't been all bad.

The love we shared was not lost entirely. I've been able to channel it to sources that have brought me just as much satisfaction and joy as those blissful, but sometimes stormy, forty years of marriage.

God has blessed me with not only a daughter, but her husband and family, which includes two beautiful granddaughters.

In addition, the last half of these five, swift years have enabled me to reach out to my community in ways that weren't always available when I had Dean's care to consider after his tractor accident. The training brought about by his caregiving provided me with the stamina and determination to be a caregiver for my whole neighborhood.

For two and a half years now, I have daily re-stocked the shelves of a little free pantry in my front yard, trying to keep a close eye on the grocery needs of my neighbors and checking the pulse of the wider community, encouraging them to donate the vast amount of food it takes to feed those in need here.

Although the pandemic has kept me home more than I'd like, I feel greatly blessed that I have a place to call home. It would have been sweet to share all this with Dean, but I have great hopes and expectations that someday in our heavenly home I'll be able to do just that.

Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come! About that, I cannot be silent.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Not-Forgotten Birthday

 Birthdays have a purpose of not only causing us to remember someone on their special day while they are alive, but they provide us a way to enjoy sweet memories of lost loved ones for many years beyond.

I'm reminded of my husband Dean on December 4th, his birthday, which sometimes got overlooked when he was a boy, due to its closeness to Christmas.

There's been five long years now without him to celebrate his special day. The sharp grief in the beginning has been gradually replaced with a bundle of sweet remembrances that do not surface nearly as often as I'd like.

So, when times such as birthdays do come around, days that remind us of that person we hold dear, they are warmly welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you, December 4th, for giving me another nudge to express my thankfulness for having someone special in my life. No one could replace you, Dean Thompson. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. Just as December 4th will always be a special date on our calendar.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Some Days Are Worth Remembering

 Although you might think some days are so horrific they are worth forgetting, you might reconsider when you discover how they changed you...ultimately for the better.

I was thinking in the back of my mind that September 1st had some special meaning, when my daughter reminded me that indeed it did. We both shared merely the fact that it was the day, 23 years ago, that Dean, her father, my husband, had a tractor run over him.

Our hurried trip to the hospital, over a hundred miles away, had us both rattled with anxiety and dread upon what we would find there. He had suffered numerous life-threatening body traumas and was in a coma, which lasted for days.

His hospital recovery would last for months, and his brain injury symptoms would continue for years, all the way to his passing in 2018. How each of us survived the event on Sept. 1, 1999, is beyond miraculous. It definitely led to character development and spiritual growth for the whole family.

We are told to be thankful for everything. So, as we draw near to the Thanksgiving season, let's remember that our greatest trials can also be our greatest blessings.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

My Anniversary Corner

I couldn't let June 6th pass without remembering my dear husband who passed away four years ago. June 6th was our anniversary. In a way these last four years seem like a lifetime ago, especially with the way covid has compounded my "alone time".

It's been hard dealing with all life's stresses without the one who taught me how to deal with them. And that would be Dean. The way he taught me works for an eternity though, so I guess I'm set.

With God, I can wait. I can wait to see Dean again in eternity. Together, we will praise the One who has given all the hope we need to survive. I pray that same hope for the loved ones, I, too. will leave behind someday. He told me once that all our trials will seem like just a hiccough when we reach that heavenly home. Now, that's what I call survival!

(my little memorial corner of Dean, 
with some of his faith and love messages that keep me going)

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Shared Grief

February 2, 2022 sounds like a day to remember, but for many people, the memories are not pleasant. February 2nd, the day my husband passed away four years ago, will always be an emotional time for our family.

As we plod on through this pandemic, I've been hard pressed to write something of encouragement though. Not only to feel uplifted myself, but for the rest of the family, and all the families who have lost loved ones, no matter when or how.

I've found that the greatest comfort for our grief is found in the Bible. Paul expressed it so well in 1 Thessalonians 4, when he talks about the Coming of Christ in such glowing terms. He even tells us in the last verse to "comfort each other with these words."

A day of reunion is coming, folks. We must wait patiently for it. The signs are all around us. It's coming soon. That is truly the most comforting thought I can have and leave with my loved ones on this sad anniversary of losing our loved one. Dean was ready for a good, long rest. How glorious it will be to see all our loved ones though on that grand Resurrection Morning!


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Birthday Blues

I've been a bit sad today, trying not to think of my husband Dean's birthday, which would have been today. Then this evening, after watching a concert on TV of old love songs from the past, I recalled one song that has really touched my heart, especially since Dean's been gone almost four years now.

I couldn't resist pulling up this favorite song of mine on my cell phone and listening tearfully to it again. The tears it brings are mysteriously refreshing. Tears don't come easily to me, but sometimes they are just what we need. A good washing away of those feelings we'd like to forget; but still want to experience, so we don't forget.

I know it's confusing, but if you're in need of a good cry right now (and most caregivers are, even when they don't recognize it), then listen to this song. It's on YouTube: "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers.

If you have to, think of me, missing my husband. I bet you'll get those needed tears flowing soon enough. Just bask in your old memories too...the good ones, of course.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September 1--a day to remember

 I see I have not written a post here all summer. The summer has flown past, and we're already into the cooler month of September. The delta variant and many people still unvaccinated are causing this pandemic to rear its ugly head again here in the United States.

But I will leave that topic for now, although it seems to consume my thoughts these days. Yesterday I couldn't help but remember another life-altering event, at least for my immediate family. September 1 was the day of Dean's big accident that rocked our world for the next 19 years. His traumatic brain injury forever changed the dynamics of our family. But it wasn't all negative. We grew closer to God and each other through that grueling trial that we thought would last forever.

We seem to be going through another trial these days. But one that has repercussions for the entire planet. The covid-19 virus isn't the first time our world has seen such a challenge to survive. Although we don't know the end result this time, we must be reminded that the Lord knows. And He will be with us to the end.

We know that there will be an end to all this suffering someday. We don't know when that will be, except that many believe it is soon. Our only hope is to cling to our Savior. Get to know Him more each day. That is the only way we'll get through any of our many difficulties.

We survived Dean's accident. I pray that remembering our previous trials will strengthen us for whatever Satan throws at us during these nerve-shattering times we are seeing now.

Dean with some of his friends at Easterday Rec. Center