The Long Road to the Next Season of My Life

The Long Road to the Next Season of My Life.

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The Long Road to the Next Season of My Life

I haven’t been able to write in several months. With court stuff, caring for my mom, trying to come to terms with losing my Bob, I still feel overwhelmed.  

The guy who killed Bob finally pled guilty and has been sentenced to three years in prison (he must serve all of that) up to fifteen years (if he gets out on parole after the three years, he will be on that for the rest of the fifteen, and if he messes up during that time, he goes back to prison).  Not anywhere close to what he deserves, but at least he’s off the streets.

Mom came to stay for a few months, and I took her home in late September. However, I’m going to go get her and bring her back here to stay.  She does better here.  I also realized that I have never in my life lived alone….66 years.  No wonder I’m struggling being alone. I have no one to do for, to cook for, to see to, no one to hug, no one to talk to.  My precious family and friends do all they can, checking on me daily and getting together frequently.  But then, I have to come home to an empty house.  I love my little condo, and it’s a haven and “me”, but it’s still empty when I get in.  I enjoy being alone when it’s my choice.  I don’t like being alone all the time at home.  Bringing Mom back will be good for both of us.

I find myself struggling with sleep and nightmares and such. I know Satan is trying to demoralize me and make me question God’s faithfulness and love.  Satan will not will.  God is omnipotent, far more powerful than Satan. However, knowing all that doesn’t bring the peaceful, restorative sleep I need.

My family is doing well, at least as well as possible. My friends are recovering.  God is bringing healing… slowly, but surely.  The meltdowns still come regularly, but generally not as awful as they were.  And yet…the devastation is ever-present for all of us.  That will get better.  It has to.  We know God is in control, and He will make it so, in His own time.  

We have lessons to learn, things to understand, jobs to do. I want to fight for tougher sentences for DUI with or without death.  I want DUI to ALWAYS count for sentencing for a later DUI offense, no matter how many years later it may be.  The guy in our case didn’t have that count because it was over 10 years.  The logical thing is to always make it count because if there is another DUI (especially with death), the obvious thing is that the person just hasn’t gotten caught.  If a person never drinks and drives again, the fact that it’s there is not relevant.  The law is backward.  That is my new focus (such as I can focus right now).  I’ll contact MADD for help.

So I find the road I’m on to be long, wandering (although with a destination known only by God at this point), and confusing. I pray frequently, especially in the evenings. I try to do all the “right” things to care for myself. And I get through each day a minute at a time. I do not know where I’m going, but I do know Jesus is walking with me.  Never has “Footprints” meant more.  Never have I relied more on the love of others.  I try not to be a burden, but it is such a blessing to know so many folks are out there and care.

Thanks be to God for His loving grace and mercy.  Thanks be to God for loving us so much that He will speak to us in our darkest moments to give us hope.  Thanks be to God for sending His angels to watch over us, garbing them in the skins of our beloved family and friends. Thanks be to God for walking the road with us.

As hard as this is, we will survive.  We will come out on the other side.  We will get to God’s destination on this winding, confusing road….

Aside

Life as a Widow

Life as a Widow.

Life as a Widow

How odd to think of myself as a widow.  The word hurts.  My Bubby would NEVER have wanted this.  He wanted to protect me (and everybody he loved…LOTS of people) from every hurt.  He was far from perfect.  He would say things that were unkind when he was angry, but he always, always regretted it.  He always castigated himself for every ugly time.  The truth is that he loved so hard, he couldn’t stand it when things went sideways.

My Bubby was an extraordinary man.  I believe it…always have.  It’s one of the things I loved about him…still do.  Always will.  I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone ever who loved as hard as Bob Harris.  Everybody is still having an awful time wrapping their minds around the idea that he’s gone.   It still doesn’t seem real.  I still think he’s going to walk in any second, and I keep thinking I need to share this or that with him.  But he isn’t here to share it with.

The guy who killed him still thinks he can get off.  The evidence is overwhelming.  It includes his own confession given three times over three days (three separate interviews),  when he was NOT intoxicated, that it was ALL his own fault.  But now, he claims that one of the other vehicles present swerved and caused him to lose control.  Ummmm, no evidence at all.  He also claims that his vehicle lost brake fluid and he couldn’t stop…but also, no evidence at all.    How can you even begin to deny it???   Please.  Grow up.  Accept responsibility.  Be a man.

A real man fesses up.  A real man doesn’t blame everybody else for his own screw-ups.  A real man isn’t afraid to say he’s human and fallible.

So life as a widow is still a cloud of fog.  I have no idea what life will look like after all the trial, settlements, BS, and crap are over.  I know my Bubby took care of me.  I have a home and a car and income to pay the bills and put food on my table and gasoline in my car.

The big thing is this: GOD put it all in place.  God nudged Bob to do the preparations, to have the insurance, the things in place so that I would be protected, loved, cared for, seen to.  Bob didn’t think it would happen so soon, but he sensed something.  That is abundantly clear.  Only God could have made that happen so that it didn’t freak us out.

Do I know why this happened?  No, I don’t.  Do I like it?  No way.  I’d give my life to have him back here.  But for some reason, God saw that Bob’s life mission he was assigned to do was done.  Mine isn’t.

The night my Bubby died, at the hospital, when I went back to see him, I was hysterical, completely shattered, sprawled across Bob’s body pleading for him to come back.  Our dear awesome Lord spoke to me.  Really.  Out loud.  Honest.  Bob had always said that he had a list of questions to ask when he got home.   You know…all those “Why??”  questions.  When God spoke to me, this is what He said: “You know that list of questions Bob always said he had?  I’m answering them…”

Just think what that brief message said.  GOD IS REAL.  HEAVEN IS REAL.  And Bob  is THERE.  He’s with Jesus.  He’s talking to GOD.  GOD.  MY BOB IS TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE!   Oh, my.  Really.  Honest.

Can you even imagine how incredible that was?

And that very same Creator SPOKE TO ME!  In Timothy, Paul says that God never gives us more to bear than He gives us the strength to bear it.  God knew that when Bob was suddenly gone in such a violent, senseless, unnecessary way, I was beyond my limit of strength to bear it.  He knew I had to HEAR Him to know it was ok.

Does that make it easier?  I don’t know.  Am I surviving?  Yes. Is it easy?  No way.  I struggle every single day.  I look at the pictures of him all over the house, and they make me feel good and they break my heart.  I have frequent meltdowns…some very short and over with, some prolonged and extraordinarily painful.  I know very well that they are appropriate, normal, expected.  That doesn’t help.

I feel very selfish.  I depend on my kids and grandkids, probably too much.  I complain to my family and friends often.  I feel a great deal of frustration because I do that, but I can’t seem to stop.   (Do you see all the “I” ‘s here?  Sad.  If I start looking at things that way, I get depresssed, and that does not help.

And then I think about my mom, and I think I need her here with me to talk to, to touch, to love and to love me.  And she’s 900+ miles away.  She doesn’t think she can travel.  She can, but she doesn’t THINK so.   And as long as she doesn’t think so, she won’t.   Sigh….

One of my precious friends, Ann, says this is the hardest work I’ll ever do.  I believe it.  I’ve NEVER worked this hard.  And the work is all inside.  Inside my head, heart, mind, thoughts, and functioning.

I’m better than I was at first.  I was useless then.  I’m not a whole lot better than that, but I am better.  That tells me that at some point down the road, I’ll find a new way to function that doesn’t include having my Bubby here in the flesh.  Sometime after all the court stuff, settlements, hassles and struggles are done, I’ll find a grief support group (my church has one).  Those groups are designed to help with finding the “new normal”.  I can’t do that until after all that other stuff is done.  I can’t see what that will look like with all that between here and there.

The world doesn’t stop when you lose the love of your life, your best friend, your “soulmate”.  You have to move on to fit into that world in a different way.  I haven’t figured out what that will look like.

One day at a time.  Slow, hard work.  The good news?  I’ve been surrounded by many folks who have made it very clear that they love me, support me, are there for me.  It’s quite amazing and humbling.  It’s also how God is working to help me get through this time.

There will be a new day.  I don’t know when.  I don’t know what that will be like, but I know it will happen.  I also know God is waiting for me to come home.  I know that my Bob is there waiting for me too.  I know he is walking with Jesus, and that he, along with God, is looking out for me and mine.

I still covet prayers and support.  I will need that for  a long time.  I need my Mommy; I need my kids and grandkids; I need my friends and neighbors.  Grief is awful.  Creating a new life in the midst of horrendous grief is awful.

What should you take from all this?  Support those you know who grieve, however long it takes.  But also know that you will at some point be the one grieving. Be open to the reality that you will feel as helpless and confused and angry and alone as I do.  I know all that is flawed thinking since I’m not helpless or alone, but that’s what grief does to you.  It’s unbelievably painful and debilitating.  Your mind is shattered, and your ability to think, focus, comprehend, reason, THINK are all seriously impaired.  That very slowly gets better, but it will take a long time for good, reasonable thinking to happen.  I’m still struggling with it. Focus is gone.  It’s still gone.  That’s why this is so rambling.  And this is far better than it was.

I’m trying to be kind to myself, to no put more pressure on myself than I need to.  I’m not going to try to work until maybe January.  I’m not making huge decisions.   Lots of smaller ones, but no huge ones.  I’m trying to be more forgiving of myself and others who are also grieving with me.  I’m trying to appreciate little things more, worry about big things less.

I’m lost in the maze of grief right now.  My heart is still broken.  My mind is still struggling to get to the new reality of a world without my Bubby.  Every day is a struggle.  Every night is awful.  But it’s better than it was.  It’ll get better little by little.

Please keep praying for me and my family and friends, as well as anyone else you know who may be grieving.  God is with us all, thank goodness.

Blessings……….

Bob, my precious, beloved Bob…Love of my life…

Bob, my precious, beloved Bob…Love of my life….

Bob, my precious, beloved Bob…Love of my life…

He was the love of my life. He was taken from me two weeks ago by a drunk driver.  I just want him back.

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PLEASE!  DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE…

Death

My heart is shattered.  It’s a bad night. Two weeks ago tonight, my precious Bubby died at the hands of a drunk driver who was speeding (70 when 35 was the recommended speed).  I cannot stop crying and grieving; my heart is completely shattered.  Everyone says call any time, day or night.  I can’t call in the middle of the night.  I have Gaither on CD playing to try to soothe me.  Please pray.  I am, but I can’t stop crying tonight.  I need a friend who understands.  Jesus, help me….I know my Bubby is with you, but please help  me too……

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