Let the Adventure Begin

Yesterday brought along a whirlwind of sadness, I guess from the combination of emotions. The quiet in New York, with so many people, yet missing the one that mattered most, along with the accumulation of pent-up feelings–ones I bottled in so to not spill out while on our adventure, came pouring out the minute I found my way home again.

Another day wasted by grief’s crashing wave.

I am tired of grieving.

Today I want to begin 30 days of finding a new me. Or maybe wholeness. Could be because I am attempting Whole 30 eating plan to get back on track before my waistline decides to graduate to another size. A post for another day…

Wholeness, like filling the gaping wound with a skin graft so it can heal.

A question appeared in a post from, ‘Second Firsts’, in which the writer asked a series of questions, one being:

Are you still trying to live the life you used to have?

I sat here for minutes as I pictured the days go by, one after the next, and at first glance, thought, “no, not really.”

After all, I stopped watching our shows at night, even though the red light lets me know it is still being recorded and I am wasting valuable storage space. But I just don’t care enough to stop.

Routines are similar though.

Coffee. Shower. Working out. Actually that should be working out, and then shower.

The TV is off in the morning, yet I sit in the same spot at the kitchen table.

In the evening, this seat transitioned to Bill’s bottom, but I decided to keep it as my own. Not sure why, other than it has a better view of the perimeter of the house, and into the yard.

I meander through the day as I did when he was well, filling time with errands, coffee dates, writing.

Home maintenance. The outdoor chores are now provided by a company I pay entirely too much for, to maintain a yard that used to look meticulous.

Small weeds creep up everywhere, ones that he would Round Up, whereas I pulled by the root. I watch them accumulate. Too tired to touch. Too sad to care.

I feel debris on my feet as I walk around barefoot. No, not from the outside, but on the kitchen floor. There was a time you could eat off the tile as it was that clean.

I grocery shop instead of him. Make dinner. Clean up dishes.

Watch random reality shows, likely to escape reality.

Until I go to bed.

Another day.

Monotonous.

No, I am not living the same life.

Actually it appears I am not living any life.

Just existing on a routine.

Like choosing the merry-go-round, instead of the roller coaster. The horses don’t move. They are stuck in place–circling as they do until the time is up.

No hills. No adrenaline. No adventure.

Before Bill was diagnosed, I woke from a dream of me on a roller coaster, arms raised, smile wide, with words ringing in my ears like a background soundtrack,

Let the adventure begin!

It startled me as dreams often do, causing the heart to pump a bit faster.

I smile at her smile.

My smile.

“Josie, put some adventure into today.”

Something.

Anything.

Adventure (verb):  Engage in hazardous or exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

So I say yes to be a judge for a throw-down, coffee competition. It is a start.

Oh, and I did get a tattoo. On my arm. In plain sight. It was a drawing from the last letter he wrote me before he died.

I may never work at a church again.

Let the adventure begin.

 

 

 

Advertisements

An Unexpected Love Letter

I noticed the paper, folded in half, with only my name on the outside.  I quickly closed the laptop, not ready to read its contents.

Eventually though, I open it and absorb his words. Words carefully penned from Bill to me.

As you know, I’m the wordy one. What you may not know is Bill writes love letters to me on occasion, and am almost always guaranteed a sweet paragraph on Valentine’s Day. But this heart-filled year, I was heartbroken by the omission of his words, and my tears betrayed my nonchalant demeanor when I realized there were none.

I assured him it was ok, because truth was, it was ok.  But, still.  I think the turmoil of losing so much to this nasty disease got the better of me as this cancer has stolen many precious moments on its path.

Two months later, I’d long since forgotten Valentine’s Day.  But, apparently Bill had not.  Since Easter has already been a roller coaster of ups and downs, the fact that he loves me that much to place such effort onto paper, makes me adore this man even more.

I’ve included it, with typos and all (so maybe my grammar-friendly friends will let up on cringing on the other side of the computer at the sight of my many errors :)) so you can know the determination it took to write this short sentence, since exhaustion and the encroaching cancer has taken so much from him.

Hi Josie

I wanted to say especialy today-happy Easter. Remember is our celebrating of passing from one life to the after life. 

Regardless of what happens we still havee each other. You have been the light to me for so many journies. You have been so strong, keeping this house together both pysically and spiritually. Our path has never been easy we have gone through a lot. And we are still running. We will be a strong family until the end

Bill Boo

Today, I bask in this moment that I will treasure for a lifetime.

Happy Easter my friends.

 

A Little Love Letter

Jesus,

You drew near to me one night while I lay alone in bed after an evening with an unknown man. I fought your former advances, but, on this occasion, well, I was just too tired. So instead, I allowed you to fully embrace me with your love.

Was it love at first sight for You?   

You would return often after this episode. Persistent you were.

Eventually, I gave up fighting Your advances, and gave in to Your love of me.

Why? That is the question. Why on earth do You love me as much as You do? Why? When I offer so little, You love so much.

You have loved me for as long as I remember.

But, I’ve loved You too.

Oh, I will never love You as much as You love me. And I think You are okay with this.

But, I will say, I will try with all I am to love You more.

You are undeniably my one true love.

Love, Josie

Love Laced in Arsenic Sauce?

An irritating song interrupts my aggravation in the too-early morning hour–

“You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!”

At this time of writing it is about 4:30am, and I am just about ready to take my pillow and gently lay it over the screaming nostrils of the man sleeping next to me.

For hours he has managed to make noise similar to a small child with a harmonica.

These are the times love is just. plain. difficult.

It goes against my love language entirely (since I am a ‘words of affirmation’ girl) when my thoughts are less than affirming toward this man I love.  Yes, sleep deprivation drives my inner irritation, but still, love is not easy.

I’ve read that love is patient.  Love is kind.  Etc.  And before I fall into  guilt-ridden-self-condemnation, which can only be cured by the consumption of large amounts of chocolate, how about we stop at the first two for a moment, so not to be too overloaded.

Love is patient.

Patience this time of year?  With extreme crazies on the streets and in shopping malls–many vying for the perfect present to present their loved ones?    Yikes.  Practicing patience is difficult.  Only the other day I was temporarily sidelined and near-profanities entered my mind as I used my horn to relay my aggravation on the lady who nearly took me out of this life prematurely with her pickup truck.  And get this, even though I honked for dear life as I swerved myself into safety, she was entirely obliviously to the fact I was even there.

Love is kind.

Ah, kindness.  Reminds me of years gone by with my sweet little ones all dressed up nice and pretty and standing in line ready to see Santa, but their kindness only lasts mere moments before sugar and spice is replaced by jacked-up discord which causes dissension among the ranks.  So, my rote response to these slithering creatures, that I am convinced cannot be my own flesh and blood, is the all-too-familiar in the parental playbook of phrases which should create better behavior,

“You better behave or there will be no presents..”

Come on, I am not the only one who throws out threats whispered into their dirty little ears to receive a few minutes of peace?  I would continue today, but since it didn’t work then, I am certain it won’t work now that they’ve entered adulthood.

Let’s face it, my patience and kindness are only so full on the love-o-meter if I do not take time to replenish my reserves with love.

L.O.V.E.

The reason why the Grinch’s heart grew in a solitary moment was because of love.  Not patience.  He had none.  Not kindness.  He was a surly  character.

No, it was love.  Love that grew deep within his being, and exploded onto the folks in Whoville.

I fill up the reserves this morning with a reminder of such love from 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love and Truth Wins

It was a discouraging season of events.  I diligently worked on the modification project, yet was not seeing the results of such an investment of time.  Disillusioned and discouraged, I made my way to my office, AKA prayer closet, and poured out my frustrations into the air,

“Why God, why?  I have prayed for him for years, but nothing.”

I changed our demographics, removed contacts from our social network, and even modified every anticipated negative altercation before its occurrence in hopes of lasting change.  But, little resulted from such effort, and I was frustrated.

It was a whisper, barely audible to the heart, “But, Josie, your sins are so much easier to hide.”

Oh.

It was true.  I was polished and in pristine Christian condition.  He, on the other hand, was obviously tainted and tarnished in sin.

Truth is, we both were.

I had deceived myself into believing I was good because my outside was modified in such a way I appeared okay.

Actually, I sin everyday.  Yes, pretty much every single day.  So far, twice.  Wait, that’s a lie, but only a little one, so does that count as a 1/2 a sin if it’s only a little deceit?

Makes me wonder, if we are so easily deceived to our own sins, if the partial blame is that sins that are no longer labeled sins anymore.  Confusing, when obvious sins have been reworded as:

Mistakes

Errors

Bad choices

In no particular order, sins of this category include:

Adulterous encounters 

Premarital sexual encounters

Homosexual encounters

The BIG THREE that seem to be no big deal nowadays.

Truth be told, I have committed ALL THREE.  Yes, you read it correctly–ALL THREE.

And all three were more than:

Just an error on my part

a bad choice

a mistake

They were all SINS I committed.  I am not proud of fact.  Yet, I am FORGIVEN for these, and the countless others I commit until my final breath.

What saddens me is our culture is dismissing the fact that there is even a problem here.

I am told if I focus on love, then all is good.

And, in the Christian community, there seems to be a sense that we should focus on love.  And, I agree about loving others.  We are in no way to throw stones at sinners, but, in the same respect, if I only focus on love, without sharing the truth, then I am doing a disservice as a loving Christian.

Because, love, without truth, doesn’t win.  

And, I love you too much not to speak truth.

Our God is slow to anger, and abounding in love.  He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

#loveandtruthwins