Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday!

I love you.
I miss you.

I'm a better human being because of you. 
You have changed me forever.

Thank you, Boyfriend.

(PS...if you're preparing a mansion for us where you are, please don't pick
the green shag carpet!  You know what I'm talking about!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coincidence Or Tender Mercy?

Yesterday was a day I've been praying for.  I needed a "tender mercy" and I got one.  As usual, it came from a child.  A little six year old who entered my classroom and my life in the middle of this school year.  She didn't want to be there.  She missed her old school everyday...and told me so.  But, everyday I inched my way into her heart and hers into mine.  She's a strong little spirit and such a great listener with all kinds of smart inside of her.  I love her.  And that love intensified even more yesterday.

One of my favorite activities during the year is a fabulous art project where we use oil pastels.  We study sunflowers.  All kinds.  We look at famous artists (Georgia O'Keefe, Van Gogh, Monet)  renditions of sunflowers.  This year I showed them some of the sunflower photos that Terry secretly planted for me every Spring that produced a sea of sunflowers in my yard by the end of summer.  I told them how at the end of the season, Terry would go out and harvest the heads of the sunflowers and use them to plant the next season's crop.  I loved it.

And now, for the "coincidences"...

Yesterday morning, Miss R came to me with a very special gift (more on that later).  She had a smile from ear-to-ear and a story to match.  She told me that she had been to her clogging lesson at her aunt's house that weekend.  She heard her mother speaking with her aunt about how she was liking her new home and who she had purchased the home from.  It went like this:

Aunt:  Well first, it was built by Coach Drury, the coach at Provo High School.  Then Tami and Terry Anderson sold it to us.  (No lie!)

Mom:  What??  Are you kidding?  That is Miss R's teacher.

Miss R:  (overhearing the two ran over)  This was my teacher's house??  Where are the sunflowers?  Are they in the front?  The back?  Can I see them?  Her husband planted them for her.

Aunt:  You know, I may have seen some on the ground.  Let's go out and look.

It was dark and they took flashlights outside and collected two of the mammoth sunflower heads and the seeds that had fallen out onto the ground and put them into two bags...

Miss R brought them to me!  At first I was shocked and then I started to weep.  I couldn't help myself.  I had kicked myself for not bringing some of the sunflower heads with me when I moved. (I just couldn't think straight on the day of the move)  I hugged Miss R. and could barely let her go.  I sat in my rocking chair with tears streaming and explained to the children why I was  crying.  I was just so happy that now, I could plant those seeds in my new yard and have the same sea of sunflowers that my boyfriend wanted me to have.

I'm so happy.

Come over in the 
late summer to check
out the beauties these
will make!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Little LESS Conversation

(My apologies to my GDT friends who have already heard this story!)

You know, people are good.  They really are.  People don't normally decide in the morning that "Today, I'm going to say something stupid to someone and make them feel sad!"  Do they?  Please say no.  Well, unfortunately, well-intentioned (I'm being positive here) people say really stupid things.

My case(s) in point:

#1:  Yesterday, a sort-of-coworker of mine who doesn't work at my school, expressed her condolences about my recent loss.  I appreciate that so very much.  HOWEVER, sometimes, less is more.  After we got that part out of the way, she said, "I just want you to know that ______, who works in our area is sporting a big ole' HUGE rock on her finger.  Her husband died less than a year ago and she's getting married!  She was taking meals in to a man and they hit it off and fell in love.  There's always hope!"

WHAT THE HELL?  I don't think she spoke out of malice but rather, stupidity.  Really?  Would you say to a mother who had lost her child that she could find comfort in having another child?  You can't just replace someone with someone else.  That person, my boyfriend, will ALWAYS be my love.  Irreplaceable.  It's been less than two months, for heaven's sake!

#2:   I have already forgiven the other acquaintance of mine (who also works in the area but not at my school) who had no clue what had happened in my life but was still stupid.  As a bit of prior information, I am currently wearing Terry's wedding band with mine.  It's important for this story.  Also important to the story is the fact that we were sitting at a table with seven people and she was sitting all the way across the table.  So, here's the conversation:

Her:  Holy Cow!  Look at that ring!  How many husbands do you have??

Me:  None

Her:  What?  Are you knocking them off one at a time?  Or what??

...awkward silence as my two fellow first grade teachers who indeed DO work at my school slowly, mentally, slid under the table.

Me:  I'll tell you about it later.

I mean...come.on!  Really?

I realize that this is a total vent and I would never call anyone "stupid" (to his/her face).  And, as I encounter these situations, it makes me want to be a little less stupid myself!  Okay, a lot less stupid.

Why?  Oh Why?
(poor little Ellee!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

I miss...

•     when you slurp your soup or milk from your cereal bowl
•     phone messages saying:  "I don't think I told you how pretty you look today"
•     sunflowers
•     tripping over 25 pound dumbells
•     hearing:  "you couldn't BUY a meal this good!"
• you yelling "XBOX!  PLAY!"
•  repeating my instructions three times
•     you doing all the hard things I can't meeting new people
•  your crazy ideas like putting bright orange pumpkins in the Maw's flower garden
•     That ssscccrrrrpppiiinnnggg sound of knife sharpening
•     the smell of oil paint and linseed oil
•     the smell of too much Axe spray
•  the knife channel
•     watching you shave
•     you bragging about me
•     washing and folding your laundry
•     your smell after you've worked in the yard all day 
•     the way you talk to our friends at Cove Point
•     having you play with my hair
•     the way you love Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers
•     the glow you have when you talk about your grandchildren
•     Chicago Bears "stuff" everywhere
•     watching you with the dogs
•     the occasional "f-bomb" when someone makes you really upset
•     your remorse over said "f-bomb"
•     your swear jar
•     holding hands at the movies
•     watching your interactions with Melissa and Erika's friends...and theirs with you.
(how they love you!)
•   tickling your hand and arm at church
•     listening to you sing U2 songs when you think no one can hear you
•     the notes you leave me in surprise places
•     the annual poem you write to me at the start of every new school year 
• finding your socks everywhere
•     hearing you tell me "I love you" at least five times each day
•     saying "I love you"
•     your immovable, complete, testimony of the savior
•     your incredible smile
•     your laugh!  (oh, that laugh)
•     your priesthood blessings
•     your strength
•     your faith
•     you 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fighting Doubts and Fears

Michael Wilcox was a seminary teacher of mine about 35 years ago in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. He and his wife, Laurie, will forever be in my memory as major contributors in my life. I had initially picked up the book after noticing his name as the author. if by fate...realized that it was a book about the death of his Laurie. I found this book two weeks after losing my own sweet husband. Every word and thought he wrote, I had thought but could NOT write. It was truly a gift from my Heavenly Father for me. As I read, I felt "normal" in my grieving. I realized that some of my thoughts about my Terry, which I had initially thought were crazy and selfish, were not. Knowing that someone else felt like I did helped me find some peace.

If I am being honest on this blog (and I am), I will share my crazy/selfish thought by including a quote from this book.  Every single word cut through me and I wondered how he could have known my very private thoughts.  I have taken the liberty of substituting "he" for she and "Terry" for Laurie.  His words could be mine if I were as gifted a writer as he.  He wrote:

"I think all people who suffer the loss of a loved one, especially a spouse, pass through dark doubts; at least in the last months all I have talked to have expressed a similar uneasiness to a greater or lesser extent.  In spite of temple covenants, in spite of faith in eternity, I cannot help but question if he will still want me.  "He will!" I'm always told by those who knew us best, but black doubts when I am alone with my fears are not easily dismissed.  Without him I can conceive of no lasting eternal happiness. If I cannot be with him it will not matter what God gives me--I will have missed heaven.  Yet some assuring voice inside says it wouldn't have been love if it went away because of our weaknesses...

Yet there are times I cannot get beyond the fears of that "if".  I could have done so many things so much better.  Did I cherish him enough?  Was I nourishing?  However, I tell myself that God would not continue to let me hurt without healing if Terry were lost to me forever.  No good God could possibly do that.  He would begin to take him out of my heart.  The fact that he remains locked within so tightly and that the ache continues at such a high level should tell me he is still mine and I his, and I need not worry.  "No cause, no cause."

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