January 18, 2015

How Am I Doing?

That is a question that I have come to despise. It has been one that has been tossed my way countless times during our miserable days while Jim and I battled his cancer. Now it gets flung at me as I begin the life of a widow. Everyone wants the answer to be “fine.” Well, it’s not fine. I’m sorry to disappoint those who inquire. Do they really want me to lie so that they feel better? I suspect that the majority wishes that I would tell the fib so that they can merrily go on with their lives and dismiss me without any guilt.

And some people wonder why I am not blogging so much. Well now, I’m not exactly a bundle of joy at the moment, and it is way too difficult to pretend. And, my biggest blogging fan is now dead. Gone forever.

So… How am I doing?

Sad. Abandoned. Lonely. Forsaken. Confused. Depressed. Overwhelmed. Frightened. Forgotten. Dismayed. Miserable. Grief-stricken.

January 5, 2015

Living in an Alternate Universe

The calendar shows that it is January 2015.  There was no “happy” celebration of the new year.  I turned the page and said to myself, “Yep, there you are.  Like it or lump it.”  (I do a lot of talking to myself now and expect that practice will continue.)

I’ve been living in an alternate universe for quite a while.  I have long since forgotten what it is like to have a normal life.  I occupied cancer world for over a year and a half.  It was a marathon.  Now I am trapped in the obstacle maze of widowhood, finding my way in a new, solitary life.

How am I doing?  About as well as expected.  Quite simply, it sucks. If you are a widow, you understand. If you are not, you don’t understand.

December 29, 2014

A Final Journey and Farewell

St. Jude Children's Hospital Donor Appreciation Luncheon
Knoxville, TN
November 13, 2014

My dear, sweet Jim (aka, Mr. Jim) fought the good fight. And I stood by him every step of the way on his final journey. He earned his angel wings on the morning of December 26, 2014, and he was laid to rest this afternoon. The world lost a truly wonderful man. However, God decided it was time to call him home.

I am relieved that Jim's suffering is now over, but deeply saddened that he is no longer part of my everyday life here on earth. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Now I will begin to figure out how to find my own way, until I get to be with him again.

His obituary is published on two web sites: Knoxville News-Sentinel and Woodhaven Memorial Gardens.

In the days and weeks ahead, I will share some of what transpired in the past five weeks. As always, I am most grateful for my blogging buddies and all of the prayers you have offered on our behalf.

November 23, 2014

Closing Down for the Season

With much sorrow, I am closing down my blog for the season. I don’t know when I will be back. The photo challenge will go on as scheduled for the weekend of December 13. I will not participate. Future challenges will be postponed.

Mr. Jim’s health has deteriorated, and he was hospitalized for a few days last week. He is now back home. I am devoted to him and his needs. I love him with all my heart and soul. He has been my rock, my best friend, my world. We have shared so many joys and journeys together. We have been blessed. We are grateful.

Please keep us in your prayers. Pray that Mr. Jim receives comfort and measures to combat his pain. Pray that we can both weather this terrible storm with dignity. Pray that we feel loved and that our lives matter.  Pray for us to receive God's grace.

Thank you, my dear friends.

November 19, 2014

Photo of the Week - Rice Grist Mill

Norris Dam State Park, Anderson County, Tennessee

We visited this picturesque grist mill in early October. It is located about 35 miles north from our home, near the towns of Norris and Rocky Top. The mill was originally constructed in 1798 in Union County. It was dismantled and rebuilt on Clear Creek, southeast of Norris Dam. The charming old building serves as a landmark in the Norris Dam State Park.

Mr. Jim reports that he used to visit this mill with his parents when he was a little redheaded lad. He thoroughly enjoyed wading in Clear Creek, right next to the mill, searching and catching crawdads that lurked under the stones. Ah, sweet memories!

November 12, 2014

Photo of the Week - Reflections of Fall

Melton Hill Park, Knoxville, TN

Cold weather is swooping in. Leaves are rapidly tumbling down. Autumn colors like this, found at a nearby park about two weeks ago, are now a memory. 

Goodbye, sweet fall. See you again next year!