The first month after John’s death went by quickly. Grandson David and our marvelous neighbors looked after me until daughter Lise arrived from Denmark. Lise is a whirlwind who can manage anything easily and organize everything quickly. What a blessing she is! We began where we left off after her last visit, walking to the creek.
She rearranged and organized John’s office, beginning with papers on his desk. By the first memorial service, the room was pristine, although the closet had not yet been transformed.
The day after the funeral, we took a break. My children, grandchildren, and I went on the Blue Ridge Parkway, dodging rainstorms. We ate leftovers from the two huge meals Marco prepared for out-of-town relatives.
Nathaniel and Sarah had to get back to their jobs, followed the next day by John $ and Kate. How grateful I was that they could be here! It dawned on me that there was no need to identify my son by his first two names, because he was now the only John in the room. He will continue to be $ to me, though. Marco had one more day, and we went to Big Creek where I spotted a boulder with two hearts.
Lise invited Logan over to play games. She introduced him to a new card game she had brought from Denmark involving numbers and strategy. When David came home, the three played DOS on the porch.
Lise and I called neighbor Bob when we couldn’t change a bulb in the shower that had been there over eight years. He came right over, saw we had almost made a big mess, and quickly found a bulb in our garage and replaced it. We were very grateful he let us watch, because the bulb burned out the next morning. The bulb must have been sitting around a long time and assumed its job with false assurance. We bought the kind of bulb Bob recommended, and David provided the needed height. Thank you very, very much Bob and David.
Yesterday we had the second memorial service for John for church members. I took a photo after friend Susan put his ashes under the pall at the front of the church. David and I sat in a pew at the front. John had been a member of the choir for several years, and the group sang a Kyrie and a hymn. It was ethereal, the best I’d ever heard them sing that type of music. John would have loved it.
I was filling out a form that asked for my marital status. The word “widow” popped in my mind, but the choices were married or single. I laughed. How on earth could I be single after being married for 58 years?? I felt like putting “suddenly single”. Single will never feel right, but I’ll get used to it.
One of the best things of this first month was hearing people talk about John. They praised him for his work in the church, admired his vast knowledge of many things, spoke of his gift for leveling railroad tracks, commented on missing his many e-mail messages, and shared stories from long ago to the present.