Month One

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.

41 thoughts on “Month One

  1. So beautiful you share it’s! So nice lines written you that’s suddenly single, “Single never feel right, but I will get used to it”. I like. God 🙏!

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  2. You are not single. John will always be with you in your heart and thoughts. Many blessings to you and the family. He was a wonderful man.

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  3. Anne, Thank you for sharing your journey this past month. It is indeed wonderful to know family, neighbors, and friends who will hang-in with you during the tough times. And thank you for the “rock with two hearts”. I’m going to claim your previous promise that it’s ok to share such in my writing. I was struck that a genuine marriage, sealed in heaven, is like that…being a rock for each other, that lasts and is carved-out in the heart. Blessings, sister.

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  4. I agree, thank you for sharing your journey this past month. The love and support from your family and friends has been a great comfort and the photos you share show the love and joy in their faces. I love the two hearts on the boulder – quite a nice symbolism of you and John. ❤

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  5. I agree with the “thanks for sharing your journey” comment. You have been so upbeat in the face of sadness. You have such a great support group. I told another blogger this morning that “you reap what you sow” and you have done a lot of great sowing! (Is that the right sow? Or is it sew? Nope, sticking with the first!) Hugs, Anne!

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  6. I’m not sure where time goes but it goes swiftly. don’t give up on me…I’m slow but working on a card for you. Just know I am thinking of you and know you are being taken care of by wonderful people. You are blessed.

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  7. Time seems to be flying by – at least to me. I can’t help but wonder if it’s the same for you. Is Lise able to stay for a while yet? I bet it was difficult for the others when they had to return to work.

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    1. Lise is here for two months!! She starts work at 5, and we walk during her lunch hour. She’s free in the afternoon. It’s marvelous. Organizing things is her forte. Today we went to the estate office at the courthouse, as well as the land office. The car is now in my name, and the bank has begun closing John’s account. She is amazing.

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  8. Anne, I’m so late in expressing my condolences. I see now that I need to go back to catch up on things. From what little I glean, you are doing very well and quite positive about what has transpired in the last month… and wonderful you finds gratitude in every good thing and person that has come along since John’s passing. I’m going to miss his slow, easy smile. I am bolstered by your strength.

    Forrest took a fall from a tree, thirty feet above ground on Easter Sunday. He survived it. We are grateful for God’s continual healing and how this event has changed us. I know life will be different now, but with God at the helm it I can’t help but wonder if this might be the best adventure ever for Forrest and me.

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  9. So nice to have family and neighbors to help. I miss Alabama in that way, since my family and friends are mostly there. It’s really great to see you doing well. There will be good times and low times, that’s how it is but your positive outlook and faith will certainly help.

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  10. I am so pleased you have such wonderful people in your life to help you move forward. It is kind of you to share your thoughts and the kindness of your friends and family with us. Knowing you have such loving people around you is such a heartfelt welcome.

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  11. How wonderful that Lise can stay for a longer time! I think that you are doing phenomenally well on this journey; faith is such a game changer when dealing with death. I was able to watch John’s service this am, what a blessing! Know you are in our prayers!

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  12. It is a new walk indeed. Thank goodness for your friends and your faith. Know that I continue to think of you as life settles into a new normal, without John here with you.

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  13. Blessings for your journey. I can only imagine how strange it must feel. I will be thinking of you and I am sending good energy your way. You sound strong and you certainly are surrounded by much love and kindness.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I can use the energy you sent to keep up with my daughter, who is organizing the whole house. She is a whiz at it, and living here is going to be a lot easier when she finishes.

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  14. I suspect you’ll always feel ‘married’ – in the sense that you are still married to John’s spirit. Which is A-OK. After 58 years with him you sure are entitled to still feel that way… at least when filling out forms!

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