Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brand New Day

The comedy of errors that is our life continues.

On the bright side, I was for the first time thankful that our carpets are still not tacked down and cleaned. But the reason I'm thankful is that the front bath continues to leak into the adjacent hall closet, so it's convenient to be able to just pull the carpet back up and set up the fans.

The dishwasher started making strange popping and growling noises, so we discontinued use and are waiting on a repairman.

Saturday while I was helping with a women's mentoring program, Nate was helping friends load up to move, and Meg was helping with some sort of movie shoot involving downs syndrome children, Dave texted me to ask who our electric company was in town. Evidently, some workers cutting down a tree in a neighboring back yard miscalculated and accidentally yanked out all our power lines to the house. Live wires in the back yard, anyone? Thankfully, no dogs or people were harmed. Power was patched up and will be fixed more permanently this week.

And just last night, Meg observed that water was dripping from the ceiling of the same afflicted closet.

Oh, and the washer ate Karis' dress.

And Ev said goodbye to her best friend today.

That's all I can remember right off hand.

A friend sent me a link to this music video, which captures things well, I think. (Thanks, Maria!)

Marker Mixup

Thursday evening, Dave and I met at the cemetery to visit Dad. I brought him a red rose.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mom's marker had arrived and been placed next to Dad's.

Do you see it?

I was not so pleasantly surprised to find that Mom's marker does not match Dad's.
Does. Not. Match.

I did not ask for much with the marker, only that it be the same style as Dad's. I think that I am sufficiently calm now and will call Monday to have the situation rectified. But at the time, all I could think was:
"Will nothing ever be right in the world again?"

I'm not sure.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Years Gone

Thinking of you today, Dad.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


As we prepared for Mom's memorial service in the weeks following her death, we asked our extended family to share memories of Mom/Grandma. And of course, friends and acquaintances shared their memories of Mom as well. It was really good for me to hear stories about my mom. Hearing from others who knew and loved her at different points in her life reminded me of who she really was, reminded me that Ann Peycke was not defined by the last miserable months of her life. She was so much more.

Sister Gayle wrote: She never stopped learning and trying new things. I brought mom a cook book written by a friend. It had a rye bread recipe that mom tried and proclaimed as the rye recipe she had been searching for all of her life! She was so excited to have her rye bread perfected!

Brother-in-law Rich wrote: Bill and Ann's investment in Ruth, me and our children has been an example of love, patience, courage, and generosity that revealed the depth of their understanding of servanthood and blessing which we will always draw on and treasure. Everything from Dad's showing me how to install a garage door opener (and doing nearly the whole job before I got back from work) and how to recover from spectacular water skiing face-plants to Mom's long nights helping calm a colicky baby, and her savory shrimp gumbo greeting every trip we made to Conroe. This was grace, pure and simple. Did we experience joy in their presence? Did we ever.

Martha wrote: I feel very blessed to have been her friend.

(I will have to add more to this later, because I cannot put my hands on my notes.)

As friends and family shared their thoughts and memories, and as I was reminded of who Mom really was, I started my own list of things I remembered and admired about my mom.

*Mom had mad camping skills. She made primitive camping look easy.
*Mom had an enduring delight in nature.
*Mom never quit growing and learning.
*Mom was a reader, always a reader.
*Mom loved new music and embraced praise songs in church. She said it was practice for heaven.
*Mom made real food.
*Mom took on Feingold to make real food my family could eat.
*Mom enjoyed travel.
*Mom had mad sewing and upholstery skills.
*Mom faithfully read aloud to her children.

She was an amazing lady.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer of Sorrows

"I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul."
Psalm 31:7

It feels like the Summer of Sorrows. Families are moving far away and the goodbyes are hard on all of us. Nate observed the other day that he is the only one who has not had a close friend move. Mercy. Friends' loved ones fall ill; some die. The lake house is still. not. ready. Close, but d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g on. Our furniture does not look right in my parents' bedroom. Not right. The carpets are still not tacked down and cleaned, so the visual chaos continues. I took the rest of Mom's clothes to Angelic Resale and I couldn't part with her shoes. It was just too sad. So her black SAS lace-ups sit under the little wooden rocker by the front window.

I've heard that caregivers feel sort of lost after their loved one dies and the caregiving role is over. I don't feel so much lost as drowned. I feel like we are hit with wave after wave of distress, and I'm just rolling around underneath the surface. Garage flood. Crash. Leaky bathrooms. Crash. Strep. Crash. Car breakdown. Crash. Friends move. Crash. I am cranky. I am distracted. Karis wonders if I'm depressed. Who knows?

And around the crashing surf and my flailing, life goes on. I'm helping with a women's mentoring program. Nate has started fall football. Meg is finishing up her third summer course, a beast of a class. Karis visited a friend in Montana, is having a week off work, then will be back on her nanny job. Ev has asked to homeschool again after three years in private school. I start back to work next week, with educational therapy and tutoring. I don't know if I will need to pursue a side job like Kohls or not. Dave is preaching and carrying more than his load at church.

I can't say that I'm glad and rejoicing like the psalmist. But it is a comfort to know God sees my troubles and He cares about the anguish of my soul. And I have hope that the glad and rejoicing will come. Surely they will come.