Oh I just love couples. To see them out and about in daily life. Holding hands, gazing in each other’s eyes, having conversation, smiling and having fun. There is nothing like it. Many have not experienced the genuine love of another as a spouse, husband, wife or lover. The connection is like none other. Yes, there are disagreements and conflict, but when you are truly connected that is quickly forgotten and you move on to the next thing to be experienced together. That is the way it was with my husband, Scott, and the way it is with many of you and your mate. The difficulty is when that person is removed from you through death that you not only feel a longing for your mate, but a connection to others that are in a similar situation. The connection with your spouse has ended and you feel so alone but are we really alone? No, we have each other to lean on – the ones who are left behind to carry the torch of hope to those experiencing this disconnect afresh. Yes, I just love couples—however, I am ever reminded that one day the two will suddenly become one and that one will need a friend that fully understands the pain!
Scott came to my job from his job in Houston about 40 miles to bring me candy and flowers for Valentines Day. When he arrived, he met students in the hallway who were selling ” singing valentines” and they brought him to my room. . He came in my class just at the right time. The kids were not rowdy. thank God, and it was the end of the class. I just love how they sung the song. I created this video shortly afterwards. One of my best memories.
Remember, don’t be sad for me. Today I have peace and a grateful attitude. Looking forward to the new season ahead of me and merely glancing back at the memories to say “Thank You”
A year ago today Scott was getting out of the hospital and going to a rehab center. They had told him at the hospital that there was nothing they could do about his condition. We did not accept that so I got him in a rehab center believing that he would get stronger so he could have the surgery he needed to recover. I remember his therapist Jason would come get him and take him to do his therapy.
He was so frail but he still tried so hard. I remember watching him go through the therapy and a few times he was able to take steps of course with the assistance of the rail and Jason. I was so proud. I remember once he was telling one of the therapist how I was pushing him too hard and I needed to back off. Which I did. He was there for about two weeks before I finally accepted that he may need to go into hospice care. I remember when the hospice nurse and I came to speak to him and he told me to leave the room so he could speak to the nurse alone. She stayed in there with him for about 30 minutes explaining the process and answering his questions. When she came out of the room to speak to me she shared with me that he said to her ” does she really need to know what was going on?” He was trying to protect me. I told him that I knew what was going on and my strength came from all the prayers that he prayed for our peace. Then he said something that I thought was really sweet. He said “Renee you really surprise me”
I will never forget those two weeks in rehab. He was unable to do anything for himself but when the nurse aide would change the bed and clean him up he would give his favorite nurse aide a “high five “-raising hands and touching as if to say “you did good !
I remember one day A lady was in the room cleaning and I walked in and as usual I greeted him and said cheerfully “hey baby “. He immediately looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and said in a whisper because at this time he did not have a lot of strength, “Renee you did not speak to her?’ at that point I smiled and said hello to the lady cleaning the room. Scott always considered others and I learned a lot from him during the time we had together.
He was my teacher, my companion, my spiritual advisor, my husband, and friend .
If he was here right now and speaking to us at this moment he would say do not be sad for he has completed his journey and is experiencing life with the Father!
Today was my first blind date. We had conversation and lunch that lasted from 11 AM to 4 PM. I was not even thinking about how or what it would lead to until three hours into the encounter he said that I would be placed on the friends because I was not “obedient” enough in that I did not allow him to take the lead . You see I made a decision about whether to sit in the wheel chair or the chair in the restaurant .
He indicated it was ok about switching chairs since I did not want to do it initially . But I changed the seat because I recognized it was a better choice. Because he said it was ok and I decided to move anyway .. I guess that was not obeying. Strange … Another example is that he wanted me to wait in front of the store while he went to his vehicle to pick me up. I told him I would rather row through the parking lot with him because I like wheeling around and getting exercise with my arms. I rolled quite a distance to the vehicle and he never offered to push me. That was ok and we still had good conversation but I found out that was another way I did not follow his lead .
So after three hours he told me I was on his friends list because he wants a women to follow his lead. But for me I knew he was on my friends list after 30 minutes. Let me tell you how I knew.
1. When he saw me he did not reference my appearance by saying I looked nice
( I know I looked nice– I will attach a pic)
2. We sat in Barnes & Noble for two hours right in front of the café and he never asked me if I wanted anything to drink
3. He talk more about himself and did not appear to be interested in learning anything about me
4. He did not offer to pay for my meal.
To be honest I enjoyed the experience and I would not change anything. If he calls, I will talk with him because of course I am on his friends list. 😀Really, I do consider anyone a friend that respects me and can share conversation even when we disagree. I probably won’t bore you with the details of all my dates but it did indeed serve as a distraction from thinking about Scott. I know his spirit was with me all the way. I do understand that I will never find anyone that will live up to the way I was treated by Scott … But I don’t think it too much to expect a genuine compliment and an offer of a glass of water. I’m just saying😀
Well it is coming up to one year since Scott’s transition and I can honestly say my sadness comes more now than before . I am getting lonely and talking to a guy for companionship and this is soo scary to me. Before I met Scott I was lonely and really desperate for love. Would have never dream it would work out that we grew as lovers and friends . Funny, we never know the end from the beginning. And if we could see the end , we would not have to exercise faith and we probably would not grow. Today I asked God to make me free.
Free from wondering if there is a relationship on the horizon. Free from the desire to talk with someone of the opposite sex and they tell me I am beautiful … Free to just accept the men God puts in my life with no expectation and no comparisons .. Free to accept intimacy without guilt. God today I just want to be free!! As I pin these words I feel and see the chains of bondage release me to walk in the sunlight of the spirit!!
Today is Love day- most of us call it Valentines. Many people nowadays complain about Valentine’s Day. You may have heard it said it is too commercialized or it’s all about money not love or why can’t we love every day.
For some Valentine’s Day is stressful because they did not get the candy or flowers they expected from the person they love or they don’t have a person to get them candy or flowers. Today I believe that love and contentment is a choice. Many times in life we find ourselves chasing after contentment or love . Have you ever noticed a dog chasing its tail? What do you think will happen if he finally caught up with it? When we are discontent because of struggles in life we are wasting valuable time that we could be using in thanksgiving to God. We all have struggles and life challenges and I have decided to wake up each morning and be happy and content on purpose!!. Now I am not going to say it is easy because my life is not perfect. There are some things that I would like to be changed in my life but I realize complaining about it and stressing over it will not change it! It says in the word that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I believe as we experience joy which I define as “Peace despite circumstances”- we will have a greater appreciation when the problem is worked out and have more of an awareness that despite the negative energy we may have given to it , it work out the way God planned it!
I love Valentine’s Day and my decision is to love Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday –. Simply because God blessed me to experience it! I need only to ask him what I can do to help others find peace and love through Him!!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I am reflecting on my love experience. Most times I find myself being more grateful as to having experienced love then being more sad at having it to end.
I was thinking this would be my first year not getting a Valentine card from Scott. Last week I looked through my old cards and I found only one and that one I don’t remember getting and it was not signed. This one was so special because On the outside pouch was 12 cards representing a rose for 12 days. I have never seen a card like that and I really enjoy reading the message that each card has on it. It is merely one word but the word is beautiful and it is what He (God) – (I feel whatever experiences I have now that comes from Scott-comes through God) would have me reflect on. My rose this morning was understanding. In our personal and spiritual relationships we must seek understanding. God will always reveal to us the proper amount of understanding in our personal situation and we must seek to both understand and to be understood. I can truthfully say my life is still filled with ups and downs but that is the way of life!
About a month before Scott passed away, he told me he had the Love of God, Faith in God and the Peace of God. As I reflect on that day, he felt blessed despite his situation. Unfortunately, there were still weeks ahead of pain and all that cancer tries to snatch from us. I believe Peace and Faith is all that can carry us through when experiencing our lowest point. I really feel the reward on the other side will far outweigh the pain in this side for each of us.
Today I passed a street I regularly traveled going to rehab to see my husband, Scott. A feeling of emptiness and pain welled up inside and I wanted to cry but no tears came, only drops. It has been almost 6 months since he passed. On some days it feels like yesterday yet other days it feels like an eternity. Honestly, most days I am ok– Enjoying life, helping people, praying and seeking a closer spiritual walk. Other times I ponder why, despite the fact that everyone has grief or has gone through grief, yet we walk around each other as if the pain is completely gone all the time. I do realize we must move on with life without our loved one, but can we sometimes be honest when someone asks how things are. Why can’t we say, Well I been thinking about him all week”. Or I had a hard time going to sleep because he was not in bed with me”. I do understand why we say we are fine because we need to go on and don’t want to bring others down emotionally. We all need those special people we can share with when everything seems to fall apart, when you really are having a tough time as well as when things are good. For I find that both conditions are temporary and we eventually get passed pain then experience joy –then a bit of pain– then joy and the cycle continues.
I find that as I continue to move through this season of life, things are ever changing. The landmarks that Scott and I shared have changed. The layout of one of our favorite stores has changed, the cost of gas has changed from when he use to fill up to go to work, the fabric of the world is changing with people being about to carry guns openly despite the fact that all types of violent crimes are on the rise.
Change, itself, is never permanent, that is why we call it change. The key to change is riding the wave through it not fighting a storm in it. Let your change be like a wave that you totally surrender to as God guides you to your predetermined destiny!
This morning as I was struggling through my grief, I reflected on one of my students and I learned a deep lesson. – Just keep showing up!! This student has a tougher time with concepts but she always shows up to deal with them without complaint. Many times when I see her in the hallway, I will give her a math problem and she will think about it and give me an answer. She will not run away or avoid me, she meets me head on and is ready because she knows I am going to ask her something and she is not really sure if she is able to answer. Many times when I am challenged with my grief or other life problems, I may tend to want to avoid it or choose not to deal with it. Sometimes I feel so weak and frustrated I refuse to put forth my best effort. Despite the struggles in my life, I must commit to show up with a positive attitude and ready to tackle challenges regardless of how difficult they may be. Even in sadness, I need to show up and deal with this difficulty. Life is never easy, but we all must continue to fight despite our struggles knowing that as we fight, we will achieve strength and we must never compare ourselves to others that appear to have it easy.
Another quality I noticed in this student is that she stays in a positive frame of mind sharing things with me (without even knowing) that really make my day. Friday, I had an incident that was very stressful for me and it concerned my teaching or management of students. In our conversation, she made a comment that my class went by much faster than her other classes. This comment really made my day because perception is everything. When you have the perception that things are good, they are good. When you experience life in the moment enjoying each moment, life is good. Reflect on how many times you may have made a positive comment to someone and it has lifted them beyond measure. We may never know how our words can affect another person so we must maintain positives remarks that will uplift and not tear down.
That is how God works. He uses simple things to bring clarity to the complex. When I feel burdened with my heavy load that may be difficult for me—I will not look at others and see how they may not seem to struggle as I do, but I will keep my head up and press on in a positive frame of mind and do as Ymani– keep showing up!