Friday, February 25, 2011

take note

No luck on my video.  Couldn't get it to transfer to another program, so I totally redid it on John's computer. Stayed up until almost 2 a.m.  It saved it, played it, but when I tried it today, it was lost.  I'm going to set up his computer in the lobby and show just my pictures as a slideshow.

I finally found the video John made.  And boy, am I glad I watched it before the memorial service.  He didn't let me see the ending, and I knew I'd better.  There are three versions.  The first is incomplete.  The second and third are the same song/pictures, but John put a different written message at the end of each.  The one I'm using tomorrow says, "I love you, Laura.  Remember, God is a personality."  He would always remind me that God is real with a real personality and character, not a spirit out in the milky way somewhere.  The other ending was, "I love you, Laura.  I will be back for my body some day."  That phrase may be a little freaky to some at the memorial, but we had long talks about how those in Christ will come back with him one day and our bodies, somehow in some form, will be restored.

Today, our classmate, Roger, posted a fabulous video he made with a lot of the same pictures I was using, so we'll try to use it in the service.

Wednesday night, I searched a lot of places looking for "things" to put on the remembrance table at the memorial.  In my search, I found several more sticky notes from John.  One was in a drawer I hardly ever go in.  I stuck it to the outside of the chest of drawers.  One was in a tin of his that contains foreign money and other trinkets from his past.  I can't figure out what he wrote.  It says, "sinc cupper   xxxoooxxx   Love, John". 

The best find so far, though, was in with the digital camera and flashdrives John put pictures and writing on.  He took a small flip calendar from his bank and circled his birthday, and wrote the x's and o's, and John Cogdill.  On a whim, I flipped to my birthday.  Sure enough.....well, almost.  On the September page, he wrote my name at the top, circled the 24th instead of the 28th, and "Love, John ooooxxxx".  In the picture for my month, he wrote his name twice and more x's and o's. 

Uncle D.C. and Brian got here from Macon.  They're staying with my parents.  Haven't seen them in over 10 years.  I think there's going to be a crowd tomorrow.  Lots of people helping make it a special, special day. 

in the tree stand

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

so many plans

Walked around the neighborhood with Betsy yesterday and my hips are sore today.  Can tell I've been sitting on my behind for a month. 
This morning started with a meeting with Pastor Bob to plan John's memorial service.  Enjoyed talking with him and remembering times John and I shared.  I think the service is going to be a great tribute to a wonderful, full life.

Mama and I had lunch in Havana.  Sarah came over and Gwendolyn soon joined her.  Randi and Jessica came later.  You know how it is when a bunch of teachers get together.  We do what we do best:  talk.

Pastor Bob suggested I have a scripture verse on the back of the service program.  There are quite a few I could think of and wanted to find which of them meant the most to John.  I got out his Bible and first checked his notepad stuck inside.  Guess what I found.  Another sticky note from him.  This one said, "Love ya! John  oooxxxooo   12-1-10".  It got me searching the pages for more.  On the dedication page he wrote, "John & Laura    Love ya!"

One of John's favorite scriptures to read and to have me read to him was John 12-17.  It wasn't until December that he told me why it was so special to him.  It was the passage he was studying the night he had his first seizure, and since then, he wasn't able to read and study it to the extent he desired. 
At the top of the page of John 14 he wrote, "Love Laura xxooxx".

John took a photograph of a flower in our yard soon after he quit working and I got him the digital camera.  I kept the picture on my computer lapboard.  He hid the picture in his Bible and wrote on the back, "John  ooxx".

The scripture I was leaning to most for the program was John 3:16.  On that page was another sticky note.  "Laura, Christ is Jesus      John xxxxooo".   Definitely the passage we'll put in the program.

Now to get the slideshow to work.................

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

note of the day

Today I found one of John's notes in my Bible while searching for a particular
scripture for his memorial service. 

His obit was in the Democrat today.  Looks really nice.

This picture was taken a few years ago at my parents'. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

hidden messages

For several months, John has hidden love notes to me all over the house.  I found a couple of them months ago but put them back to "find" another time.  Just found a new one in the basket by my bed, which is filled with pens, note pads, a Bible, lotion, flashlight....all those handy bedside items.  In it, John had hidden a sugar packet from Circle K and on it he wrote
"sugar xoxo  John". 
how sweet

He wrote a few notes even when he could hardly spell or write.  He showed some of them to my sister.  She told me not to get rid of anything, even books, without going through them first.  He told me he was glad he made the notes as far back as he did because he could write then. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

here we go

I'm finally by myself.  No one else here.  It's not the quiet I notice, it's the stillness.  No extra noises in the other rooms.  No footsteps through the house.  I lived alone for 12 or 13 years.  John lived here only 8 months.  It's not like couples who lived together for 50 years and lose a spouse.  But it's still obvious John's not here.  Such a void.  It's more than just the noises, it's him that's missing. 

I know now why people try to borrow home health/hospital equipment.  It's probably different for long-term needs, but in our situation, you need something immediately and only for a short time.  When John needed a bedside potty chair, we needed it that day, and didn't use it but for a couple of weeks.  Borrowing it, thank goodness, was possible. 

Sharon spent the night and we both slept hard.  We rearranged my bedroom last night and adjusted other furniture.  This morning we did something scandalous:  went through the Burger King drive-thru in our pajamas.  Sharon actually got out of the car to get a paper, in her jammies and slippers.

We knew people would be coming later.  Mama came mid-morning, Daddy for lunch.  My sister-in-law's family brought tons of food.  The Grandmas did, too.  I felt so bad because one of my old friends, who now goes to church with us, called to see how John was doing.  She felt ashamed when people at church asked how we were and she didn't know.  I apologized to her for not keeping in touch the last few weeks and told her about John.  One of our neighbors brought a bouquet of camillias from her yard for me and John.  She didn't know either.  I assured her we hadn't told people.  It happened in the middle of the night and used these days to rest.  She and her husband didn't know John well but they liked him and could tell he had a sense of humor.