Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Glacier, 2011

St. Andrews
Kiev, Ukraine

a year behind

I cannot believe it's been a year since I've written anything!  School started last year and when that happens, not much else gets done.

There have been a few major events since last summer.  This first post will get through the end of last summer and early fall.

I took a trip to Idaho to see John's brother and family then took a side trip to Glacier National Park in Montana (again) for a week last July.  It was relaxing, cool, and got me moving around some.
Resting on the couch for almost a year added the pounds.  Couldn't get in shorts and jeans I usually wore.  

Idaho was as beautiful as I remembered.  Tim's family lives near Payette Lake, mountains in the distance, green and lush all around.  It was emotional but filling to be with them, a part of John.   Found myself looking at Tim's arms again because they resemble John's.  When it came time to leave, it was emotional for us all.  I wanted to stay and absorb more John-ness.  The morning I left, I stopped at the house to say good-bye on my way to the Boise airport, and the kids were lined up in their jammies, staring out the picture window.  It was quite early and they were bleary-eyed and weepy about my leaving.   

Montana had record snowfall winter of '11 and it hadn't all melted when I was there.  Got in the middle of a snowball fight at the Continental Divide/Logan Pass, built my traditional snowman, thought about John a lot.  One morning I realized he was gone.  Truly gone.  I couldn't call him or email about the wonderful time I was having out west.  I was ready to come home after a week, to surround myself with things of his and get him back in my head.

At the end of September '11 and into the first week of October, I went back to Kiev, Ukraine on another mission trip with Music Mission Kiev.  It again, was the first time I visited there without John waiting back in the States.  The people at the mission knew about him dying and had prayed for us, and were especially thoughtful and kind.  The widows we work with hugged me a lot and cried, and gave me flowers and gifts.  My birthday also fell when I was there and had cake and sang to me.
It was good to have my birthday in not-the-usual way so it wasn't so glaring that John wasn't there.    

When I got home from Kiev, Mama handed me a bag from John.  He gave it to her one of those days she sat with him while I ran errands, and made her promise she'd give it to me on my birthday.  I messed that up by being gone, but I'm sure he understood.  It was a bear in a party hat that sings "Happy Birthday" and a Hoops and YoYo singing birthday card I gave him recently.  I continue to be amazed at his thoughtfulness.  It was the perfect surprise.

I continued Hospice grief counseling, about every other week.  We tried every three weeks but I was a nervous wreck by the third week.  Every other suited me best.  When the Christmas holiday came, I stopped individual counseling and in the new year, began group.  I'll address that more in another post.