Monday Music #23

It’s hard to believe the last Monday Music I posted was on February 17,2020. Just before the world around me was totally reprogrammed.

“The Keep Going Song” by the Bengsons came out in October, 2020. It’s silly and profound at the same time. And much better than “This is the Song That Never Ends”!

And we are so lucky and blessed to be safely here
And we thought we’d be here for like ten days, tops!
{What did we know?} What did we know?
{What did we know?} What did we know?
We thought we knew a lot
We thought we knew a lot

Here we are, ten months, not ten days, after this song came out and it feels like we are back at square one.

And if your heart is breaking
I hope it’s breaking open

My heart was broken last year. And though it will never be the same, music helps to heal and soothe.

And I hope that you’ve watched a lot of
Really great television
Like, a lot of it!

I watch TV late at night. I plowed through several series this past year: Still Standing With Johnny Harris, Lost, Manifest, the Good Doctor.

I pray my pain is a river
That flows to the ocean
That connects my pain to yours
And I pray I pray my happiness is like pollen
That flies to you and pollinates your joy oh boy
Oh boy is that possible?
I don’t know I don’t know
We are making this up as we go

I’ve been able to connect my pain and my joy to other widows, most recently via Hope for Widows.

So, take a listen to this song – I hope it makes you smile.

Boxes

thanks, Chloe & Nextdoor

“Everything we use comes in boxes, cartons, bins, the so-called packaging we love so much. The mountain of things we throw away are much greater than the things we use…I do wonder whether there will come a time when we can no longer afford our wastefulness – chemical wastes in the rivers, metal wastes everywhere, and atomic wastes buried deep in the earth or sunk in the sea.” – from Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

Well, I’m glad for boxes. And for people willing to recycle them by passing them on. To me. Especially since I don’t have my friend Rodney here. He was my go-to box guy in Bham.

It seems crazy that I’m packing for my third move in less than a year. I should be a pro at this, but I don’t feel at all like one. I have a lot less possessions now so you’d think it would be easier. I just hope this is the last move, at least for a very long time.

The Night

118580756_604205250242066_5684653866213878453_n

 

The Night

Lights out, room darkening curtains drawn
Nature sounds play low in the background
Blankets spread just so
The whirr of the CPAP machine is more white noise
But sometimes the machine isn’t on
And the low snoring begins

The night has a life all its own

The low snoring may build in crescendo
But sometimes it just falls away
That’s when I hear it
The dog’s snoring
Not loud, just a pleasant little snuffling
In between these two beloveds
I snuggle down
I drift into sleep

The night has a life all its own

Sleep may last hours or not
A creak, a door closing
And I’m awake
Sometimes for minutes
Sometimes till dawn
Until light creeps around the edges

The night has a life all its own

I wrote this poem earlier in the year – before all that was familiar began to spin away. Is it possible to actually miss the sound of a CPAP machine? I think it is. I can no longer “snuggle down between these two beloved”, but the dog does her best to keep me company. The part that still rings true?

“…I’m awake
Sometimes for minutes
Sometimes till dawn
Until light creeps around the edges”

 

Texts from the past #2: far away

12 16 78

 

February 14, 2018

“I feel far away from you. Are you going to buy a dress? Need some help? I love you.”

This was two days after Mom died. We came to Jacksonville to make preparations. I was with my brothers and Chuck was with his. I did buy a dress – a little black dress. He came along and helped me decide. I often called on him to help me decide; usually it was which shoes to wear. I’d put on one of each, stand on one leg and then the other while he pondered and gave his verdict. He was a pretty good judge of shoes.

So many words from the posts I wrote after Mom died I could write again now…

So I live out my days without them (him). I take Ruby now on my adventures and listen to lots of music with my husband. (alone). https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/thoughts-inspired-by-my-grandmother-asked-me-to-tell-you-shes-sorry/

“After she  (he) died, things seemed to go out of focus for awhile, and I felt strange to myself.”-from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry  https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/avetts-in-october-9-strange-to-myself/ 

“Now all my thoughts about them (him) start with knowing they are (he is) gone.” from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry  https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/avetts-in-october-10-i-have-some-better-words-now/

Last year was hard. This year seems harder. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2019/12/18/magic-or-meaning/

Death holds many life lessons. I am learning still from Mom, though she’s been gone almost two years. She kept the important stuff: photos, letters, family documents and genealogy papers. She let go of replaceable stuff. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/life-lessons/

Today is our 41st anniversary. I can’t help but think of my parents who had 41 years of marriage. Less than two months later Dad was gone. I didn’t realize then just how young he was, just 63. https://angie5804.wordpress.com/tag/mom/ 

I feel far away from you… I love you.

Grace to Carry On

IMG_1614

 

I wrote the post titled “Life and Death” on June 15, 2018. I never dreamed, could never have imagined that two years later I would lose yet another person I love so dearly.

https://angie5804.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/4326/

This quote from that post is so true –

“We fear it (death), yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” – from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Chuck didn’t fear death. He knew where his hope was. I knew that, too. I know that. But, the sadness is still here. Sadness that his face will no longer light up when his children or grandchildren enter the room. Sadness that we talked, dreamed, and finally planned for his retirement and our return home to Jacksonville.  That return was overlaid with sorrow. For him, that return lasted one month. Now he is truly home, and I’m left here to carry on.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

New World

48363143_10218759029626009_2344250865927323648_o

Spring – 2014

 

we talked of a new normal

as we hid in our homes

but, the old still abided

in the hearts of those who love

good news cheered us everyday

the drive-by birthday greetings

teddy bears on display

meals freely delivered

a husband who stood outside the window

of his wife’s room

where he could no longer go

there, on either side of the glass,

they sang Amazing Grace together

this was a sweet new normal

I didn’t  want to lose

but then that normal

changed for my world

the words pancreatic cancer

turned my world upside down

now we are back home

but not the way we dreamed of being

our days are filled with tests and procedures

and the endless repetitive questions

name? birthdate? 

have you had fever, chills, change in taste or smell?

and I see the hollow look in the eyes of my love

the one who has been by my side for over 41 years

the one who protected me

kept me from falling when I lost my way

and all I want to do is to

take away the sadness

 

Four boys born in the days of COVID-19

hopesure

I know four little boys born within about a week of each other. Each one precious in the sight of the Lord. Each one with families who love them. It keeps reminding me that yes, life goes on.

First is Ryker, born to a young man, Jarrod, whom I have known since he was about nine months old.  He holds a special place in my heart. Jarrod has had a lot of ups and downs in his life, but he is now a wonderful father who is following Christ.

Next is Elijah. His daddy is also special to me because I got to know him as we went through the new members class at our church. Then he got married and is now a father of two. Elijah’s mommy, if she has her way, will be sure he grows up to be a Harry Potter fan. 🙂

Born the same day as Elijah, Henry is sorta related by marriage. Henry was born with a fairly severe birth defect and has already undergone one surgery with flying colors. I’ve known Henry’s daddy since he was a boy and he, too, has grown into a fine young man.

The last one is closest to my heart. My niece, Ella, had baby Wyatt at only 27 weeks. He weighed two pounds, 10 ounces. I love every picture I see and can’t wait to meet him.

IMG_2452

I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God. -Psalm 22:10

 

In this time of fear and uncertainty, we can be sure of one thing:

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 9:9

 

Now and Then

7 eleven

 

I guess I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how much things have changed in my lifetime. I’ve had conversations at lunch with other teachers ranging from the lack of discipline at the school where I’m currently teaching to the future and implanting of microchips in people.  In the words of Cher, “if I could turn back time; if I could find a way” I’d certainly do it for the sake of my grandkids.

I was sitting in the car this morning outside a gas station “mini-mart”, reading the signs along the back wall  CRAFT BEER –  BEER –  SODA –  ENERGY.   So weird. Compared to the picture above of a 7-Eleven that looks like the ones of my childhood, people time traveling in either direction would be bound to be confused. Those coming from the past would not understand craft beer and they would wonder how in the world a person would buy energy at a 7-Eleven.

 

dairy farmers ofCanada

dairyfarmersofcanada

Many people traveling backwards would be clueless about testing TV tubes. Of course, beer and ice cream have  obviously stood the test of time. As has milk, though we didn’t have all the different choices that are available today. My mom would send us to the drive-through milk store when we were teenagers and tell us to get a gallon of homogenized. That’s all I ever remember getting. Now I can get soy milk, almond milk,  coconut, cashew, rice, shrimp (jk),  lactose free, whole, reduced-fat, low-fat, fat-free, etc.

If could go back, I’d like to visit 1969. I was ten for most of that year, and in the fifth grade. I had my favorite teacher, Miss Wilkins. I was still in my familiar, well-loved elementary school. I walked a mile barefoot to go to the 7-Eleven to buy a small Icee for 11 cents. I caught crawdads in the ditch, built forts in the woods, played Barbies with my cousin and visited Mamaw in the summer with my family. Things changed the next year. Not all bad by any means, but some things were lost that could never be regained. Yet, some things were gained, some lessons learned, some memories made that shaped me, for better or worse.

 

Cypress Gardens Memories

welcome

Legoland – June, 2017

I read the following article, posted by a former student, and it brought back my memories of the last decade of Cypress Gardens.

Before Disney There Was Dick Pope and His Cypress Gardens  

We moved to Lake Wales in 1992, then to Winter Haven in 1994. With a gift from a church friend of a yearly pass, I was able to visit often, especially with my two younger children. It wasn’t all bells and whistles like Disney, but beautiful, entertaining and convenient. A few years later I found myself teaching just down the road from the gardens at Garden Grove Elementary and then Denison Middle School. At Denison one year we had a student who, along with her parents, performed at Cypress Gardens. Really, she was the star and had been performing since she was very young. I think her days were numbered in the entertainment field, however, as she got older. She was an amazing gymnast and one day she climbed up on the desktops and gave us a demonstration. I can’t remember her name, or which Slavic country she was from, but she was a inspiration to me in the fact that she put much effort into her schooling, could speak two languages and helped support her family.

lego1

Legoland June, 2017

After we moved away the transformation was made to Legoland. A few years ago we were able to take our grandchildren to enjoy the park. It wasn’t the same, but we had a great time. One place we took them  that hadn’t changed in Winter Haven was Andy’s Igloo. The burgers, shakes, and malts were just like I remembered them.