Thursday, February 16, 2017
So What's Up?
Flagler Beach, Florida
February 10, 2017
My husband, Bill, died on March 18, 2015 and I will tell you without embarrassment, that, for a full year, I lived in a complete fog. Don’t get me wrong – I breathed and I existed, but for the most part, I took one breath at a time and made one decision at a time. Friends stepped in and my calendar stayed full. I simply looked at my calendar each day and did what it told me to do. I became involved with a wonderful group of hiking women who accepted me, cared for me and just went with it when I would melt down. I began working on our Benevolence Team at church. I couldn’t imagine ever having the desire to travel again as Bill and I had, so I tried to convince myself little trips here and there to visit friends would be enough. Those “little” trips were BIG milestones for me!
Walker Sisters Hiking Adventure - June, 2016
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
Blog Friend, Sherry, in Shenandoah National Park
Sherry writes a wonderful blog - Direction of Our Dreams
Anyone who has been through this will most likely tell you that you DO hear your husband’s voice, he sends you “messages,” and you “see” him in a thousand different ways. My personal opinion is that this can be handled in either a healthy (part of “letting go”) way or an unhealthy (a way of “clinging” to) way. From the beginning, I prayed to handle it in the healthy way and sometime around the first anniversary of Bill’s death, his clear voice in my head began to say, “you’ve mourned long enough, I’ll be forever with you, I’ll always love you, but I’m gone, I’m INCREDIBLY proud of you, please just spread your wings and fly.” I can’t say I’ve done a stellar job with all of that, but I am trying and I do feel him just behind me, constantly prodding me to FLY. It’s what he always wanted for me when he was here. Why should this be any different?
For new readers, wanted you to see one of my favorite pictures - he was special!
So this week, one year ago, I set out on my first travel adventure. In both wonderful and painful ways, I deemed it a success. Monday’s post will be all about that trip, so you’ll have to come back for the details! Since then, I’ve taken several trips to visit friends and built a couple of trips around attending conferences. My first BIG adventure was a three-week trip to Texas over the holidays. A detailed post on that trip will come later. I am writing THIS post from my home away from home in Flagler Beach, Florida that former blog friends may remember.(Our History in the Flagler Beach House.)
Feeling the desire and gathering the courage to start traveling again was big, but my greatest lifestyle change didn’t come until August. Don’t laugh when I tell you that you are reading the words of a 61 year old college coed officially working on her Master of Arts Degree in Applied Theology and totally loving every minute of it.
REL509 - Old Testament Foundations for Christian Life & Service
That's a mouth full, isn't it? - January, 2017
Here’s the short backstory….When Bill went back to school for his advanced degree, I wanted to do the same thing, but we were newlyweds and one of us had to work. He NEEDED the degree, I still wasn’t sure what my career goals were. Years later, he was still encouraging me to go back to school and I was the one dragging my feet saying, “not now.” Eventually, “not now” became, “never” and he stopped mentioning it although I doubt he ever forgot it. Last August, out of the blue, my church, announced a new partnership with Carson-Newman University offering a Master’s Degree program with a combination of residential Saturday classes and online course work. The Saturday classes would meet AT MY CHURCH on SELECTED Saturdays making it very convenient for me. I first saw the announcement on the front page of our newsletter and simply stood in the middle of my kitchen floor feeling both God and Bill saying, “OK Sharon, what lame excuse are you going to offer now?” And I had none! So, here I am, in my second term and feeling more settled into a project than I have felt in years. I love the coursework, the professors, the reading, the writing, ALL OF IT! Whether I actually obtain the degree (it would take three years if I go straight through) seems irrelevant. It’s the journey that counts.
When I told my 88-year-old mother what I was doing, she said, “are you going to be a preacher?” Ummmm, that would be NO! I have no idea what I’m going to DO with this. For now, it’s enough if it makes be a better teacher, encourager and friend. I just know it feels right.
So that’s what’s up……….what’s been happening to your life over the past year or so?