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
September, 2015
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!
Boston, 2012

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? 


  1. What a brave thing to do. I'm sure there are many interesting things you could do with that degree. Welcome back to blogging :-)

  2. Good for you for deciding to go and get the degree you've always wanted. It's never too late!

  3. It's good to see you back, Sharon!

  4. OMG- I knew you would get to this place. Seriously. Knew it, with the travel. Very cool with the theology ( I was a UMC member for most of my church going years and have probably 12 friends my own age who are ministers).

    I totally get the voice in your head thing. And know it's part of the process. Until I got food sober (abstaining from grains, most sugars and all emulsifiers), I had an ex abusive partner's voice in my head. Now that I'm meditating, certain family members voices are in my head, but it all passes and frees me to have my own voice in my head. Old thought patterns and beliefs. Not mental illness.

    Okay, since you took your blogging hiatus I : got to my 5 year weight maintenance anniversary, taught my teen daughter how to drive, and am now enjoying teaching her key adulting skills like cooking at home, managing her finances and teaching her job hunting and independent living so that she can always depend on herself and have low health care bills.

    I continue to blog about food sobriety, abstaining, walking on the coast. Now looking for sea glass and photographing birds. Photos are on my 2 instagram account- one coastal walking, the other Paleo/LCHF/Keto. Ketosis, cyclic, is my best chance at normal full hungry signals. The support groups are 2,000 to 10,000 plus. Not just a handful anymore.

    I attended PaleoFx 2015, Low Carb USA 2016, and will go to Low Carb USA 2017, too. Just thinking of my next career or my segway into a second career as my current health care career is pretty sweet.

    Onward and welcome back.