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Spring 2008


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Another season fast approaching, and it's hard to believe. I know it doesn't feel like spring all over the country, but here in So Cal we're experiencing some gorgeous weather at the moment. Flowers everywhere, green hillsides, and sunny days. It gives me that "new year" feeling, which I have more in spring time than I do at the real New Year -- I always have. So hard to believe another season will come and go without Bill in it. Easter is early this year. Last Easter we had friends come with us to church, then hosted a beautiful luncheon afterwards. It would be the last time we would host a meal for friends where Bill was fully involved in all the preparations. Bill put all his energy into the day and looked wonderful, but collapsed on the couch once everyone left. No one else realized how bad he was feeling -- everyone thought he was doing fine. He always fooled everyone. Our friends had invited us to Vegas, people were wanting us to go to dinner, etc., and always seemed a little surprised when we had to decline. He was still working hard, writing his book, and taking care of all that he could (which was a lot), but things were changing quickly.

I can't say that I miss him now more than other times, because I always miss him immensely. But when I'm working outside and making things look pretty and clean (something we would have done together), smelling the barbecues fired up in the neighborhood, and changing the clocks ahead, I ache for his company and to share one more spring together. And on the bright side, Bill would be thrilled to know that our Mrs. Dickens is taking her "Canine Good Citizen" test this Saturday (which is a miracle in itself).

But I also remember how amazing he was, and that's where I'm training my thoughts to go. I remember how just a little over a week before we would lose him, we shared some beautiful "us" moments that I cherish. I remember working on the hill and Bill handing me little Mexican pebbles to decorate an area, 2 and 3 at a time. He insisted on helping me, and he did. I remember us sitting out by our newly painted pool (relatives and friends fixed it for us) and enjoying an evening together. I remember a friend trying to help us fix our air conditioning in the sweltering July heat, and Bill insisted he had a certain tool. He could barely see anything at the time, but he went through three tool boxes and found exactly what he was looking for. All of us just stood there in amazement -- that happened more than once. I remember him insisting on the two of us trying to fix it together before we asked for help, and him wanting to ride with me to the hardware store (this was probably a week before we lost him). He had instructed me on what I needed to buy. I said, "is there some compelling reason you feel you need to come with me?" as it was hard for him to ride in the car by this point. He said, "yes, so I can sit in the bloody air conditioned car!" We both laughed, I gathered up pillows and whatever else to make him comfy, and off we went -- a simple task that we managed to turn into an adventure. And I remember him sitting at the computer to write an email to a church friend we had become close with, telling her of all the miracles God did -- that email took him hours, as he was so weak, but it was important to him to share that with her.

As I go through these seasons and weeks learning to live without Bill, I continue to appreciate him more than ever, and know him better and better. Because I can look back, I can marvel at how he spent his last weeks. Once again, I have to say that if he can do that with all that he went through and faced, I can do this. And when I go back over to visit my step-kids and sister-in-law this summer, it will have been over a year since we lost him. That's almost impossible for me to believe. In a hopeful way, it's a year closer until we meet again. For as Bill said in that last email, "my life is but a blip on the radar screen" of the big picture. As this Easter approaches, I have that great hope knowing that we will meet again.

Happy Spring,

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I don't know if you realize how very treasured your posts are to me. Your words are so eloquent and your writing brings me to the place and time you are describing... I can see those beautiful Mexican pebbles you and Bill placed lovingly together and I too can hear your laughter as you took your adventure to the hardware store. What marvelous, beautiful souls you two were together and still are though apart. Much Love Teri, Sharon

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"teriw" ...Because I can look back, I can marvel at how he spent his last weeks. Once again, I have to say that if he can do that with all that he went through and faced, I can do this.

Teri, I love reading your posts, you write beautifully so many things I feel and that Rod was. Rod was working as the Shop Foreman in a steel fabricating shop 9 days before he died and would have gone in a couple more days, but his feet swelled and he couldn't get his boots on.

The quote above is the thought that has kept me going since I asked to go full time at work. The dentists didn't think I could do the job but gave me a chance and I was very afraid. But if Rod could keep working and taking care of us, I can do this and show him he can be proud of me, that I can take care of myself, somthing I have NEVER had to do. My employer told me last week that he is so proud of me, that I have really stepped up and am doing a really good job. That was better than a paycheck. I so totally see God's hand in this. My family and I have prayed this would work out and it has right from the first day of my full time employment. Praise Him.


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