Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Beginnings

Time is flying by!  I was just talking with my girls yesterday, we can't believe that Les has been gone four and half months already.  Sometimes it seems like last week, sometimes it seems so long ago.  I have slowly realized that all of last year is pretty much a blur to me.  I often refer to my blog to remind me of what had been going on.........  I also have realized that I did not know how sick Les was at the end.  I was existing on auto-pilot and just thinking of what needed to be done next.  I do not like to remember him that sick.  I want to remember the healthy Les.  And I am really missing the healthy Les.

When our Iowa friends Steve and his wife Rachel visited last year, they told us about the puppies that Steve's brother was raising.  Les knew I wanted one of these puppies.  When I finally remembered to email this family, he told me they had 4 litters ready the middle of Christmas.  Well - when I looked at those puppies online, I knew I had to have one!  This little guy was flown out here at 8 weeks old.   My sister Becky was here when he flew in, so her and Leslie drove with me to the airport to get him.  Needless to say, I have been VERY busy dealing with a puppy but I am so glad he is in the house!!  I was going to name him Max but for some reason, Kaden decided on Dutch.  So Dutch he is.  He is a mini GoldenDoodle and I think it is so special that he came from Les' friends, from Les' home town in Iowa.

I am thankful for friends who keep me busy.  This group went on our annual Christmas home tour in December.  Always a fun outing!
New Years Day I went snow shoeing with some friends.  I of course haven't been able to do this for a couple of years, and it was so awesome to be up there with so much snow.  Such a fun day.  We ended with a fire in the snow and roasted hot dogs.  One of the best hot dogs I have ever had!!

 A group of us girls also enjoyed a Christmas dinner hosted by Gina.  Never a dull moment when we are together!!

My Iowa bestie was here for a weekend in January.  She decided to come now instead of for Les' service, and what a great decision that was.  I was able to look forward to her visit, and I was so ready to have her around!  We didn't do much, but we got lots of talking in.  I was able to go over Les' final days with her and talk through the weeks after with her.  Les and I were very good friends with Nancy, and grieving with her was so healing for me.  It was a very theraputic weekend!!!
Earlier this week I visited Les' friend Tom who also has ALS.  They became pretty good friends over the past year.  When Les couldn't drive anymore, Tom would still drive to our house to visit.  A couple months ago, Kris was trying to sell Les' wheelchair (per his father's instructions!!!) but we realized that used wheelchairs just don't sell.  One day it just popped in my head that I should offer this wheelchair to Tom.  They were so thrilled to receive it!  After seeing Tom in Les' wheelchair this week, I was reassured that that was the right decision.  Tom isn't walking much anymore so he will get lots of use out of that fancy wheelchair.  I had a great visit with Tom and Jen.  They have two darling little girls, 4 and 6.  This family will have a rough road ahead.  If you think of praying for them, please do.  Our other friend with ALS, Nelda, passed away this week.  I went to her service - she also lived with such courage and strength.  So many lessons to be learned from these dear ones who suffer from this awful disease!

And so, my life is going on.  I received many books about grief, about being alone, etc. etc. but just didn't have the desire to read them.  Just the past few weeks, I finally picked up the book I received from Pastor Ken and nurse Kay.  What a great book it has been!  One of the things this book keeps reminding me of is that "Your spouse died.  You did not"  The book reminds me that I can face and deal with this grief, and then move on.  I can enjoy life again.  That's what God wants for me, and that's what Les would want for me.  It's still one day at a time, but I AM looking forward to a JOY filled life.