Thursday, February 16, 2017

It Was A Very Good Day

Earlier this week I posted the following on Facebook:
I'm watching "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" and it makes me smile and laugh. Jesus Loves me, My Family Loves Me, My friends Love me, .........and I love me. Yes, I Love Valentines Day...Joe knew I loved Pearls, but I always told him no I didn't need them... Well guess what I'm getting me from Him for Valentines Day.... I'm going to Crown Jewelers tomorrow and picking up my new (small) pearl earrings . Thank you honey.
So my dear Joe, I kept that appointment at Crown Jewelers. These are the pearl earrings I chose. It truly was a week of love and I felt very loved. The morning of Valentines Day I was up early to return an item at Fred Meyers. While there I stopped at  the Starbucks in the store and bought a small latte. The young Barista  asked me if I was having a nice Valentines day. I said I was. I told her it was my first Valentine Day with out the love of my life but I knew I was loved by a lot of family and friends. She finished my drink and instead of putting it on the counter, she came around handed it to me with a HUGE "grandma hug" and gave me a card for a free drink of any size and a bag with two cake pops in it. Believe it or not I was speechless. After a nice thank you, I took just a few steps from there and saw a lady frantically laying things from her purse on an empty table....I thought to myself "now that looks like something I would do if I had "lost" my keys"  Just as I stepped along side her to ask if there was anything I could do to help, she got a huge smile on her face as she held up her car keys. We had a fun conversation about how I got the name "Lucy"  from you......and had a few more laughs we said goodbye. I noticed she hadn't put her debit/credit card back in her wallet. So I shared another "Lucy" story with her telling her how I promised you I wouldn't leave the counter in the future until it was back in my wallet and back in my purse. Before she took another step she put her card where it belonged.  My heart was happy. I received Valentine cards from friends and a beautiful long stemmed red rose with a note attached from dear friends reminding me how much I was loved.  It truly was a day of love for me.  
P.S. The card we give each other every year.... is in its proper place where I can see it everyday and everyday I feel your love.

In closing, my blogger friends, I wanted to share this. I love music and I love children. Put those together with one of my favorite songs ..... WOW!!

Bye for now
I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Friday, February 10, 2017

I Didn't Realize A Little Pack Of Toothpicks Could Hurt So Bad.

My Joe, just when I think I'm doing better ...... I was cleaning out the pockets in the drivers side of car door  and look what I found hidden under a little plastic container of band aids. Yes, an unopened pack of your much loved, favorite toothpicks. Apparently you took one of the packs out of the larger packs to keep in the car. I don't know how something so small could "knock the wind" out of me. Stopped me in my tracks. I locked up the car, went in the house and cried til there were no more tears, crawled into bed ( it was only 7 P:M) and didn't get up til morning. In thinking about it the next morning, why did that hurt so bad?  Maybe because they were such a part of you. No, I didn't throw them away, just put them in a little place were I have other special things of yours I'm not ready to let go of yet but out of sight for now.  I also placed your sunglasses and case that were in another compartment I hadn't seen before with them. 

Another first, another hurt. I filed our income taxes for this year. I asked Jean why she had to put deceased on the form and her answer was because I filed joint this year and she had to. Then at the bottom I had to sign my name as "surviving spouse"  Add another description to who I am now.  Widow, surviving spouse...... But I will also be Betty Graffis, the name you gave me twelve and a half years ago that I will cherish for ever. 
O.K So I told you I would share a life lesson to help lessen the pain of missing you so much...Valentines Day, Another first without you.  Remember telling you about the lady I met recently who remembered you from  your days of transporting residents from place to place?  Well, she lost the love of her life just a few weeks ago. I don't know her pain, but I sure know mine. So I went shopping the other day and put together a little Valentine's Day Bag for her. Not a lot, just something to let her know that somebody cares about her. I did that for  three others that for what ever reason, I knew were hurting.That day for me was a really good day. I was thinking of others and not about me. This isn't a new lesson for me. Many years ago I walked through another dark valley and it was then I learned reaching out to others, helping others was really helping me. So I thought, well, let's try that again. Totally different situation but it works. So to my blogger friends that might be hurting, try it sometime. If you are feeling down, feeling blue, find someone else that might need cheering up. It doesn't have to be a gift, maybe a little note to them, or a smile and a hello as you pass them in the grocery isle......

On the way home from visiting my son the other day, I followed my GPS instead of going the way I usually go. To my great delight and surprise, I had to drive across this delightful covered bridge.  Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge

Another day while visiting my daughter I took some pictures on the way to where she lives.  Beautiful trees with lots of moss and  rushing creeks swollen from all the rain we've had.

It's been a good week with a few "bumps" Sixteen months ago Joe, when you were first diagnosed with cancer, we prayed and asked the Lord for Strength, Courage, Comfort and Peace. The Lord has been faithful. There are days when I want to question why, but He knows all the answers that I will know one day. Until then, He gives me strength and courage when I need it, I cry, then I blow my nose and wipe my eyes and thank the Lord for the comfort and peace He gives me when I'm done crying. I'm smiling more and even laughing out loud. Tomorrow I'm going to get the car washed. I know, not your way of doing things but at least it will look nice on the outside and then I'll go to the store and I will smile and say hello to whom ever I pass by.

Bye For Now
I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Life Continues on...... One Day At A Time

Before I start my blog this evening, for those of you who are from the Pacific Northwest or have had any dealings with  Camping World in Troutdale, Oregon, this was our headlines on the news tonight.  

These past couple of weeks it's been one day at a time. Nights being the most difficult. I saw this recently on Facebook and it pretty much says it all. My sister and I had a good talk on the phone the other night and bottom line from her own experiences, she has taken the tough times and turned them into "what lesson can I learn from this".

So I've been working on life lessons in the pain of missing you Joe...And I'll be sharing some of them from time to time. I met a sweet, elderly lady today who remembers you from your days of transporting residents from place to place. She couldn't say enough about how wonderful her and her husband thought you were. She used words like kind, gentle, helpful  to name a few. In a couple of weeks I will use her in one of my life lessons I will share.

Today was the monthly Senior Luncheon at church. Susan is such a great cook and her husband Ray is right there to help. I'm getting to know the group and making more new friends.  The tables were decorated with Valentine Candy, and cute little Valentine figurines. It is the most romantic month of the year right????  February was the month Joe gave me my engagement ring. Instead of giving it to me after we had it sized, he made arrangements with my Pastor at the time in Estacada to give it to me during our Church Valentine's Banquet. He said he wanted the whole world to know how much he loved me but knowing he couldn't do that, giving it to me in front of my church family would work too. That really was a surprise and so special because Joe was normally not one that would do anything in front of a room full of people especially people that he didn't really know that well. Pastor Jim's devotional after lunch was about love too.  God's love for us.  I couldn't focus to well on everything he said because I was concentrating on trying to keep my eyes from "leaking" It was useless so I quit trying, got out my hanky and just wiped them away and kept smiling.....

This is a view of part of my walk each day. I try to do it three times a day. I started Physical Therapy last week for Gait issues. It seems I'm not as stable on my feet as I use to be and the exercises I'm doing will help that if I'm faithful in doing them. I haven't fallen yet and I don't plan on that ever happening.

This is the view on the way back. If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it you can see beautiful Mt. Hood in the distance and our Class C Motor home patiently waiting for just the right buyer. 

This is just a weed as far as I know but it was frozen. I took this during our last freezing rain/snow storm. Even weeds can be beautiful at times. We are in the middle of yet another freezing rain/snow storm passing through tonight. This one though won't last as long. The forecast is for it to be done by Saturday which is a good thing. I will be working on my tax preparation this weekend and by Sunday hopefully it will just be rain and I can go to church......and then watch the Super Bowl. :)
Bye for now
I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Sunday, January 22, 2017

After Two Long Weeks

I sit here tonight my Joe, working on my blog and thinking about the last three months since you went to live in your new heavenly home. I can't even imagine what it must be like, how beautiful it must be. But I CAN tell you there is no words to describe the pain and loneliness of you not being here with me. I try to keep busy during the day and that helps. The nights are the worst. People say, and I've said it too "that time heals".... but it seems like that "time" will never get here.  I know I can't get around it. I have to walk through it. Now that the snow is gone I can get out of the house. This was a week full of joyful news regarding some of our grand kiddos....adults now.

Meet Jess Schwartz. She is our newest grand daughter to be. Yes, Brandon is engaged.He waited for a long time for the Lord to give him the perfect wife for him.  I won't be going back to Colorado for the wedding.... you know how much I love to fly (NOT) but they are having a wedding reception in Oregon City in May and I will be there for that. Jan is coming down and we will go together. I am so looking forward to meeting her.

Then there is your Heather. It's not enough that she already plays the keyboard, guitar and ukulele. Now she is playing the violin.... all self taught via You Tube and her sharp ear  (of course that comes from her grandma right :) She played the theme from Pirates Of The Caribbean for me.
Then our sweet little  great grand daughter Araina turned one last week.
Last week David, Jennifer and the boys came to visit and brought me some groceries and a special movie I really wanted..... can you believe it.

 They gave me
"Finding Dory"  Then they stayed and we all watched it together.  Now I have both Finding Nemo AND Dory. I'm not much of a cartoon person but I loved these. The colors are so beautiful too.
After being housebound for two weeks from the snow and ice, I was able to get out of the house for a visit with son Mike. My intentions were to pick up the barometer I accidentally broke and he fixed it. As soon as I took it off the wall by one of the "handles" and it broke when I was moving, I remembered you telling me only to handle it by the center. Thank you Mike for your beautiful work.
 I was also blessed to be able to have a short, quick visit with  daughter Sheila. Bless her heart. Wednesday she had all her teeth pulled and dentures put in place. She was asleep, but Thursday through today have been so painful for her. So yesterday I took her flowers, and a goody bag with things that she will need for wearing dentures now, plus some yogurt. She doesn't feel like eating anything else yet.  

 Sheila lives in the country and the scenery on the way there is so beautiful. Especially on this day my friend and I went to visit her. On the way home, she spotted some moss that she could use in re potting a fern she had just purchased...

Well my love it was a long two weeks, but I made it. In trying to comfort me before you died, you would say "it will be OK"  It doesn't always feel OK but you are right. I WILL  be OK.
Bye for now.

I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Meet Lamby. In between snow storms, I was able to get to the Post Office.There was so much mail in my little box. Among the mail was a familiar yellow slip indicating there was a package... or more mail they couldn't get in my box. So I went to the window and it was a box. I brought every thing home and laid it on the counter, the package still unopened. There was more errands to run. It had been a tough day. Somehow, my house key fell off my key ring. GONE. If that wasn't enough when I got the mail there was a huge package  from medical records. Dates I needed for tax purposes but a huge painful reminder all the tests, surgeries, medicines....didn't work. He died.  Tears and rain doesn't make for safe driving but I couldn't stop them. I was back in the house by 5 and I opened my package. I didn't know who it was from. All it said was Amazon. But the person reading this  blog does. I've all ready communicated with that person. I thanked them for their sensitivity to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in giving me that sweet little lamb. Again God's timing is perfect. When you hold it's little paws. It recites the whole 23rd Psalm.
"Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
."....for 75 years I've always thought that was for the person dying. Holding and listening to my precious little lamb, I realized I walked through the valley of the shadow of death watching my Joe die little by little over the year. But the Lord was with me every step of the way. I encourage any of you who are going through your own difficult valley, take that chapter and personalize it. Where ever there is a personal pronoun put your name...Joe's right. I am going to be O.K. It's just a long journey but I'll get there and so will you.

PS. Guess what? After replacing the lost key and having a couple spares cut and put in a safe place.... I lifted a bag I keep in the back of my car and there was the lone, lost key. Apparently it had pulled off the key holder and stuck to the bottom of the bag and when I lifted the bag it fell on to the seat.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Enough Already

Hi, Honey. I can imagine if you could get a glimpse of where I am you would be nodding your head saying "yep" Heaven is a wonderful place right about now"  It's beautiful here but Brrrrr.

Last weekend was a skiff of snow and lots of freezing rain leaving parts of the city paralyzed.  True to my word I stayed inside until the roads were clear

Then Monday and Tuesday, I took care of some appointments and am happy to tell you  Dr. gave me another good report. My A1c is great, liver enzymes are normal. 

Blowing, freezing rain made it slick right up to the door . I opened the door, looked out and closed it right up again.

I've seen snow hang on to the patio furniture, but see the little icicles on the table and arms of the chair?

The car was encased in ice. So the next day I carefully, with my boots on and all bundled up, went out to the motor home and it started right up and I also ran the generator for awhile. All is good. I was finally enjoying a day out of the house to finish my errands. I spent a day gathering all the paper work from all the Dr's, hospitals, pharmacies etc so I can claim the mileage on our taxes. I'm so thankful for Jean our tax lady. I just don't know what I'd do without her this year. I also made an appointment with the skin Dr. again as much as I didn't want to.  Dr. wants to have that mole near my right temple checked.  Then he also wants me to make an appointment with Physical Therapy for a balance assessment. He seems to think I would walk better on my feet than my face. I haven't fallen but  I'm a little more unsteady than before.  

But before I could do that, my ears really perked up when I heard the weather report on the radio. Snow was on the way.  And before I got in the door it had started to snow...and snow....and snow... All night long
It snowed until this afternoon. Portland and surrounding areas were paralyzed yet again. But I was warm and "snug as a bug in a rug" inside. Plenty to eat and drink. And today I have enjoyed all the Gaither video's I could find on You Tube and with the miracle of my Chromcast I've been able to watch them on my TV. I couldn't remember where I packed it when I moved and recently found it. By then I had to figure out again how to hook it up again. All done. I can use it with my phone, the iPad or my laptop. Right now I'm using the laptop while I work on my blog. 

I opened the door this morning and it appears the sweet little birds outside were looking for something to eat... I don't have any bird food at the moment. I will get some and put it in a feeder away from the front door step. 

This is looking out toward the highway.

I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. It isn't heaven like where you are honey, but it is as close as I will get for now.

It makes me cry, my heart is full of gratitude,  when I think of how much the Lord loves me and cares for me until I can be with you again.

I am told that no matter what the season is it is beautiful here. So I am looking forward to Spring, Summer and Fall.

Bye for now

I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back Home In My Cozy Little Abode

It's me again Joe.  My first day back home after spending two weeks with my sister  was full of appointments and errands. Then in the afternoon I attended the memorial service for your aunt Sally.  It was nice to have Kelly sitting beside me and your cousins around me.
After the memorial service I decided to drive up to Willamette National Cemetery to see if your Marker had been set.  I had already made up my mind that I wanted to see it by myself first. I knew it wasn't going to be easy and it wasn't.  A biting cold, windy day and seeing your name on that stone marker was a reality check. If I hadn't accepted your being gone before (which I have) I sure did at that moment. I'm so glad there was no one around because the tears, and anguish crying and groans came from deep within and was not quiet. Out of all of that was a very private closure I needed. 

Today was a new day. More errands to run. One of them was a stop at Bob's Red Mill. You know how I love those healthy muffins.... On the way out one of the clerks told me to stop by the wheel and look at the plaque. I guess it's been there for awhile but I hadn't seen it before.

I'm sorry it is so light. My hands were full and I took it with my phone. I loved Uncle Wesley. You know He was such an encourager to us while your mom lived with us. 

I have a little book I keep by my bedside entitled BEDSIDE BLESSINGS by Charles Swindoll. Last night was especially meaningful to me. 
"Our Part"...Trust God whole-heartedly, in every corner of life, recognizing that He is the one in charge.

"His Part"..."He will make your paths straight," or "even".In other words, He will smooth out your path. He'll take care of each of those obstacles on the trail ahead of you.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.....He will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3: 5-6
So that's one of my words I'm working on right  I was thrilled this morning when I turned the key in the motor home and it started right up. The generator took a little priming, I think cause it was so cold, but on the 2nd try it started right up too. Now I'm TRUSTING the Lord to find the right person to buy it (sooner than later) 

Bye For Now


I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Beautiful Ride To Church Today

Hi my love,
As usual I'm Multi Tasking.... working on my blog and watching the Seahawks a the same time. 
You and I always prayed before starting the car no matter where we went. But today was a particular good day to do that.
Jan is a very good driver but asking God for protection while on the highway is also a very good, that's not us. Probably happened last night.

The roads weren't too bad, and the scenery was beautiful. You would have been so proud of me. No jumping. Not even once. Didn't even have to sit on my hands..... Yeah, I know you're smiling.

But I've been working really hard on trusting God to take care of me. Why pray if I'm not going to trust Him after I ask Him to.... right?

By the time church was over, the roads were pretty much clear.  The service was wonderful and afterward, there was a "Tailgate Party" in the foyer with Frito Pie..... Fritos covered with chili and shredded cheese and lettuce on top, and coolers full of Soda and water. Nice prelude to a great game...... Seahawks did it again. 
It's been a wonderful two weeks with Jan. Christmas has come and gone and it's a new year and time to go home. I'll walk in the door and you won't be there. There may even be some tears. But I know those are a healing agent.  Like Kelly told me last night, "it's hard to look forward to something you can't share with dad."  But In my heart I will be sharing with you. I will put all my words in my journal. You know how writing  helps me. You taught me so much not by words but by your actions. I will try hard to use less words and do more on the action side. Don't know how that will look yet but with the Lord in control I'm sure I'll figure it out. 

Goodbye for now my love
I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl