Monday, May 29, 2017

That Would Be Joe



In my profile, I said I wanted to continue my blog for awhile, documenting the many firsts that happens when the love of your life dies and you journey on as a widow. Monday I wanted to go up to Willamette National Cemetery where Joe is buried so I could take some pictures of how beautiful it is for Memorial Day. Every grave has a flag on it. 

This was my first Memorial Day without Joe. The cemetery is not a place I care to go except for
maybe a special occasion.I wanted to take some pictures of all the flags. The tall fir tree in the background is my marker to find his grave.  Joe was a very patriotic man, proud of his time he served in the Army.Proud that he was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. That he played the trombone in the Army Band and jumped out of perfectly good airplanes (my description). I'm sorry the picture isn't clear but you get the idea. 





I had the privilege of picking up my great granddaughter from school Friday and keeping her in my care til her mom got off work. So I took her to the Estacada Library. What a beautiful place. That is it in the background. This seven year old knew exactly what she wanted.  Before we went inside she reminded me very politely that I need to be very quiet in the library. She then spoke to the resource person telling her she would please like a nonfiction book on horses and she wanted a "chapter book" (keep in mind this is a first grader) I happened to know she loves to read American Girl books. So she chose one of those that involved a girl and her horse, and the wonderful book National Velvet. When she finishes this book, I asked her if she would please write a book report about it for GG. (me) I didn't think she knew what a book report was. But I found out shortly when she told her mom She had to write GG a letter about the book and what she liked about it...... guess she really did know.

After we checked out the books, we went for a short walk around the pond that is behind the library. 


Sometimes, for me, special activities, or dates will come at me when I least expect it. And when when it comes three and four times in the same week it "kinda knocks the wind out of me" This week it was going to the Cemetery Saturday morning at 7:15 A.M. so I could avoid the mass of people that would be there a few hours later. I was only there long enough to take pictures of the vastness and beauty of graves with flags on it. The tears flowed like a river as I left.
Saturday night, actually Sunday morning at 2:00 AM I woke up with a cramp that started in my toe and went to my calf (charlie horse)...but it didn't stop there. It proceeded to the large muscle in my upper leg. The pain was so intense it made me physically sick. I've dealt with charlie horses for years but never as severe as this. I share this as another first. I'm alone, I'm sick, I didn't know what to do So I called my son, he called 911 and he got here shortly after the ambulance did. The staff at the hospital did all the routine things,  IV, blood work, monitoring vitals, as the pain subsided the blood pressure came back to normal and so did the heart rate and in a couple of hours sent me home. What did I learn out of this?  I already knew it but needed to be reminded once again. I'm not alone. The Lord was right there with me, along with family and friends. 
Sitting in my "Secret Garden" this evening I was thinking about a couple of other things that are happening in the next few days. If you are a tennis fan you know  The  Roland Garros Tennis Tournament is happening. Joe didn't play much tennis after he discovered Pickle Ball but he would never miss one of the Big Five Tournaments. And that particular tournament would remind me our 13th wedding anniversary would be a few days away.... June 4th. A funny memory to me will always be while we were on our honeymoon, one particular morning he got breakfast in bed.... because the tennis match was on and he didn't want to miss that particular game because his two favorite players were against each other. So I went down to the restaurant, and brought our breakfast back upstairs. (there was no room service.) This next weekend will be special also because Joe's son and daughter in law are coming to visit. We will go to the cemetery so Rob can see where exactly his dad is buried and then we are going to get to eat at Cracker Barrel....new to the Portland, Oregon area.
Happy occasions such as weddings, receptions, news of 
another new  great grandchild on the way, mixed with a holiday that I didn't handle as well as I thought  I would. But it is what it is. I'm doing it day by day. I am blessed  I have a sister, sister in law and best friend who are widows, that love and pray for me and encourage me helping me to adjust to the new normal. I have a church family that has surrounded and enveloped me with their love.  I love to write but doing this blog, being transparent, for me is not easy. In fact is down right hard! But my prayer is that my sharing will help someone who is on this journey too.
   Bye for now
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I'll love you for ever and for always
Your Betty Girl

8 comments:

  1. nice to spend some time with your great granddaughter, Sometimes they do amazing you with their knowledge.

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  2. Himalayan sea salt under your tongue relieves cramps for me. That big muscle really hurts. I keep it by my bed along with a bottle of water because I'm usually a little dehydrated when I get them.

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  3. How fun to spend time with your great granddaughter. As for the memories, isn't it wonderful that you have such good memories of Joe. I'm sure he's always with you, even if you don't SEE him!!

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  4. Writing is therapeutic, and reading your blogs makes me feel like I'm there and that i could give you a great big hug. It's not easy for you but it also shows us how to pray for you. Love you my friend, Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      It is so good to hear from you and thank you for your prayers. I really appreciate that.

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  5. Hi, Betty. I have followed you and Joe for some time, but have never commented before. I was so sorry when Joe passed. I thought I would suggest magnesium for your cramps. Several people I know swear by it for those nasty cramps. You might look it up online. Also, I wondered if you had joined a grief-share group or caregivers group. I am the leader of a caregiver group here and several of the ladies who have lost their husbands still attend our meetings. It helps because we have all gone through or are going through the same things. One of my friends, who didn't want to join grief share and didn't think she could handle other people's grief, found that it really helped her to share her feelings. Something to consider. I know that this is the hardest thing you will probably do in your lifetime--adjusting to losing a spouse. Take care and know that others are praying for you, even though you don't know it. Ann M from Va.

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    1. Hi Ann
      Thank you for your sharing about Grief groups and the suggestion of Magnesium. I would love to talk to you further about this and can be contacted at bjgraffis@gmail.com .

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  6. I don't always comment but I do enjoy your blog. You are a great writer and an inspiration to all. I wonder if your leg cramp has anything to do with glucose or potassium levels. I mention this because Russ gets them a lot, especially if he is starting to go low. He often eats a banana before bed and that seems to help. Hope you don't have that problem again.

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