Thursday, August 14, 2008


People deal with grief in many ways. Henry, as a writer, put together a book of the family history from files his parents left on their computer. I took a several photographs of the entire family and have spent some time working them up to look as though we were in a photography studio.

I also found myself playing mindless games with the new apps for my IPhone.

I also spent time around the dock and in rooms of the house journaling my memories. As I sat on the dock, the tears flowed from the sweet memories. Those wonderful memories are of an era that has passed.

Evelyn and Gene bought that wonderful lake house for a number of reasons. Gene loved to fish and he loved getting out in the boat. The lake provided daily opportunities for him to throw his line out. They also wanted a place where their grown children and grandchildren would want to come and visit. Each of their grandchildren have very special memories of their visits to the lake.

The lake house may end up passing out of the family, but the opportunities for making special memories won't end. Mary has created special memories for her grandchildren as she provides art supplies and helps them explore their artistic side. Henry and I helped our children create special memories in Colorado - camping, fishing, and skiing. My kids have travel memories from many areas around the United States.

As I remembered all the good times with Evelyn and Gene, how special they were, how loving - I allowed those tears to flow. Tears are cleansing, an expression of honest emotions.

But I don't want to stay focused on the good things of the past. I'm encouraging the next generation to go create new special memories for their kids. We live in the present. Good things are happening all around. If we stay locked into the good memories of the past, it may rob us of opportunities for joyful living now.

When I went to church last Wednesday night, I was surrounded by loving caring people who wanted to be supportive of me. I have another older friend who is battling serious infections. I am praying for her recovery. I am trying to get back into a "normal" routine - back to living, back to enjoying the life God has given me.

There will be more tears in the days to come as different things will trigger memories and emotions. Perhaps I won't be as efficient. I learned long ago that after I've had a death in the family, the chores and activities that I can normally juggle with ease seem to fall apart. But gradually my productivity returns. I will need to take some time to rest and "destress," But from past experience with the deaths of other loved ones, I do know that while we will miss Evelyn, life will eventually return to its ordinary patterns.

I talked once with my grandmother about death. She told me that it hurts really bad when it happens, but that in time that it
does not hurt as much. I have found that to be very true. Time heals many things.

I alsofound these comforting words in Henry's grandmother, "Mom's" funeral book. Evelyn had placed it there, it was written in Velma's handwriting:

"Don't grieve for me because my "troubles" are over and I'm happy. I was ready to go - My work here on Earth was finished. God Bless and keep Everyone that's been so sweet and wonderful to me. I saw God's love for me magnified in friends and loved ones. God Blessed me so abundantly."

I don't know whether Velma wrote these or copied them, but I found them very comforting last week.

Yes, I miss Evelyn, but I picture her now in heaven. She wanted to go "home." I can't help but wonder - will her new home in heaven look a lot like her favorite home here on earth - are they now at the "lakehouse" up in heaven? I'd like to think so.

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