Peaks & Valleys

My buddy Steve tells me often, “peaks & valleys,” “gutters & strikes.”  In the course of a day there can be so many emotional moments- part of the day is wonderful… part, not so much. 

Today, was one of those days.  I got up early to feed the horses, so that I could go to “Beach Church” with the McCloud family.  I started going to “Beach Church” or “Boat Church” the day after John’s funeral.  Before that, I can’t even remember the last time I went to church.  I just feel like my soul has a lot of healing to do and maybe church can help.  The McClouds are truly wonderful people and “beach church” is pretty informal, so it’s a good way to get my foot wet, so to speak. 

I got out the door to feed at 6AM.  As soon as I opened the door the first sound I heard was a mourning dove.  A misty fog covered the back field and began to lift.  The horses were glad to see me.  The hay had a sweet smell.  Things were off to a good start.

The McClouds showed up & we left for “beach church.”  Nathaniel was his usual charmer and behaved pretty well… or as well as a “yearling” can behave.  During the sermon the pastor talked about a conversation that he had had with some friends about if you had a tattoo what would it say and where would you put it.  Of course that got me thinking.  I know I’d never have a tattoo because I’m not that type, but I knew where I would put it & more or less what it would say or be a picture of.  The location would be over my heart & it would have something to do with John… probably something along the lines of “Forever in my heart” or “Love Always.”  It was all I could do to not start crying, but I held it together.  Of course, it’s not to difficult to get re-focused when you child is pointing out birds or getting wiggly.  During church, a Bald Eagle flew over the water several times.  After I noticed a blue heron standing silently.  “Beach church” is just a neat experience.  I enjoy the songs, Nathaniel likes the guitar & has fun. 

Afterwards, Pastor Mark came over and again expressed his condolences & offered to listen anytime I want to talk.  I think I might take him up on the offer.

Then we went to breakfast with the McClouds at Buck’s.  It was DELICIOUS!!!  The waffles were delicious & I enjoyed more creamed chipped beef than I probably should have eaten.  But it was good & it was a buffet, so you’re supposed to make sure you get your money’s worth, right?  Of course my physique shows that I’ve gotten my money’s worth at quite a few buffets over the years… oh well…

My heart also goes out to an online friend who lost her husband yesterday after a three month illness.  I was saddened to see her post this AM.  My heart hurts for her… only those of us who have lost a spouse that you truly love can understand the feelings and emotions that go along with it.  She is a very relious person and I know that her religion will help her through her tough times. 

I went home & put Nathaniel down for a nap & I took a nap as well.  I had friends who were supposed to come over in the afternoon, so I figured I’d take a nice nap first.  Then I got a phone call saying they wouldn’t be able to make it.  I got a little down.  I’d been looking forward to seeing them & I felt lonely.

I got on facebook for a little while.  Got myself cheered back up after a nice chat with another friend. 

I had an urge to go on a walk, but my footsies were still pretty sore from my long walk yesterday (at least 4 miles, probably closer to 5 at the Conowingo Dam).   With the Philly LiveStrong Challenge coming up, I didn’t want to risk blistering my feet, since they’d been pretty close yesterday.  I think I wanted to walk to see if I could find myself or just escape & enjoy the sights…. two different things… doesn’t really make sense, but then a lot of things don’t make sense lately.  I guess it would have depended where I went walking as to which emotion I felt.   

Anyway, I opted to take kiddo outside.  It was HOT & almost 6 pm.  But, we found a shady spot in the backyard.  Nathaniel happily plucked grass.  Rascal & Punkin came & joined us.  The mares kept us entertained.  In the distance we could hear cows from down the road & mourning doves.  Nathaniel enjoyed bird watching.  We even got a rare treat when a kestrel flew & landed on the electric fence, not too far from us.  It only stayed for a few brief seconds.  I love the kestrels, but boy they are hard to spot & don’t stick around very long!  In the years that we’ve had the property I probably haven’t seen kestrels more than a dozen or so times. 

As darkness began to came, I thought I’d better get Nathaniel inside before the mosquitos came out.  I fed him & put him to bed.  I fed the horses. 

Now, here I am, in the dark… feeling a little lonely and missing John.  Nights are always the hardest… after Nathaniel is in bed… after things have quieted down. 

Honestly, I’m hoping to go back to night shift when I return to work.  I want to see familiar faces and go back to a job that I know… and I don’t want to lay alone in the dark missing John & crying.  Very few people seem to understand that.  Of course, right now I have a bigger issue– finding care for my child.  The arrangements fell through and now I’m back to square one.  One more thing to have to worry about on an already full plate.  I’ll figure something out…  don’t know how… but I will…

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About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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