Baseball, preschool, and hope….

Dear Mark,  Since you’ve been gone, we just don’t watch sports on television like we did while you were here.  Think it’s hard for Andrew to watch the Rangers without you, and he hasn’t even expressed any great interest yet in the Cowboys, which is surprising.  I think it’s because he loved watching with you, and he just hasn’t reconciled the fact that he’ll be stuck watching with me instead.

But baseball was on tonight, baby, as the NL wildcard race was on the line.  Our StL Cardinals have just won the wildcard, thanks to the Braves self-destructing after holding an 8 1/2 game lead earlier in the month.  Wow!  Baseball playoffs, the beginning of the NFL season, and college football, all running concurrently—your favorite time of year! As I lay between the boys in the big bed, I could hear the commentators on the too-loud tv….and thought of the thousands of times you’d be cranked up in that big chair, watching a game, analyzing strategies, cheering or yelling at the players.  All that was missing tonight was you….xoxo Nancy

Took the boys last night to the Hospice “Building Bridges” program.  It went well.  I think it will be good for them to see that other kids are in similar circumstances.  I know it felt good for me to sit in a circle of adults, all with children touched by the loss of someone close.  The sessions run for the next 6 weeks.

Today, I went back to TLC, to substitute teach for the first of three days.  Seven of the 11 kids that I had were mine last year, so it was a familiar bunch to love on.  By the end of the day, however, I could plainly see that I am not ready to do this on any sort of regular basis.  The boys didn’t even really want me to sub, telling me that they want me at home.  I’ll make it through the next two days, and then re-evaluate.  Before Mark died, I was planning on retiring at age 50…..I just may make it 48 instead. 

Attempted mowing the front yard this evening. It almost actually needed it. After two swipes, a friend showed up, bearing cookies and banana bread. I left the mower in the yard, invited her into my messy house, and visited. Let’s just say the yard will get finished tomorrow. Some things are more important than yardwork.  She shared news of a baby on the way, and she & her husband will be awesome parents.  God is good. 

As the boys & I prayed tonight, I marvelled at how much easier the words came to me as I took my turn.  It’s not that I struggled with praying before losing Mark, but I think all of the extra I’ve been doing must be making a difference in me.  I feel closer to God, and that makes me feel more confident and familiar in talking with Him.  Like talking to a loved one, the words just came tumbling out of me, much like the words come tumbling out onto this blog. 

Even though I cried as I was putting up the lawn equipment, and I am still so incredibly sad & lost, I have hope.  We have hope.  Death isn’t the end of anything except an earthly body.  I honestly don’t know how people without God can deal with a loss like this.  With God, the boys and I know where Mark is.  We know Who he is with.  We can only imagine what wondrous & imaginative adventures he’s involved in.  We know that we will see him again. 

And hope (along with my two sons) is what keeps me crawling out of bed each morning, instead of staying in and pulling the covers up over my head. 

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