It is 8 P.M. on Saturday night, tomorrow is Steve’s birthday, would have been Steve’s birthday. As I sit to write this entry, my first thought is I will never enter it on this blog. I’m writing because I’m not sure what else to do with the hours ahead of me.
I worked hard in the yard all day today. Planting, fertilizing, pulling weed after weed. Midday it hit me, I felt strongly that it was a nudge from God. I needed to go see Evelyn, Steve’s mom. Evelyn is an amazing women in her 90’s. She is brilliant, sharp and capable, but she has physically had an incredibly rough year. It seems she gets over one medical malady only to be faced with another, she’s one tough cookie and she endures.
I have been a terribly negligent daughter-in-law. I love our visits, yet I find I take little time to go and see her. Life and stuff gets in my way and before I know it has been weeks since I saw her, much less called. Guilt fills me and I question how I could allow this much time to pass between visits.
So, today midway through my digging and tending, I got this immediate urge to visit Evelyn and I needed to it before the sun set. I made a run to HEB and bought a bottle of wine, bread, chips and ingredients to make jalapeño pimento cheese and mango mousse. I called to make sure she was up for a visit, her response was so charged with surprise and joy, it made me feel guilt ridden, as I visit too rarely.
All I could think of was, what must it feel like to be reliving the birth of your first born and only son, only he is no longer here? No mother should ever have to experience the celebration of the birth of a child without the presence of that child.
So off I went. Packed up wine, wine glasses (one should never drink wine unless it is out of a wine glass), pimento cheese and the rest.
I walked in to her apartment at The Madison, an independent living community, and announced it was Happy Hour. We drank our wine, nibbled on the pimento cheese and chips and caught up with our lives.
We spoke briefly of Steve’s birthday. Evelyn told me of the day Steve and I came to visit her, the day he told her of his brain tumor. Her words were, “I will never forget Steve sitting here, he told me we was going to do ‘this’ well.” She lightly touched her heart, tears welled up in both of our eyes and we spoke of Steve’s courage, strength and wisdom.
I came home to an empty house, an empty heart, and a big ole pity party. I am at such a loss for words, for feelings. So I write to fill this space.
Tomorrow is another landmark day to hurdle. Then there is Easter and following that the maybe 60th, Annual Boswell Family Reunion in Salado (an incredible extended family of cousins, who love and care for one another in an amazing way). These are big hurdles and they are right on top of one another. Can I leap each hurdle without crashing into the ground? Can I conquer each feat without falling flat? I pray my anticipation is worse than the actual occurrences (they usually are).
|Steve & Bonnie with the Easter Bunny|
|Boswell Family Reunion 1950's|
|Boswell Family Reunion 2005|
|Boswell Family Reunion 2013|
Brooke made sure tomorrow, the birthday, is covered. Wisely, she had Harper and Harris call me to ask me to go with them to Disney on Ice tomorrow afternoon. Brooke had already broached this with me, knowing Steve’s birthday was going to be difficult. I had put her off, saying I was fine, they needed to spend their Sunday, Palm Sunday, as a family.
Miss Smarty Pants outsmarted me. Anyone who has grand children knows a grandparent can’t say no to a request. I have made it my mantra with my grand children. I will always be there for them. I will do anything I can to make their requests possible, and they can count on me for any thing, any time, any place. So Brooke, had the littles call me, of course, I said yes. A brilliant move Brooke, tomorrow will be filled with attending Palm Sunday worship with my children, Disney on Ice (I’m sure pictures will follow) and dinner, on me! I have amazing children, thank you Brooke and Jared for sharing this day with me.
Before sitting down to write this, I was washing my face...doing my nightly almost 60 facial regime. I sat looking at myself in the mirror. I looked so sad, so vacant, so tired, so lost. I smiled a great big fake smile that quickly turned sour. I quickly turned out the light and came here to write this...
Life can be rough, it can knock you off your feet, it can deal you a hand that you want to slam on the table, throw in your chips and walk away...or you can make yourself smile that great big fake smile and thank God for every blessing he has enabled you to have and move forward...one hurdle at a time.
My choice: I’m going to clear every hurdle and look straight ahead, for I continue to have much to be grateful.
For what it’s worth,
Psalm 31:14 “But I was trusting you, O Lord. I said, ‘You alone are my God; my times are in your hands.”