My Rule for Life

I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's been a year

It's been a year since I lost my lovely wife to the disease called Cancer.  Since then my Pastor's wife has been stricken, undergone Chemo and a mastectomy. My co-worker's father has been diagnosed with Leukemia, and an investigator I worked with at Jobs and Family has a sister that has been diagnosed.  My daughter's sister-in-law as recently as last month was told she has Cancer of the thyroid.

I have learned in this past year Cancer is the most vile word in the English language. I wonder why the greatest country on earth, a country that built the Panama Canal, whipped Polio, and put men on the moon cannot find a cure for this disease.  I have been told by Gretchen's Doctor that part of the reason a cure has not been found is because there are so many different strains of the disease.  I suppose that is true but for ones, such as myself who have lost loved ones, and for ones facing the process of perhaps months and years of fighting the disease, well, frankly it doesn't help much.

It was about this time last year we returned from our trip to Florida, visiting Key West and  St. Augustine.  She got to see her beloved ocean and the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico one last time. We made that trip several times and always had to watch the beauty of the sunset.  It was a tradition.  It was at Key West, one year, she made me walk up about eight million steps in the Key West Lighthouse.  I got about half way up and was ready to quit but, she had passed me and kept telling me to come on.  She had all ready made it to the top. She was telling me what a wonderful view it was.  By the time I made it up she had all ready walked around the  top and was ready to go down. She said the view was wonderful and it was when I got there. Now for those of you who read Mark 1:11, my other blog you know Jacob, our son, jumps out of perfectly good airplanes.  I,on the other hand, like my feet firmly planted on Terra firma.  If you get what I mean.

It's been a year of adjustments, tears, ups and downs.  I started a diary.  I found myself getting angry as I typed, a normal reaction I am told. Oh, I wasn't mad at her or God just mad at the situation that I had no control over.  They say getting made at your loved is a natural reaction but, personally I never have and don't suspect I ever will.  It wasn't her fault. I didn't need anger in my life so I gave it up. Our daughter is with child.  She would normally tell mom and then mom would tell me.  What our daughter didn't know but mom had guessed when she was pregnant and just waited on her to make it official so to speak.  I felt bad for Sarah she didn't have her mom to give the good news to.  I think that's kind of a woman thing.

I have learned much this first year as a bachelor.  I just can't seem to bring myself to say widower.  I don't think I ever will because I've grown to miss her body but not miss her spirit.  I know it doesn't make much sense but like Mel Gibson said in one of his movies, "it works for me"  I've found that is important do what works for me.  My cousin passed away on Valentine Day.  I called his wife a couple of weeks after the funeral and she talked and I tried to listen.  You can't take away the pain and so I just left her with the thought, do what works for you.  I hope I helped.  I'm going to call again to keep a check on her.  Maybe I can answer  a question or give her a shoulder to cry on.

I had many things to learn as some of you know because I asked you for some help. Bless you because you did. Mostly things that the average husband may not know if his wife was a traditional cooking, cleaning, raising the kids woman.  Gretchen was that and more.  I do have some issues with her. She never taught me how to make her meatloaf.  I've searched her cookbook for the recipe but have been unable to find it.  I am sure I would also be unable to duplicate it but, I'd like to try.  She got the recipe from my mom and I think that's one that is gone forever.  Darn, it made good sandwiches the next day.  Well, if I am good and God grants me the ticket up instead of the slide down maybe she'll fix it for me when I get there. Hmmm, I wonder.  Do Angels eat meatloaf?  I'm sure they eat Angel Food Cake, don't they?

On the lighter side and yes there has to be a lighter side or you would go insane.  I have done entirely stupid things and just looked up and said "I know that was dumb wasn't it"  I remember the look I would get.  Not a frown or smirk, just a little smile.  Kind of a curl around her lips and a twinkle in her eyes that would say "yes, it was dumb but, I'm not going to say that!"  I have discovered the toilet seat does actually go down if a man's hand touches it.  The bed doesn't make itself.  There are many, many more kitchen cooking tools than a knife, fork and spoon.  And, when they get dirty they don't automatically jump into the dishwasher and become clean.  The kitchen has caused me to have several conversations with her.  Mostly about what do I put in with this or that or, where is the whatchamacallit  you do this with.

I have learned George Foreman is not just a boxer but one heck of a good bachelor tool.  It smashes grilled cheese to the thickness of a dollar bill.  It works great on fish fillets though.  This is good as I like fish.  I found a great little gizmo at  a cooking utensil store that I can make 4 hamburger patties out of a pound of hamburger and freeze them in their own little quarter pound Tupperware container.  I've learned how to make banana pops for the grandchildren and how not to make a dish with egg whites granola and bacon.  Oh it tasted like cardboard but that's ok.  I'm learning.  Someday I plan on having people over for dinner and cook everything myself.  Of course it will be all very close friends that way if it turns out bad they won't hurt my feelings if the food taste....well...like cardboard.

Bottom line is I miss her a lot or as she would say "whole bunches and gobs".  I  know God had somebody with a boober that needed a nurse.  He called on the best to take care of it.  He called Gretchen.  I just hope she puts in a good word for me and when the time comes and God needs a good...investigator......cop.....or Jack of all Trades He might give me a looksee.  'Course we all know it's up to Him but,......well I sure do miss that meat loaf.

God bless you all who have been with me this past year.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

I love you Tiger, whole bunches and gobs 
Gary
Husband of Gretchen

9 comments:

POOHPA said...

Just checked out your post,you sound like a man that truley loved his wife,as I do with mine.There are times I love and times I am pissed and not happy with her,but I do not know what I would do without her. KEEP ON KEEP'N ON

Subvet said...

Pops, you're in my prayers.

MightyMom said...

awe great post pops.

goodness, a year already.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Pops, cancer is a vile disease. Two weeks ago one of cousins died of pancreatic cancer, almost three years to the day that his mother died of breast cancer.

Several years ago, my dad's sister died from mouth and throat cancer, yet she never smoke or chewed tobacco.

No matter what the cause, it would be great if a cure could be found.

ABNPOPPA said...

Poohpa, Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will return often. We get some good topics and debates going on here once and a while. All I can say to you is to hang on to every minute you have with her, they are sometime to soon taken and you have only memories to cling to.

MM,SV, & MRG, Thank you all so very much for your support and kindness during this past year. Believe me when I say it, if were not for friends like you I sometimes wonder if I would have made it without losing my mind. You guys are great!

Pops

Spitfire said...

Ok, dear one...I'm fixing to 'getcha', so get ready. (giggle.)

Great post, Gretchen would love what you've written! It's from the heart and SO endearing. BUT....yep, there's a big but in here. You stop putting yourself down right this minute!!!!!

You may not know all the intricacies of the kitchen or how to be "Mom" and Dad to your daughter. But you really aren't expected to be, Sweetie. You keep being you and loving those kids and grandkids. You've got that part down amazingly well. Papa will take care of the rest.

As for the thanks to your friends, well, that's what friends are for dear one. We hold each other close and help each other. You've been an awesome friend yourself. And I for one am blessed to call you friend. Now, go do something fun, just for yourself...and tell us all about it! Giggle.

Shalom Aleichem,Spitfire

Jungle Mom said...

This post was so touching. I admire you so much!

ABNPOPPA said...

Thank you all for everything.

Pops

AirmanMom said...

pops...my tears are making it hard to type. How blessed you are to know such a love! Please know you have been in my prayers for the past year and will remain in my prayers. Feel free to add me to your guest list, when you are preparing dinner ;)
hugs!
~AM

Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.

Read more about this famous Lutheran Pastor at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer