Monday, October 26, 2009

First anniversary

Well, I survived the first year without Bryan. One year ago, on October 24, 2008, Bryan passed into the arms of his Savior to live in eternal joy. He is no longer in pain, no longer sleepless, and totally cancer-free. And I know that one day we’ll be reunited.

My sister-in-law Wanda e-mailed me on Friday to let me know she was thinking of me, and that the anticipation of the day is usually worse than the day itself. She was right! She quoted Psalm 119:49-50 -- "Remember Your word to Your servant; You have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life."

Thanks to my wonderful family who made sure I wasn’t alone at all that day. My mom (actually my first mother-in-law Loretta, who calls me her “other daughter”) came over Friday and spent the night. Then, my son Brian and his wife Sarah came over and we all watched a Ken Davis comedy DVD. Boy, it felt good to laugh! And to top it off, my sister-in-law Ann got us tickets to the Colorado Avalanche hockey game, which the Avs won! It turned out to be a good day after all. The tears didn’t flow until I was alone on Sunday.

I’m officially retired now. Many were concerned that I would spend too much time alone, since I’m home writing all day. However, in the three weeks I’ve been retired, there was only one day that I didn’t get out and see people. And now that rehearsals for the Christmas program at church are under way (and I’m the pianist), that’ll get me out of the house six times a week!

Work is coming along on my book giving practical ideas and suggestions for each step of the cancer journey. I’ve written seven of the 50 anticipated chapters. I’ve put my personal story on hold for now, as people facing cancer need these ideas to get them through one day at a time; my story can wait. The words just seem to flow out of me when I write, so I should have the first book completed well before the end of the year. Re-writing and editing, however, that’s another story!

My trip to Ohio for my sister Barb’s funeral went very well. There were a few difficult moments, as people deal with grief in different ways, and may not understand when someone responds differently. I’m so glad I had that visit with Barb in August. And Barb’s daughter Patti came back to Colorado with me after the service to attend my nephew Fred’s (her cousin’s) wedding in Grand Junction two weeks ago. It was a joyous time and a great trip, and we had time to grieve together.