On Saturday, I sold some baby furniture to a friend from school.  The biggest piece was the crib.  When I went to take it apart I thought, “I should get them the manual, that would be helpful.”  So I went to the drawer in the guest bedroom where Jared had all the manuals for everything we ever bought (or were given) neatly stacked.  There was one in there for every single baby product (and other appliance/gadget) you could imagine…except the crib.  “That’s strange,” I thought.  So I looked through them again.  It was missing.  Ugh.  I must have been the one to open the crib and lose the manual somehow.  Figures.  So, I went back to taking apart the crib.  Surprisingly easy by the way.  When it was down to a few moveable pieces, and we lifted up the bottom, there was a ziploc bag wedged in and taped down there with the manual inside and a few extra screws…probably from when we moved in November 2006.  It was definitely not my organization that was responsible for that.  Jared had taped it there so whoever helped us move it and put it back together would have what they needed.  I just had to smile.

Also smiled when Ohio State beat Navy.

Tonight we had “back to school barber shop” in the kitchen.  The boys aren’t super fond of haircuts but with some help from my mom with Noah, and holding the threat of the electric clippers over Caleb, I managed two pretty nice scissor haircuts for squirmy boys.  Only cut myself twice, in the usual places, seems unavoidable =)  When I was setting things up, I went downstairs to get the clippers.  (Last time I used the clippers for the back of Caleb’s hair.  He hated it so much that once I put them away, he let me finish the whole thing very peacefully with scissors.  So today the clippers were just for show.)  But I couldn’t find them.  They weren’t in their usual place, Jared’s usual place for them.  So I looked all over, annoyed at myself for not putting things back where they belong.  And then my mom spotted them…right where they were supposed to be, just behind a few things.  I was pleasantly surprised.  “See Jared,” I thought, “I can learn to put things away too.” =)

I’ve thought about Jared a lot this summer.  More than I have for a long time…maybe since right after he died.  There are many reasons for that I’m sure.  But one reason I think is that I’m beginning to emerge from survival mode.  With lots of help and God’s grace, I made it through losing my husband to a terrible disease and now have lived a year and a half of life and all that it entails, without him.  Initially, I spent a lot of time wishing I weren’t in this situation.  But now I’m more ready to just be where I am.  Eventually, life needs to be about more than just surviving.

So, it’s back to school now…in about 8 hours, actually.  I’m excited about it, very much looking forward to working with colleagues and my students again.  I thought I should post now, before things get too busy.  For pictures of our summer adventures and the boys’ haircuts look me up on facebook =)


5 thoughts on “anecdotes

  1. Louise Gomer Bangel says:

    Hi, Anne. Enjoyed your note about giving the boys haircuts and other things happening in your life.

    I hope the school year goes well for the three of you!

    Best regards,
    Louise Gomer Bangel

  2. Janelle says:

    Anne – Allow the memories, both the painful and the good, to emerge as your body and mind grieve Jared’s loss. This can be a very difficult time in the grieving process – the time when you are at enough rest to allow these feelings, emotions, memories to come to the front. You are not alone in this – God is walking hand in hand with you, as are those of us who love and support you.

    I enjoy reading about your memories of Jared – it’s a wonderful gift to be able to continue sharing Jared with your community and family.

  3. Libby Pyles says:

    Hi Anne. It’s always such a delight to hear from you about what you’re doing the progress you’re making through this long walk of grieving. You have made such huge strides and I love your honesty in being able to say “life needs to be more than just surviving.” Early on, that’s all you could do and all you could focus on. It was a hard lesson for me to see other people who were going on with life, when my own was lying in a crumpled mess at my feet. It felt so good when at long last, I found that I did have a life too and there were lots and lots of good things happening in it.
    Dick and I aren’t going to be able to join you this weekend in the walk while you’re in the Cincinnati area. We will be surrounding you with our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Natascha says:

    “Eventually it needs to be about more than just surviving.” I have been gripped by this thought since I read your blog last night and had to comment on it. You’re absolutely right. You are inspirational. Thank you :). I don’t know how long it’ll take us to get to that place too…. but it’s just good to hear someone say they were able to GET there :).

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