I Survived the Year of 2019 – Can I Survive this Year of Jumanji?

For the most part, I am doing well.  Most part.

However, as the year anniversary of my husband’s suicide is about to roll around, I get deep anxiety as to how I am going to face that day.  Will I wake up gasping for breath?  Will I be able to get out of bed?  Will I be able to put one foot in front of the other?  Or will it just be another day?

Thank God I continue working from home, because I just do not know if I want to be around people that day.

Almost a year.  Sometimes it is flying by, some days it is dragging by.  But I know I made tremendous strides in my healing.

When I have to say my husband passed away, those words just do not seem right.  Passed away.  Passed away, to me, seems like a peaceful passing.  His was not.  His was a violent death – at his own hand.

I have not publicly shared what happened that day to try to protect what was good in Bubba, and let him have some dignity.  But by not doing so, rumors abound.  Rumors are worse than the truth.

May 29, 2019 – a day I will remember for the rest of my life.

The years of chronic pain, his body failing and the multitude of medicines he was on, I swear, turned his brain into Swiss cheese.  The last two years of his life were very difficult for him, and his moods were difficult for the rest of us.  His last two weeks of his life were worse.

I will not go into detail, but there are a few things that I would rather utter the words instead of others spreading rumors.  You will know this truth from me – the only other person with him that day.  What anyone else offers is pure conjecture.

All I will say is on May 29, 2019, Bubba had a most difficult day.  I returned home from work not knowing if I would find Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.  I was in the front yard.  Bubba was on the carport – when I heard the gunshot.  I heard the gunshot.  I will never forget that.  I heard the gunshot.

I knew what he did.

I called 9-1-1.  Since no one else was home, the 9-1-1 operator said I had to check my husband to see if he was still breathing.  I could not imagine what I would find.  Yes, he was still breathing.  No, his face was not blown off like someone later told his sister.  How this untruth traveled from north Mississippi to the bayous of south Louisiana beats the heck out of me.  I could have had an open casket funeral if I had not chosen cremation.

To dispel other rumors, at no point was a gun turned on me.  I was not in fear of my life at that moment.

My goal in this is to make people think before they offer opinions to someone who has lost a loved one by suicide.  Death by suicide of a loved one already has enough stigma attached to the situation.  We do not want to hear you state our loved one cannot get into heaven because he took his own life.  We do not want to hear what the trajectory of a bullet does to the brain.  And mostly, if you were not in the room at the time and have no idea what occurred, we do not want you to offer opinions, or repeat hearsay as fact.

I hurt for Bubba for what his mind must have been going through contemplating his suicide.  I hurt for our children and grandchildren.  I see the pain on his siblings’ faces when they speak about him and I could just cry.  He’s left a world of hurt in cousins, aunts, uncle and friends.

His suicide hurts badly enough. Rumors and conjecture hurt even worse.

Fast forward to May, 2020.

As May 29, 2020 approaches, for the most part I am doing well.  Most part.

I am bringing on my own anxiety by anticipating I will have a bad day.

That is an unknown.

What I do know is God’s promise.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This verse brings me peace, for the most part.  For the most part I am doing well.

A common comment heard from someone experiencing new grief is, “I wish I could fast forward from this deep pain to a day this pain does not bring me to my knees.”

This crazy COVID-19, Jumanji year has accomplished that very feat for me – fast forwarded my grief.  I am not making light of others’ hardships during this most difficult time, I am only speaking of my own experience.

Usually during a time of trial and tribulation, God sees it fit to put me in the middle of the turmoil.  But this time, God let me sit this one out.  He gave me rest, peace and blessings.  I still have a job.  I work from home.  I get paid.  And I will return to my job when this over.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Life is good during my time of quarantine.  I am finding myself, re-kindling old friendships, spending many therapeutic moments in my vegetable garden, eating better, losing weight and learning much.  Learning things such as, did you know you can open a bag of potato chips and not eat the entire bag in one sitting?  Who knew?  I have also learned I can let my bangs grow out, and I do not have to cut them myself.  The hairdo actually looks better!  I can have downtime and enjoy this without guilt.  I can be lazy sometimes, and that is okay.  My soul finds rest.

Yes, my grief has fast forwarded, but I find myself trying to put on the brakes as May 29, 2020 approaches.

Check with me on May 30, 2020, and I will let you know how I survived.

For the most part, I am doing well.  For the most part I have shed my skin and stepped into a skin I like much better.  For the most part I live, I laugh and I love.  For the better part I am moving forward, not just surviving but thriving.

For the most part I am truly doing well.

 

 

(Just a note to my U.S. readers – I am finding healing in giving back.  My side job – my Avon business – is helping me do that.  My daughter, and youth minister son-in-law, have a personal ministry of reaching out to college students in their home town. Pre-Quarantine, they would bring the college students into their home on Monday nights to break bread, play games and speak the gospel.  They have since then had to find other ways to minister to these young men and women.  I am tithing my online order proceeds to their ministry.  Every little bit helps.  Would you please check out my website?  If this is your first time ordering Avon online, use code WELCOME10 for 10% off any size order.  Your products will be delivered directly to your door.  Some of the college students are foreign exchange students.  From a hand built table in southern Mississippi, the gospel is managing to be spread around the world.  Would you shop from my online store and have a part in spreading God’s word?)

YourAvon.com/ghegwood

 

Is it Really Only Day 2?

Is it really only Day 2 of this madness?  Was it really only 2 days ago my company sent me home to telework?  Seems like a lifetime…..

Home with 2 teenage grandchildren thrilled to be set free from school.

Food I thought would last over a week is gone – gone on Day 1.

On Day 1, I hopped out bed super, super early to get my day started.  Before jumping on my computer for work, I made ham & grilled cheese sandwiches for all.  Of course, by the time the teenagers woke it was brunch, and the sandwiches were hard and cold.  Didn’t faze them a bit.  Not long after, their dad made them lunch and they wolfed that down.

I was so in tune with my work, I did not cock my head ever so slightly to the right to notice the pile of dishes growing in the kitchen.  By the time I turned off my computer and glanced around, I almost fell out of my chair.

I started cleaning and making a simple supper of salad & blackened chicken.  I did not finish until 7:30 p.m.  What da heck?  I am usually finished much quicker than this, even working outside of the home.

I vow the next day I will be better.

Close to 8 p.m., the son and grandkids go for a drive to get out of the house.  I happily lock myself in my room to watch This is Us.  I’m all comfy about ½ hour in when I am suddenly plunged into darkness.  We lost power caused by a wreck down the street.  So much for that.

Almost two hours later while we were still without power, the son and the kids entertain themselves by holding up the flashlight and making shadow figures with their hands.  I am not amused.  My grandson said this is what the future looks like.  So I do something most unbecoming of a grandmother.  I walk up to the flashlight and project half of a peace symbol onto the ceiling.  That’s what I think about that kind of future!

Day 2 – up super early again, and start with a simple bowl of yogurt, fruit and granola.  By 8:30, the dog finally wakes up.  He is not a morning person – at all.  Much later, the grands wake up and rummage through the kitchen like raccoons in a trash can.  By late lunch, my son is making chili cheese fries.  He thinks he is frying too many potatoes.  Ha!  The son did not eat any because he had to head to work.  I ate a small plate.  Not a potato was left 10 minutes later.

The afternoon scourging continued.

When at work, I park farthest away from my building to get extra steps.  I walk on my 10 minute breaks.  I walk to the farthest bathroom.  I walk to the farthest water fountain.  I walk at lunch.  I sometimes leave work with 8,000 steps.

My co-worker and I vowed to take our 10 minute breaks and walk in the fresh air of our yards.  Didn’t happen – at least not for me.  At 3:30 I look at my FitBit – 975 steps.

I vow the next day I will do better.

I did not……

Fast forward to day – well, I don’t even know what day it is of this social distancing.  Time is inconsequential right now.  We are adjusting to our new normal in our household.  I am getting a little better at my steps.  I love jumping out of bed and being ‘at work’ in one minute.  The commute is great!  Some lazy days, I work in my PJs – and make sure to put a piece of paper over my laptop camera for live meetings.

The son and I realized we were caught in this ‘stay at home’ mode so unprepared.  Years ago, here at Spooky Hollow Southern MS, we always said we were semi-prepared for an apocalypse.  Semi-prepared meaning we were only prolonging our misery and death.  We had chickens.  We had a big vegetable garden.  All of us are “marksmen” and ready to hunt.  Over time, we got rid of the chickens, and have not gardened in a few years.

With me moving back home last year, my son and I intended to revive the garden on a smaller scale.  We debated chickens, but decided against them.  We intended to slowly revamp the garden during the winter if it was mild.  The winter was mild alright, but wet.  There was no tilling rows until the soil dried.  Also, my son was in a deep depression.  There was no tilling him until the depression dried out.

The weather warmed, the soil was drying and COVID-19 made a vicious appearance.  Our lives were rocked.  We never expected to see a time where there was a food/toilet paper shortage.  Watching the gluttony on TV propelled my son out of his depression and into movement.  Having teenagers, I believe he panicked for a moment worrying about feeding them for the long term.

We shifted into high gear and did about a month’s worth of outside work in one weekend.  I decided to get a few baby chicks.  I said we were getting six chicks and that was it.  So I now have 8 chicks and 5 ducks……

None of this will help out in this current crisis, but we will be a little better prepared for the next…if there is a next….I hope there isn’t a next……

Titus 2:12

Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age…

My grandson said he wants to return to pre-Coronavirus days.

I hear you child.

I want to return to days of common sense.  If you cannot bring your family to church for fear of spreading the virus, why bring the entire gang to Wal Mart?

I want to return to days of morals where morons don’t lick the ice cream in the freezer section of the grocery store, put it back, while filming this and posting to social media.  What’s worse is when idiots think this is funny, so said idiot imitates said moron, performing said ice cream licking……

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We started a Spooky Hollow Southern MS YouTube channel.  We will be documenting our progress.  For those that know us, you know you will witness major goofiness.  My aim isn’t so much to educate, but to make you think and do your own research.  We are former city dwellers, with limited knowledge of creating a victory garden and a faux farm.  We do not have specialized equipment. We use what is on our property, or purchase what we need economically.  We have many goofy moments, trials and tribulations.  I will be documenting these moments to share with you – mainly so that you can learn from our mistakes.  If you need really professional advice, you best go elsewhere. But if you want to learn about starting country life, with lots of laughs, you are in the right place.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2OtTvE0oL2k5__0fsINOsA

You can also check us out on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/RuralMississippi

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(Just a note to my U.S. readers – I am finding healing in giving back.  My side job – my Avon business – is helping me do that.  My daughter, and youth minister son-in-law, have a personal ministry of reaching out to college students in their home on Monday nights {temporarily suspended due to COVID-19} – sometimes over 20 people are fed – on a youth minister’s salary!  They break bread, play games and speak the gospel.  I am tithing my online order proceeds to their ministry.  Every little bit helps.  Would you please check out my website?  If this is your first time ordering Avon online, use code WELCOME10 for 10% off any size order.  Your products will be delivered directly to your door.  Some of the college students are foreign exchange students.  From a hand built table in southern Mississippi, the gospel is managing to be spread around the world.  Would you shop from my online store and have a part in spreading God’s word?)

www.YourAvon.com/ghegwood

Another note:  Avon has daily essentials, such as toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, liquid soap, bug guard and sun screen.  We even have Chi Hair Dye.  You do not need to leave your house.  All items will be delivered directly to your door.

Too bad Avon does not sell toilet paper…….