My phone rang the other day at lunchtime. It was a childcare day. I was running around trying to get the the kids’ plates filled and passed out. My phone was ringing. I was trying to find it. Immediately my mind thought, “Kramer, you know better than to call me at lunchtime.”…and then I lost it.
For those of you who are new here, my husband, Kramer, died last June. I miss him terribly and seriously, would have dropped everything to be able to talk to him. But I was in life mode from over a year ago. Back then I saw him every day. Back then I could talk to him any time during the day if I needed to. Back then he’d be home for supper and I could talk to him then. I took so much for granted.
I answered the phone. It was one of the kids and I tried to mask that I was about to cry. I just quickly said, “Can I call you back after I get the plates on?”
Thankfully the little kids were here and no one noticed my few tears before I pulled myself together.
The kids ate…I turned on the TV to watch the weather…anything to get my mind off what I was thinking. GRIEF. TERRIBLE GRIEF.
I pulled myself together enough to get through lunch, get the kids washed up and laid down…but then, my mind was everywhere. As I cleaned the kitchen I started compiling a list of questions in my head, questions I would ask if I have about an hour of Kramer’s time…questions that I would ask if he ever really could call at lunchtime.
#1-Are you okay? What’s it like where you are? When I get there can I see you? Will we still be together? How does it all work?
#2-Do you miss me like I miss you? Are you so busy you don’t? I hope so. Missing you is so hard.
#3-Did you get to see our new little grandbaby? He’s so sweet. I want to know if you like his name Jasper Jerald or if you would teasingly call him “Ralph” like you always threatened to if you didn’t like the name the kids picked for their babies. I like the name so you shouldn’t. Aren’t Kayla and Spencer doing such a great job with him? Buck and Lora are expecting. Do you know that? I hope you know that. We’ll have grandbaby #7 in April. If Lora goes a couple days later than her due date, the baby might be born on my Dad’s birthday. Tell Dad Hi! Tell him I miss him too.
#4-Is Ruby with you? Does your knee still bother you or can you take her on long walks? Did I do the right thing to put her to sleep? Did you see the new pup Rosie? Can you see how sweet she is and what a pain in the butt she is at the same time? It’s so hard….she’s the first major thing I made a choice on without you.
#5-Did Jody find you? Did she tell you I love you? Is she taking care of you like I asked? Please let her take care of you. She needs someone to take care of and she’s so good at it. Tell her I love her and miss her like crazy.
#6-Did you talk to my Mom? Did she find out the family secrets she always longed to know? Have her patch your jeans. She was always so much better at patching jeans than I ever was…oh and your Mom. How’s she doing? Does she still do everything for your Dad including lay out his clothes?
#7-Have you found every other old farmer and talked their head off about farming and farming and farming? …and did you find Terry and Peggy and Rory? Are you having a few beers with them and chatting about the old days. Man I wish I was there with you.
#8-Did you find your Dad? Did the two of you find Orvin? Are you listening to all their old stories that we loved to hear your Dad tell?
#9-Did you see how much you are missed on the farm? What a year they have had. Did you know Craig is working at the farm? I so imagine you looking down on them all and telling how they should be doing the things you used to do. I miss you coming home smelling like cows and silage and diesel fuel. Who thought I would ever miss that smell?!
#10-I want to work on the trim in the house but don’t have a clue how to begin. I don’t know what pile of wood is for what. I don’t know what you had planned. I wish you were here to tell me. I still feel a little lost.
Oh…and if I get a #11…please tell me how you always fixed the Kitchen Aide mixer when I couldn’t get the beater to go in place….It’s starting to act up again and I don’t know how to fix it myself.
I’m so sorry I took you for granted the times I did and if you would call during lunchtime ever, I promise, I would drop EVERYTHING just to hear your voice…
Everlasting love!!! Hugs for you!
Prayers and tears for you, Jo. Kramer is with you; just look In your heart.
Bless your heart! I haven’t lost my hubby but I have lost my mom and remember the first year was the worst! I remember just seeing my friends with their moms would make me cry and I was 38! Be extra special to yourself on days like these!
No words – just (((HUGS)))
Tears in my coffee this morning. Great big South Carolina Hugs, Jo. The first year is always the hardest.
Part of what makes your blog such a treasure is that you share so freely and aren’t afraid to be raw and real with us. I hope you know that these precious insights become the basis for many prayers on your behalf. May God wrap you extra tightly in His loving arms.
I’m crying, but so glad that you feel like you can share this sort of thing with us.
My prayers are with you as well as lots of big hugs!
All of the stories I’ve ever read about people going to heaven and then coming back because it wasn’t their time, Heaven is a real and wonderful place. I imagine Roger being so happy to see his parents and Jody and Ruby. Some day we will all be there and I’ll be able to meet him. I’m not afraid to go there. Just imagine how it will be. Thanks and hugs for you.
I lost my older brother last June too. He called me everyday and reading your blog today made me wish I could have one more phone call from him. I miss him so much. My heart goes out to you Jo.
Wow! That made me cry! I love that you share and are so real. Thank you.
Yes Jo, Roger misses you as much as you miss him. When you meet in heaven, he will be the first to hug and kiss you after Jesus. I believe that all our loved ones will greet us when we enter heaven…even the furry ones.
You are still needed on earth…all those grandbabies and kids. You have several angels looking down on you. Blessings on you as you grieve. Know that you have support…hugs from a far!
Thank you for your honest, heartfelt post. Sending love and prayers!
About a month after my husband died I visited my sister in Florida (I live in Arkansas). When we returned from shopping one day we checked the caller id. There as plain as could be was a call that said my husband’s name. Very upsetting. I knew he could not be calling. Very confused for a few minutes. When I returned home I had the phone number put in my name. I know your pain.
Sending you a hug! My husband passed away two months ago. He’d had Parkinson’s disease for almost 20 years, and I hadn’t been able to leave him alone for at least 5 years before he went into long-term care two years ago. Very different from your sudden loss. He’s at peace, and not in pain; I need to figure out what to do with all my time. But I still would love to talk to him.
Like Dee, I lost my brother who called me every day–it might be just a one minute check in call but what I wouldn’t give to hear his voice again.
Jo, What an emotional post–using more than one Kleenex to wipe the tears and blow my nose! I’ve read your blog for a long time–since you bought the house and remodeled it. You have such a great family!
Jo, it does get easier. I am almost on the 14th anniversary of losing my only child. I know we will be reunited again one day. I also want to thank you for being so open and honest especially about feelings. It helps others too. Prayers, hugs and love.
Valentine’s Day marks the 5th anniversary of losing my husband. He was only 53. Your questions sound like so many questions I would love to be asking him. I have experienced so many of these feelings. Hugs to you, Jo!
Hugs and tears with you.
Oh, my this is probably what my daughter does after the loss of her son. I think of my grandson often and wonder what “could of been”. Would he marry his long time girlfriend, would they make me a great-gram, would they travel to visit us, and so on. He was only 22. How I miss him. My heart goes out to you, grief strikes at the oddest times. Thank you for being so honesty and open with us. Hugs and prayers to you.
Oh Jo… I’m still bawling. My heart goes out to you every single day. I’ve been married to my husband 43.5 years and almost lost him in a freak accident. He walked away that day and made it home. I thank God every day after.
I’ve read your blog for years and look forward to reading every day. You caught me off guard today.
Just beautiful, so full of love.
Praying for you. Grief is so individual, but I think everyone experiences the waves…the sneakers…that come out of no where and just bowl you over. The sneakers can be trigger by a phone ringing, a picture, a song, a view, a sentence…and we never know what will be that trigger. The sneakers do come further apart as the years go by, from my experience, but even after 48 years, there are still sneakers. I hope you know how much you are helping others by being honest and open with your grief.
ANd so it goes…grief after grief…We think that soon it will be over, alas, it gets worse…the second six months after the shock has worn off and we feel again…the waves come over us..grief…The second year when we come to grips that we are truly alone and they are not coming back..the worst..and on it goes…We do not have to pretend we are getting better when we are not. Eventually what happens is that there is more space between our episodes….instead of crying every day…we cry every other day, etc. You are not alone…we walk with you in grief…sending you love
You are so right Diane, I can go sometimes for weeks, after 18 years alone, and then something comes up that brings back a memory and then the tears start. Jo, we all love you and a lot of us are right there with you every step of the way. I think of you often when my tears start and I pray you are alright and moving forward, it’s hard at times but GOD gives us strength to carry on. We love you and love your blog.
I know how you feel and it breaks my heart. I lost my husband during our 53rd year together. I have been strongly advised to go to grief counseling. I may. I love that you wrote down the conversations you would have if you could have them. Maybe I should do the same.
I wish you peace. It will come, I am told. Hugs.
Jeannie-Grief counseling was offered to me as well. Instead I write how I feel when I feel it here on the blog. I think writing it really lets the grief out rather than hold it in. I highly recommend writing how you feel. Keeping it bottled in doesn’t allow space for healing. I know I’ll never be the same but I also know there a new me in here waiting for her chance to come out.
Thank you for sharing this! So many of us take for granted our soul mates… You have put into words the feelings so very hard to express. So many reasons for us to show how important it is in life to be GRATEFUL!
What a beautiful post. Of course I’m crying right now. I send positive thoughts for continued healing from the deeply felt grief you are experiencing. You are such a strong woman and I admire you greatly. Kramer is smiling down on you with pride.
Can some please pass the Kleenex . . .
Love and hugs!!