I don’t have a clue what I’m about to write. Sometimes when I’m at my computer I know I did X, Y and Z this past week so I’ll be writing about X, Y or Z or a combination of said activities. And for a while the activities around here had been coming at me so fast and furious that I had as many as four posts in my scheduler at one time. Now, I have none. The activities offered hasn’t changed. We still get 4-5 things a day I could be doing, but I don’t. I still haven’t, for example, made it to the morning Coffee and Conversation group or played cards in the evenings after dinner. For a minute or two I thought about going to one of the pastor’s 15 Minute Morning Meditations but I quickly burned that idea out of my brain. If I’m ever going to have a Come-to-Jesus moment I want it to be ten seconds before I die and I want to have it in front of my nieces so it will shock the youngest and amuse the oldest.
I really like the pastor who leads the meditations. She lives here but we ‘run in different circles' as the kids used to say. I was a fan of her religion columns in the Sunday newspaper years ago and we have at least one thing in common besides an interest in oil painting; neither one of us changed our names when we got married. She was already an established a writer and college professor when she got married. (I was older too.) She wanted to be an ordained pastor since she was a kid but like so many other women in past generations she was told a female couldn't do that. The dream never left her and after retiring from her day job she went back to school and fulfilled her dream.
Like me, I’ll bet the pastor didn’t correct people who’d call her by her husband’s last name. And maybe I should have. To this day I still have a niece on both sides of my family who sends mail to me using the last name I never legally took. One time I was in the hospital and my youngest niece couldn’t find me because of the name thing. She seems to have a blind spot about married couples having the same name. I’m assuming that’s the issue, we’ve never had that conversation but I did make a notation in my estate papers to be sure my heirs don't go down the wrong rabbit hole while trying to close out my affairs.
Do you know who gave me the most hassle over not changing my name? A saleslady at the monument company when I ordered a headstone. We have one grave for both our ashes thus we wanted both our names to appear on one stone. The lady at the monument company kept trying to talk me into not putting the last name I’ve used my entire life and instead replacing it with my husband’s last name. I couldn’t get through to the woman that the person she wanted memorialized in granite for all time never existed, that I never changed my name. But she kept saying words to the effect that, “It’s going to look like two unrelated people are in one grave!”
Only after I came up with the idea of putting a heart in the center with “married April blab, blab, blab” did she finally agreed to take my stupid order. This was just a few days after Don died and she wanted me to go home and think about it. I ordered it so soon because my husband had wanted me to order that stone for a couple of years, since we bought the plot, but I kept dragging my feet and I felt guilty that I didn’t give him the peace of mind that having that stone in place apparently would have given him. With my husband’s severe language disorders it was a very difficult 'conversation' to have but that didn’t stop him from trying every time we’d drive by the cemetery.
In a world where we’d get do-overs ordering that stone while Don could still see it would be one of my do-overs. Makes my eyes tear up just thinking about it. Oh, and it still creeps me out to see my own name on a stone with an open-ended date to be added later on, proof that I'm not immortal. I'm good at pretending otherwise.
We’re getting close to April so I expect having teary eyes will be happening often enough for it to be a thing. It’s always been a tough month. My mom died in April on Easter so it’s like I have two death dates to mark her traumatic passing. My husband and I both have birthdays in April and we got married in April. Way too many dates to stir up trouble in weak minded, sentimental cry babies. Okay, don’t get on me about characterizing myself as weak-minded; I know I’m not but I can be overly dramatic when I write, so that’s my excuse and warning not to take me too seriously when I ramble-write.
In April, ever since my husband died I've taken a pilgrimage to the Butterfly Exhibit where I swear to God---if I believed in one---that a huge blue butterfly landed on me the first year to tell me that my husband was pleased with the grave stone. He knew and liked that I planned to put “happy trails to you until we meet again” in the granite and I kept that promise.
Moments after he died I said those words to him and there was a hospital chaplain standing near-by who lite up, delighted with what she took to mean that I believed in God and and an afterlife. Before that moment she had asked if she could say a prayer and I coldly replied, "It’s up to you, I don’t care one way or another." So she did, then stood watching me as I spoke my final words and kissed Don goodbye. Next think I knew she was walking me out of the hospital. What a job that would be…make sure the newly coined widows and widowers don’t over stay their welcome.
I wish I could think of a way to end this post on an upbeat note but I'm coming up blank so the meme below is the best I can do. ©