This widow’s walk

9 01 2016

2016 might just be the year of the big breakthrough for this widow. There, I said it. Widow. I still don’t like to say it but I am gradually giving in to the  concept. I am not in denial of Ed’s passing. I know in the depth of my being that Ed is with his Savior in Heaven and he is not coming back!  I  wouldn’t  want him to.

I have been in denial of the fact that I am no longer married. It doesn’t seem quite fair that I have no say in the matter. I did not fall out of love. I was not cheated on or angry with or in any way mistreated by my husband. I was in love with Ed right up until his last breath. I am still in love with him.

We talked about some things pertaining to his imminent  passing away but none of our talking or thinking was about the fact that I would no longer be his wife. When Ed died, I became his widow. I hate that part. I could not reconcile it in my heart or in my mind. It has not been a graceful transition, to say the least. It felt all wrong to take my wedding band off and yet it felt like a lie to keep it on. Although, I did keep it on for a long time. I finally found a way that felt “okay” not to wear my wedding band on my hand. I found a necklace that allowed me to wear both our rings around my neck.

This has been my 5th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without my Ed. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not married anymore. On New Years day, I did not put my necklace on. I have looked at it every day since and made a decision not to wear it today. I have tried this before and after a day or two have experienced such anxiety that I had to put it back on. It has been 9 days today without my commitment being worn around my neck. It is okay. I did not break my commitment. I fulfilled it.

I have said it before, grief is different in everyone. We each have to find our own path through the process. Sometimes we can follow a portion of the path that someone else has traveled. Most of the time we have to blaze our own trail. I can still weep with the thought of how much I miss my man. I am on the journey. One step, one day, and sometimes one hour at a time.

Last night, I had a small dinner party with 4 of my close friends. I cooked a pot of marinara sauce and meatballs like I used to do. As we sat around the table in my modest kitchen with full bellies, I took a moment to look around the table. Everyone was at peace and looked contented. Everyone there knew my Ed and were not self conscious to speak his name in a conversation. What really struck me was that we were all laughing, sharing food, stories and talk of movies. Fellowship. My home was alive with fellowship. Ah, but that is for another post.

 





Who is that missionary?

4 03 2013

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Here we go!!!

From left to right is, Yours Truly, Coni; Peggy Laney and Margo Talton. We traveled together from Wilmington and met Naomi Tepper in Spain. Naomi flew in from NY the day after the blizzard. The original plan was for us to fly the day of the storm from ILM to NJ to Madrid but all flights got cancelled due to the storm. So, the travel agent got on it immediately and we were able to fly out the next day with an added stop to our route. We lost the first day but rehearsal and blocking with power point and sound and translators started right on time on Monday morning.

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Margo, script supervisor. Peggy, interviewer. Naomi as Ruth, interviewee. Becca, awesome translator and friend.

After our morning of work, we were blessed with a trip into Madrid with the very best ever tour guide, Elliott Tepper. He also happens to be the founder and CEO of Betel ministries. Elliott has a mind that retains an incredible amount of data and our visit was resplendent with pointing and facts. I will attempt to remember some of what he showed us by stating it under the pictures.

2013-02-11_16-05-16_989A beautiful street we walked on the way to a square filled with restaurants and shops. Hey, hostal macarena!! Love the wrought iron patios.

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This is an inner wall in the shopping square. The right of the wall is covered with fresco paintings that we thought quaint and beautiful. Elliott was amused to inform us that we were taking pictures of pornography as the men and women displayed were naked. No close up people!!!!

Last trip here we ate in one of the restaurants in this square. This time we ate a very late lunch in a cave!

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Naomi Tepper, Margo Talton, Coni Andress, Peggy Laney. And, Fernando!

We ate some lovely meals in between ministry and travel. Okay, the bowl of baby eels was not so lovely!!

2013-02-14_14-28-28_998yeah! I thought it was noodles at first. I did eat ONE, just to say I did it. Even with all the garlic, it was not delicious to me.

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This paella was pretty amazing though! This trip was not all about the food but I must show you one more place that we stopped to eat along the road from Madrid to Malaga, a six hour drive through the mountains and acres of olive trees.

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2013-02-13_15-11-23_261This is our host, founder and CEO of Betel ministries, Elliott Tepper.

2013-02-13_15-13-06_271A lovely lunch that we all shared on the mountainside patio. Lots of bread and olive oil too.

I hope I have not bored you with pictures of food and scenery. There is still so much more to tell you. I cannot promise you that the next post will not have another picture of food and fellowship because Spaniards know how to treat their guests. We came to be a blessing and we were so blessed by Betel.





In the Shreve

23 05 2010

Yesterday, my husband celebrated 35 years of clean and sober living!!!!! Wish I could insert fireworks here. This has been one hell of a year for him. I am so proud of the way he has pulled through it all. Sickness, a broken hip and two surgeries are no easy circumstances. The fact that he HAD TO use pain killers for several weeks raised a good deal of concern for me. God let us know when the right time came for Ed to change from pain killers to Tylenol and Ed came through it all.

I had something special planned for his Saturday anniversary but had to change plans last minute when I got a call to come to Shreveport for 10 days of work. Actually, I was driving home from Charleston, SC and one day of work on Army Wives when I got the call. My friend, Jeri, had been trying to get me to come work with her from the beginning of this movie in the “Shreve”. Finally, on their last week of filming, they brought me in. The timing was good for me actually. I got to work right at home in Wilmington for several weeks as I was the Department Head on two television pilots that filmed back to back. I had about 2 weeks off during which I did hair for a bunch of my friends in my studio, (I don’t think I could live without this part of my life) and I got to create and design some wigs and styles for the production of “Love on the Move” for the Glory Academy of Fine Arts.
This is Laura Valentine in costume, hair and make up for the Transformers Dance. FUN!

Now, I am staying in the Hilton after flying into Shreveport on Thursday. Lest you think I am getting too spoiled, here is the wonderful view from my room.

At least I don’t have to worry about anyone looking in my window. LOL.

Here is a brief look at what else I have done since being here.

The wrap party with my beautiful friend, Jeri.

AND…………

I got to hug Hughe Jackman…. well, sort of~~~~

I know that God has me here for a reason. Not just a paycheck, which by the way is not a bad reason in itself. But,… I had a conversation with someone in which they said they felt like God was an abusive parent and they had to walk away because they could not take anymore abuse. My heart breaks. God is definitely up to something HUGE right here in the Shreve.





Topping it off

26 08 2009

I just have to tell you:

At the end of our already blessed day yesterday, our next door neighbor called to ask me the question of the day!

“Have you guys had desert yet?”

It took me all of two seconds to come up with the prize winning answer.

“Why, no we have not.”

Within minutes our favorite neighbors were at the door with a pan of peach cobbler. Oh, not just any pan mind you. It was a hot, just out of the oven, pan of peach cobbler. Mary had just made it and she said I could take as much as I wanted. Alright, wipe the drool off your chin as I assure you that we had a fresh can of whipped cream to top it off with. A day just doesn’t get much better than that!

Today, I planned my day around an AA meeting. I am starting to know some of the folks in AA now and makes it easier to go to meetings.

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to stay home and be able to take care of my husband during this stressful time for us. The time has flown by and now it is time for me to get back to work. We are not independently wealthy enough for me to stay home any longer. I know that God has the timing all worked out. All I need to do is keep my head straight one day at a time and God will do the rest.

There is a saying I heard a long time ago that I am often reminded of. “Ninety per cent of life is just showing up.” Well, Lord, I am doing my 90%. Here I am, whatcha gonna do with me now?





Secret Shopper and B.A.R.F.

16 04 2009

My 14 year old Walker Hound has been having some nasty health issues. She would have diarrhea at least 4 days a week. She stopped eating to the point where we could count every rib just looking at her. She had no energy, poor thing. I tried everything, adding canned chicken or salmon to her food. I even changed her diet to cooked chicken and rice (time consuming and expensive). The chicken and rice would get her regular again but no matter how much I fed her, she could not put the weight back on. She looked like she was being severely neglected and yet I was doing everything within my power and knowledge to help her.

The worst thing was just watching her lay around so lethargic. When Daisy was a pup, she loved to run and she was very enthusiastic and strong. To see her lay in her bed and not even get excited when we held her leash out to her as we offered her a walk was just pitiful. She would just lay there looking at us as if to say, “No thanks. Not up to taking a walk today.” Sadly, I began to think that old age was just taking it’s toll on her and she probably would die in the next six months.

A friend told me about this product and I am a believer!! Go check out Carol’s website. Tell her Coni sent you.

http://www.carolspetcafe.com/

Carol is local and she will deliver to your house if you need her to. 

I started both dogs on the B.A.R.F. diet. That is Biologically Approved Raw Food. To my delight, Daisy ate it right away. I didn’t have to trick or entice her with any added goodies. She sniffed it, walked around the kitchen a couple of times, went back to her bowl and ate the food. When it was time for her second feeding, she was sitting at the “Hey Human, I am hungry!” spot. With no hesitation, she wolfed down her second helping of BARF. 

Within days, her stool stopped running and became normal. Who else talks about poop but animal lovers and Mommies? If you have been either, you know how disturbing it is when your “baby” is irregular.

We have been feeding our 2 year old beagle mix, Bella, and our senior grande Dame, Daisy, the raw food diet for about 10 weeks now. Daisy has put on weight. She loves to go for her walks again and even has a little bounce in her step. She has even gone for short runs on her leash. There is a light in her eyes and a shine on her coat. I don’t suspect that she is on her death bed anymore. I am excited to see if we can get another few years of enjoyment out of her. 

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Bella is happy to be along for the ride. She is healthy and sassy and young. I believe that she is benefitting from this diet as well and expect that eating so well now will increase her years too.





Fasting and praying

9 01 2009

I just spent $275 buying groceries! Yikes!
I return to work on Monday. I have begun a Daniel fast on Jan. 1st so I can get over the first few days before going into an atmosphere where my meals are made for me. Although our caterers treat me well by making some choices available just for me, I cannot expect them to provide a Daniel fast menu for me. So I got some menus from Pastor Brian’s blog and used them to create my food shopping list. My plan is to spend a good deal of time cooking up some of the recipes tomorrow so I can bring them to work with me next week. The Daniel fast consists of fruits and vegetables, juices and some grains and it lasts for 21 days. Several folks in my church will be fasting together as we seek direction for our lives. Most of them will start on Jan. 11 but I thought I had a better shot at this thing by getting a couple of days under my belt before returning to work.

I wish I could describe the purpose of a fast with out sounding like some kind of pious knuckle head. I’m not, I don’t think. I am just a regular person who has a relationship with God. I believe that God has a purpose and a plan for my life and I need to be in tune with Him so I am not wandering off the course of His plan. Too often, I clog my mind up with extemporaneous stuff that goes on in my life. A good cleansing of body and mind are necessary every once in a while.
While I am fasting, I will find time to read my Bible. God speaks to me most often from His word.
I was recently challenged by one of our leaders to “think outside the box.” I had to chuckle as I thought, “I had no idea how “outside of my box” I would have been ever since I asked Jesus into my life some 27 years ago.” And yet, I am taking the challenge. I am thinking outside the box, more and again. Thinking and praying.

I want to be useful to the Kingdom of God. I desire to see people who are as messed up as I was come to the realization that God is not mad at them. That He loves them to a degree that humans cannot comprehend. But whether or not we understand doesn’t change the fact. He loves us. It thrills my heart to see broken people begin to get mended and live useful lives because they turn their broken pieces over to the One who can create beauty from ashes. I don’t want to trick anyone into asking Jesus into their lives. It doesn’t work that way. I am tired of phonies and liars. I work in the film industry for Heaven”s sake, I see enough of that crap. What I have been gifted with is REAL. My life has made the most amazing 360 degree turn that anyone could ever hope or think of. That is because I turned my life over to my Savior and He is making it right. That is why I share my testimony. When I moved here from Massachusetts I could have hidden my past quite easily. I did not have to tell people that I had been an alcoholic, drug addict, unfit mother and on and on. I was a singer. I was a Gospel singer. I knew how to fit into a church by the time I arrived here. But I didn’t want to play church. I still don’t want to play. My heart actually leaps each Sunday that some one raises their hand to pray and ask Jesus to forgive their past and guide their future. Because, I know a little bit of what is in store for them and it is marvelous. God is the God of the second chance. And the third and fourth if need be. I am honored to be a part of a church that tells the truth about who God is and what He has done out of His amazing love.
This is the God I want to hear from. This is the God I must hear from.





Random Christmas pictures

27 12 2008

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The gifts have been opened.

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Who would have a purple Christmas tree? Oh, um, that would be me.

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Now that is one fine looking bird. Nevermind that it is on top of the washer and dryer. 

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Now that is a pretty presentation. Even if my best friend is taking credit for cooking the turkey.

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Here are the girls on Christmas morning. All they want is food and love. In that order please. 

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This is my favorite part of Christmas. I get to spend it with the one person who loves me more than anyone else in the world. I am kinda crazy about him too. 

Happy Holidays!