Monthly Archives: October 2007

Of Cemeteries on Halloween

It’s Halloween – where better to spend time than in a cemetery.

That is where Luke and I went this morning. If you recall my post, My Closet, we had a decision to make about Nathan’s remains. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that perhaps we could inter Nathan’s ashes. As time has been going by, the thought of having an urn somewhere in our house has become less and less appealing to us. We also felt that should we ever move from here, we might not want to leave his remains behind. So – we needed a solution.

The week before last, when I had a child-free morning, I drove down to the cemetery to see what the options were. It is a huge cemetery and I got lost and didn’t find all the places I was looking for. I did drive by a row of children’s graves. There were “Happy Birthday” balloons and stuffed animals. Seeing those helped to cement the fact that we did not want that. I completely understand why people do want to have graves for their children and spend time there and decorate. However, that thought is very unappealing to Luke and I. Nathan is not there and will never be there so we don’t feel like we will be “visiting him” there. We want a “resting place” and a dignified place for his remains. Can I just say, thank goodness Luke and I both feel the exact same way about this???? Can you imagine if we had different feelings about what to do with his remains.

While wandering, I found what we wanted; a columbarium. This particular one is located near a very old stone chapel and is surrounded by large trees. I apologize that, though I brought cameras both times, I still have failed to take a picture of it. It has four sides and is 4 drawers across and 7 down. It has a reddish marble front to be engraved with the name.

So – Luke and I went down there this morning and purchased a niche in the columbarium. We also gave them Nathan’s remains for safekeeping in their vault until the engraving is done and it is ready for interment. The person (of whose occupational title I couldn’t hazard a guess) tried to encourage us to hold a ceremony of sorts when they inter the remains. For many reasons, we are probably not going to do that. We will take the girls over when it is done and show it to them.

I think that I feel a sense of relief that this is done. My friend offered to keep Lauren the whole morning, so after Luke and I were done at the cemetery we had some time together. We bought Luke an early Christmas present. It was a typical retail therapy kind of thing so it made us both feel good and I know he is going to enjoy it immensely. I’ll leave it to him to blog about it at some point. We got a nice lunch afterwards and then I hurried off to attend Julia’s school party. It was a little unsettling attending a kindergarten party after what I had been doing this morning – but that is the way life is.

Tonight, in typical Colorado fashion, it is expected to rain, snow or ice during prime trick or treating hours. It should be fun either way. The girls had a party on Saturday and the weather was beautiful then and I took some nice pictures already without all the bundling up. I’ll share some tomorrow.

My desk

The living room has become my office in the last few years. Baskets of mail and bills lying around. My computer on the coffee table. My stationary and power cords in baskets and bins. Important mail lingered with junk mail.

I got the idea a few weeks ago that a very small desk would be a good thing to help me organize.

I walked into the local oak store the other day and there was the exact desk I needed! At $240 (much of it solid oak) I couldn’t pass it up.

So – here it is:

And the BEST part for a slob like me:

I now have my computer and all my chargers nicely put away. Medical bills get their own cubby. I went through baskets of mail and reclaimed things like the title to our van. I feel calmer just knowing that any important stuff now has it’s own cubby.

Middle of the Night

Luke posted about the great radio show taping (that is a link but links do not show up very well) we went to on Friday night.

I loved Loudon Wainwright III’s new song “Middle of the Night” Luke put it on his post, but I will repost with lyrics. As I am in the “middle of the night” currently, this song resonated with me.

Into this pitch darkness we’re hurled
Where there’s not a glimmer of light
It’s not the end of the world
It’s just middle of the night

And the blackest of flags is unfurled
In all this absence of light
It’s not the end of the world, good people
Merely the middle of the night

The middle of the night
That’s what this is
If death is the real test
This is just a quiz

When grey creeps through your window
It will be daylight
The end of this darkness
Is almost in sight

To a ball of fear you are curled
You’re holding on with all of your might
It’s not the end of the world, little sister
It’s just the middle of the night

In the maelstrom of your mind you are swirled
Almost down the drain but not quite
It’s not the end of the world, my brother
Rather the middle of the night

The middle of the night
When you fear everything
but the birds will awake soon
and you will hear them sing

You doubted you’d make it
not sure you’d survive
Now your dead tired
but you’re still alive

Around fate’s fickle finger we’re twirled
Small wonder we’re all so uptight
It’s no the end of the world, good people
Merely the middle of the night

It’s not the end of the world as we know it
it’s just the middle of the night


Colorado weather


Yesterday when I went out to the van with Lauren I looked down and I saw one of Julia’s china doll babies obliterated on the ground. It must have fallen out of the van door and then gotten run over. I could see pieces of the little babies face. It was really macabre and upsetting. I would buy her the little dolls at the gift shop at the hospital when Nathan was inpatient.

Luckily, she didn’t see it because she would have been very upset. I guess I now need to go to the hospital to see what replacements I can find before I tell her it “broke”. Going to the hospital is a whole ‘nother thing I won’t really want to do.

Gone fishing….

Not exactly fishing – but we had a long weekend in Seattle with friends.

It was a wonderful trip. The kids played – the adults hung out.

On Saturday we had two babysitters to watch 8 kids and we went and did a wine tasting and then dinner. It was the most fun we have had in a very long time.

The night wound down with a game of poker using amusingly large children’s playing cards and goldfish as currency.

We jumped back into life today. I took three toddlers (23 months, 30 months, 21 months) to the grocery store and we all survived! Julia has dance class after school today.

Update (tomorrow)

So – I did go to the funeral. The only hard part was walking past the parlor when I was making my way to the choir room. The parlor is where the family gathers before the service and I hope to not go in there for a very long time. Just the thought of the family in there waiting for the service to begin gives me flashbacks.

I was so glad that I went. I found the service to be extremely comforting and to be able to sing “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” at a time when it is utterly meaningful was a blessing.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to go through the receiving line. I don’t know her plans, but I hope my fellow alto will be back singing with us sometime soon.

This man was a coach and an educator and had a positive influence on so many people. I am glad to have learned more about him.


So – I may be going to a funeral tomorrow. In my church – eight (no – nine) weeks later.

One of my fellow choir members lost her husband to cancer. She hasn’t been able to sing for a while but when she did, I always looked forward to sitting next to her. When I was pregnant she talked to me of singing in the choir when she was pregnant, too. That baby is in his forties now.

I had been considering going to the funeral but not sure if I could do it. Then she asked the choir to sing “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place”. I think I can do that. I really want to do that for her. I will be sitting in the choir loft, which is my usual place to be, not like at Nathan’s funeral at which we sat in the front row. I will NEVER sit in the front row again if I don’t have to.

Babysitting plans have been made, but Julia has come down with pink-eye. She can be at home with Luke without causing him interruption, so now Lauren is still set to go.

I feel like the decision will be made for me tomorrow. There is a good chance sickness will keep me home. Either Lauren or I might have pink-eye by the middle of the day as far as I know.

I checked with the choir director tonight at rehearsal to make sure that “How Great Thou Art” was not going to be sung as a solo as it was at Nathan’s funeral. I am certain I would NOT make it through that. Even so, I am a little worried that I will be hit with flashbacks and emotion.

So – I will wait to see what sickies are in store tomorrow…

Oh – and there is another issue; what to wear? When I bought the dress I wore to Nathan’s funeral I was determined I would wear it again for other things. Well, here I am again, needing a dress appropriate for a funeral and it is going to be quite warm tomorrow so it would make sense to wear that dress again. I haven’t worn it since Nathan’s service – so if I wear it tomorrow it just might become my “funeral dress” and that will be it.

Don’t know.

Protected: September 2007 pictures

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I have been trying to correct an error in one of our newspaper subscriptions. We bought an outrageously cheap year of a newspaper from a door-to-door salesperson in May. Since we have lived at our house we have gotten the same deal two other times. The deal expires, they offer us the regular rate, we decline and then a year later or so, someone shows up to sell it to us again.

This time, they made an error when they turned it and and we received a different deal (which wasn’t daily) than we signed up for, I called up and she said she switched it to daily.

I recently received a bill and so I called and they claimed I only had paid for 12 weeks. I couldn’t find my receipt – I complained about being misled but she said there was nothing she could do. So – I did nothing and got called by the billing people today. I explained the problem and he admitted that he has seen that deal before so I called the newspaper up and spent a good 45 minutes or more on the phone with people and finally got a supervisor who actually queued up the conversation I had back when the wrong subscription was put through. She said she would correct it to daily (thought said nothing about a year) and he said he would honor it but he wasn’t happy about it. He actually admitted they do give the deal I was sold even though two other CSR’s denied such a thing existed.

So – I prevailed, but at what cost? It was very stressful. I had to get annoyed with them, I had to start going down other route like asking to get the contact number of the company that hires the contractors who sell these things, etc. etc. I hate that crap and in my current state of bereavement, I can hardly handle it.

I should have just called and canceled the dang thing. Perhaps I will feel better tomorrow morning when I go get the paper.