Sunday, September 09, 2012


 Doors to crypts in the Galveston cemetery.
The back door to my grandparents' house. Both were dead and gone when I took this photo. The house still stands but it is in a sad state of disrepair.

Lawsie! I was going to get this post up earlier in the week and never got around to it. And now so much more has come up concerning doorways (sorry, be prepared for a bit of rambling)...

We spent the weekend at the little house we have been working on repairing for several weeks now. We've had a lot of help. I have not actually had to do much (have not had the opportunity to do much). My husband has taken a couple of days to go up and help. My uncle has done most of the carpentry work. One of my husband's friends brought a trailer to our house Friday and took a load of furniture and stuff to go in the little house. I could hardly wait till "quittin' time" Friday afternoon so I could get myself up there too! 

We had stuff left from when we were going up there regularly years ago. We had to get a new sofa. I had end tables and a dining table. It is a small simple house so it does not need much. I want to keep it simple. 

We were going to bring my son's double bed up there for our bedroom but when we opened the door to his room to go in there and dismantle his bed, we both realized we were not ready to do that. We shed a few tears and sat down to re-evaluate our plans. We ended up borrowing a couple of twin size blow up mattresses for the weekend. I think I've now figured out what I want to do and we will bring his bed up there next weekend. We still need for his bedroom to be his bedroom and that means (to me) that there needs to be a bed in his room. I have an extra twin bed that I think I am going to set up in there.

Saturday of this weekend marked nine months since he's been gone. We had a quiet day of memories and a few stories about him as we worked around the little house.

On Sunday afternoon we went to the cemetery and sat beside his grave for a little while. The little house in the country is near a lot of my family and the cemetery is nearby and I have many other family members buried there. We had passed the cemetery a couple of times over the last couple of trips to the country but we always had someone with us or we were in a hurry to get back with something we were getting for the house. We were overdue to stop by for a "visit."

As I sat there at his grave, full of gratitude that we have been able to get the little house fixed up again and sorrowful that he was not around to see it happen, I was reminded again that that fear of loss and pain are not valid reasons not to love, or to live. My gratitude for having had him to love is far larger than my pain and loss now that he is not here. I used to scoff at the old saying "tis better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all." I understand that saying in a whole new way now. And I am grateful for the time I had to love him.

I posted part of this on Facebook, about fear of pain and loss not being valid reasons not to love and a friend commented with "I hesitated to press Like because of the poignant & extraordinarily personal & sensitive nature of your posting." The "old me" would never have posted something so "extraordinarily personal" like that on Facebook. Neither would I have written about it on my blog! I would have figured it best to keep things to myself and put my strong face on. 

I was using the notes feature in my phone to make a list of things we needed to bring to the little house next weekend. I noticed an old note from November 6th of last year. It is short but it was a precursor to the coming changes in me. It said: "Need help? Must ask." That was two days before my surgery on November 8th of last year, two days and a month before the death of my son on December 8th of last year.  

I've learned a little about accepting help when I need it. I've even learned a tiny bit about asking for help when I need it. I've been blessed with much support through this journey and I am grateful.

I have been changed by this experience and by the colon cancer diagnosis. On some days I feel like I have been opened up, in a good way. This weekend I was thinking how this past year has been the season of my "grand opening," another doorway of sorts that I have walked through. It's been hard, it's been heart-wrenching, but in some ways, it has been so good for me. What a paradox that is!

(My contribution to the 52 Photos Project prompt of Doorways for week 20.)


  1. What a journey, all unexpected. Isn't it a funny thing to find gifts we leave ourselves from the past? You're a gem, that's for sure. And gems come from earthly pressures. <3
    Lori VC

  2. Going through unmarked doorways has become my adventure game. I like that you are sharing this with us. I want to be a bold old lady.

  3. Filled with gratitude that you shared this today, that you are embracing the opening.

    Well written and quite inspiring. Thank you for that, as today I have a few doorways to walk through of my own.

  4. Beautiful photos and wonderful colors, the second door is my favorite.

  5. It's so wonderful to see you moving forward with your life even if it is an inch at a time on some days. I think you should be commended for doing the best you can each day to be present in your life and you honor his memory by doing so.

  6. I don't eny the journey, but I'm impressed with how you travel.

    The doors are gorgeous.

  7. In the midst of all the pain, you are aware of your "Grand Opening" ... I like that! Inspiring! xo

  8. what a beautiful, raw post. your awareness is so heartwarming and your healing journey an inspiration. happy week to you Annie.

  9. This being the third time I've stopped here recently, reading this post and then rushing off somewhere, let me just say there's a lot of good comments here, Annie, and thinking it all already said, I find Spookyrach's (where did that name come from?)says it much better than I could. It blesses my soul to read you in your journey, continuing to find you open to God's path no matter the door.


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