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Old 08-20-2012, 11:04 PM
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Post A WIDOW WALK:OFF GRID

I have thought about this for a very long time.

How do I write about something so raw-so real to me at a time when I was left to fend for myself,broke,reeling from my husbands death.

This isnt a thread about how great I am/was.
It isnt about all the great things I discovered how to do.

Ita about having to grieve,survive and the emotional walk of recovering my life and doing
something I had never done before alone and unprepared.

Country,backwoods,with only my wits and thirst to learn and do.
I have always felt a kinship with the woods--the pioneer life and the spirit of doing whats necessary to survive.

Please bare with me as I walk the widows walk again.

Txanne
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:17 AM
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I'm truly sorry for your loss Annie.
Hugs
But!!! At the same time, so looking forward to your life's story.
Hope that don't sound rude or callous.
sissy
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:23 AM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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Texanne, I too am sorry for your loss. It sounds like you learned much from your walk that might help others in a similar situation. I hope you can write it all down for yourself and for others. Blessings to you!
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:06 AM
whitehairedidiot Female whitehairedidiot is offline
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Telling our "stories" is part of the healing, Annie...
can I ask? When was this?

(((((((Annie)))))))
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:31 AM
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Early summer of 1993,
Jim was at Ft.Sam Houston in San Antonio Tx for his work up,long day of invasive test for a rare forum of cancer.

The Drs. told me it would be quite awhile before they were through--I should go eat .
Food was not a thought.
My mind went on lock-down--So I got in the car and went over to the PX to pick up
a few things.
I passed the magazine rack--I caught a glimphe of a magazine with a cabin,set in the woods,in the snow.
I reached to pick it up and the name was Backwoods Home---I remember looking at that cabin--and then I knew someday I would live the life I always wanted--but had put on hold because our dreams are not always our familys' dream.

I got back to the cancer ward-and they were bringing Jim out of the surgery area.
The Dr.(who we came to respect and love,looked at me and shook his head and looked away.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:46 AM
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The next morning,when he was released from the ward--we had aan appointment with our Dr.(they where still in the old hospital--they have since built a new).

Military DRs are different than civlian ons---that come to the point,immediately.
He gave us the heart stopping-slamming painful news--Jm had 9-months to a year.

Dr. gave us an opption to try a new trial chemo.
Jim looked at me--He knew I would back him all the way and reading each others minds like married people do---He looked at the Dr. and said lets do it.

2 weeks later--we began a series of 6 blind chemo test.
The 3rd week,the Drs were very excited--the cancer had shunk 65%.
We were beyond happy---

About 3 wks went by and I had a call at work to go home--Jim was in serious physical distress.

I raced home bundled him up after calling the oncolg. ward Drs. They said bring him inimmediately.

2 days later,the horrible news, Jim was in kidney failure--we had to suspend the chemo.

We didnt tell him then--we needed to get him stable--calm and I needed time to digest the second death sentence.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:54 AM
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The morning they released him---we went down to the little coffe shop--waiting on our scrpits to be filled.

He was on a no caffiene diet--so he got a root-beer and I had a coffee---they sold so much coffee in that little basement shop--that it was always fresh--I needed fresh- lots of coffee.

We sat down on the steps leading out--and as we sat there in a stunned slience-as sparrow lit on Jims shoulder--it was a very strange moment--the little bird was a message:
If God knows when every sparrow that falls He knows our problem--It gave us courage.

Jim looked at me and I gave him the sad-devasting news.

We went home--to our own inter thoughts and grief
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:19 PM
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TxAnne
About six months before moving to this homestead I started a jounal to keep up with what I was doing to prepare for the move, after the move I just continue on with the journal along with pictures of all the happenings on the homestead. I look back in my journal on the day of the move and we all get a good laught at that entry, for here we were in an old dodge truck loaded with six kids in the front and seven goats in the back of the truck along with as much stuff as we could put in the back with the goats, behind the old truck was an old travel travel tagging along, the cars on the interstate would slow when they got beside us and laugh, for it must have been the funniest thing they had seen on a busy interstate. My kids tell me to take that page out of my journal for they remember ducking in the seat to hide when people did that, but they still laught and tell us they can't believe we did that to them. My journal keeps the memories of our adventure from the past alive for me and my kids and a journal may the start for you.
Thanks
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:28 PM
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I'm so sorry, Annie. I didn't realize you were a widow. My heart goes out to you.

Please, do share your story if it feels right to do so. I'm sure much of what you have accomplished would be inspiring to others.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:59 PM
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I'm so sorry. Loosing a mate is the hardest loss for a person to live through. I'm so sorry.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:11 PM
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A couple of years early--Jim had been diagnoised as being bi-polar.
We had-had the mental health issued and medications about whipped as long as he stayed on course with his medications.

It was as the Drs discovered,a combination of these meds and chemo that fried his kidneys.

Jim had completed his BA in psychology and was working on his Masters at Tx A&M when it manisfisted itself.

He worked for the State of Tx. as Outreach Director in different counties as Alcoholism and Drug Abuse counselar and also took care of the mental health patients.

He had to retire and we became th spiral downhill in to that black pit of mental illness.
Its very hard TO Make adults do anything--mental illness is a special battle.

Thank God he had retired from the Navy---Va pension and Va medical was all that kept us going.

I had to quit working when he went into kidney failure--to maintain his Many medications for all the problems he had and his very serious kidney diet.
Our time was slipping away from us--Our Dr. at Ft.Sam sent me Hospise---I went through 3 nurses before Almighty God sent me Patsy--our wonderful guardian Angel.

We made one more trip to Lackland for his kidney shute---but he was never able to maintain long enough--the cancer was invading his heart--he couldnt with stand the dialysis.

The day came--22 mos. after the 9--12 mos. death sentence--when Patsy told me--we dont have much time now---if you need to make peace or have anything you'll need to say try to do it----it took me a couple of days to do that.

Patsy also told me--to make my arrangements---that stunned me---I had to do what?

Sometimes I think the human mind has an anesthic that goes into motion---that goes into effect.
I did what she told me--I knew she was right.

Our last Christmas--I ask him what he wanted for Christmas-he could only stay up for a few minutes--barely talk--but he said I want a train set---A train set he got---I sat it up under the tree and in the morning he when he woke--I told him Santa Claus had come and got him up--and he smiled and i sat on the floor and ran the train--it hooted and blew smoke and made train sounds--He was very content---Thats all I could hope for.

Hospise showed up with our Christmas dinner and small gifts.
It was the last of the very sweet days.

The night before Jim died--I went out to our little porch to pray---I always prayed there at nite. Its was cold--crisp--and I had to tell God that he was so tired--he couldnt speak--I had to shave,bathe ,turn him and hand feed him.
And I asked for Mercy.

I went into him---and told him--its ok baby--I will be ok--I will love you forever and if you need to go on.

The next morning at 11.11 am--he turned his head to a brillent sunlight--and went on his way to the next life--in Heaven.
That was January 31st--1995.

Feb.3--we laid him to rest in Ft.Sam National Cemetary--with full Military honers.

After everyone went home--and all the hospital equitment was gone---I sat down in my chair by the Christmas tree--I just hadnt been able to make myself take it down--and picked up that old issue of BWH---and read and there began the thought---my job is done here----now maybe just maybe---------------
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:18 PM
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I have already been inspired! Please continue to share your journey with us as you are able.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:45 PM
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The last real conversation we had had was for my birthday in Sept.
Jim ask me what I wanted and I told him for him to be well again.

He said you know that isnt happening.
Go get you a Bday present---our nurse Patsy and he had already conpired:
She brought a beautiful card for him to sign an a little coconut cake(my favorite)

I knew what I wanted and told him: I ordered my very first BWH subcription and the anthologies---It seemed like it took forever to get to me.

Ohhhhhh when that brown envelope arrived--- I was totally amazed at the people trying to live the dream--I knew then---I just knew it was my life too.


I had to sell everything to pay final expensives. I saved my 25 gallon propane tank--1/2 bed all my blankets (tk. God cause I was going to need them) all my sweats--regualr household things--and 2 oil lamps I had for our Tx.storms--my hand tools etc.

Jims little dog,Tippy had begun to grieve---she wouldnt eat--and wondered from room to room. She finally pulled out of it and would be my companion for another--16 years.

You do the regular running--death isnt final for the living---so many thing to shut down--and applying for VA widows benefits--was a real test.
I qualified--but it was almost a years before they became active--soldiers returning or the families of the dead from Desert Storm were given preferance--I understood--but then I didnt---

In the mean time my oldest son--called-and said mama I think I have found the place you were talking about.
Its an old house80y/o) on 50 acres--a friend of his had a few head of cattle on it and wasnt renewing his lease in may---but said I was welcome to the house --he didnt live there--I didnt understand that---later (LOL) I would.
The lease was only 500.00 a year--what a bargin--huh? Yeah right LOL.

So on March 13th I left SA,Tx. loaded down in my truck--swung by the cemetary and told Jim good-bye once more.

And headed down Intertate 10--to Houston to meet up with my son and have him take me to Hopewell Rd. To my new adventure or failure or quest or whatever just happened.
I thought I was prepared--I had read those books I ordered---I had the spirit--the strengh and the want to--Right?

The test to come was a builder of intestitinal forditude---a mind-set--and a Spiritual walk I had never know before.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:45 PM
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Annie,


I am sorry for your loss as well. I too feel blessed to hear your stories. I tell my wife (she has a gift like yours for putting things down) that I so adore that and wish that I could journal.

Anyway, thank you again for sharing your heart and your inspiration.

God bless!
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:28 AM
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Oh Annie, so sorry for your loss but am happy you made it through but as Paul Harvey used to say I wanna "hear the rest of the story". I know you have 1 and but if you don't want to I understand.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:33 AM
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We left houston and headed north on Int.45---when we got to Huntsville--we hung a left on Fm30--west--of course it had to rain---always. My stuff was pretty much covered and so I didnt worry----Until we hit the mudy cliche road---geezzzz. I dropped into mud gear and truck settled into its fun gear---slinging the cream colored mud --especially Up. We drove until I was sure we'd run out of civilization---we finally did--and suddenly we were there---a narrow turnoff-thur the gate- into a grown up yard--an there sat a little house--that had once been white---under the biggest chinaberry tree I had ever seen.
I didnt know it then but that tree would be a pain in my neck--as it grew even bigger.

Of course the ole we'll we're here--everybody was strenching and racing for the bushes--well my sons were--I wasnt too sure about that much nature just yet.

As I looked around--I could see a meadow to the left--huge oaks--and as I started to the house---I got that feeling--a joy I hadnt had in awhile---I am home.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:47 AM
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As the day was fading--the boys started to head home--I was a little confused for a moment?
Aren't staying the night?
Nope!
What? I hadnt really realized it was a drop the mama and run---but they did help me unload and off they went.(after they cleaned the mud off)Geezzzzz aint nothing slimeyer than wet cliche---

There was no bathroom---in the house.
There was no running water.
There was no power in the house---what was I thinking.
In fact there was no nothing--no kitchen cabinets--in what I assumed was the kitchen.
There was what I thought was a locked storeroom---but it was a winter kitchen--with a
problem---the chinaberry tree.

Son had told me it was primative--but then I had read all those books--I'd figure it out--in the morning.

The old house had years of dust--birds nest---spider webs and shed snake skins.
Me and Tippy the ole dog---slept in the truck that nite--
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Last edited by Txanne; 08-22-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:50 AM
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Came my first morning.
I had 25 gallons of propane no stove.
I had coffee and sugar--no fire.
And no water.

But I had read all those books.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:49 AM
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Still listening...
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 AM
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Me too
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